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Catherine Cook School

Isis and Her Family My Ancient Egypt Paper Audrey Morganstern

2013


Have you ever wondered about ancient Egyptian gods? I’m not here to tell you about all of them, but I am going to tell you about Isis. I am also going to tell you about who she is, her family, how people worshipped her, and her main temple. So grab a buddy, get comfy, and read on! Isis was one of the most important gods. Wouldn’t you like to learn about her? Isis’s Egyptian name is Aset, but her Greek name is Isis. Since the Egyptian pronunciation is unknown, Americans usually say it in Greek. Isis always wore a headdress that has the hieroglyph, “throne” on it. Isis is the goddess of life, magic, motherhood, women, and the South. She had to watch over newborn babies, pregnant women, made sure people live a long life, and watched over southern Egypt. Isis is a very old deity. Isis is known for being very smart; so smart, she made the first mummy! Before Isis was a goddess, she was a queen. Since Isis is very old and was a queen, she was drawn on many tomb walls. She also guards canopic jars. Isis had many magical powers. Some of these powers include turning into a bird or sprouting wings. Now that you know about Isis, you get that it isn’t exactly paradise.

Wikipedia


Would you like to learn about Isis’s family? Here are some interesting facts. Isis’s mother, Nut, was the goddess of the sky. Her father, Geb, was the god of Earth. She had 3 siblings; Nephthys, Set and Osiris. Ancient Egyptian gods had to marry their siblings, because they had to marry other gods. Isis married her brother Osiris while Set and Nephthys married each other. If you have ever hit your sibling don’t feel bad because Set murdered his brother Osiris! Set was jealous of Osiris so he murdered him for the throne. He put Osiris in a special tomb and put him at the bank of the River Nile. Then he hid him with papyrus plants. One day Isis found Osiris’s body and hid it with papyrus in a different place. Shortly after this Isis had a son named Horus. When Set was taking his daily tour of Egypt (as all pharaohs would do), he found Osiris’s body and used his magic to split it into 14 pieces. He splattered these pieces all over Egypt. Nephthys got this information from her husband and immediately told Isis. Isis and Nephthys found all the pieces and with the help of Isis’s son, Horus, who was now very tall and strong, helped Isis mummify Osiris’s body to make the world’s first mummy. Isn’t it interesting how Isis had a lot of relatives?!

Isis’s family tree

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses


Do you find it interesting to learn about different religions? Then this section is for you, because I am going to tell you about the way Isis was worshipped. Isis was one of the few gods to be worshipped everywhere. Temples and chapels using her cult have been found in lots of places; even as far as LONDON! In the beginning, she spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and then Egyptians became interested in her. Most temples have 3 gods, all from the same family. Isis was often worshipped along her husband (Osiris) and her son (Horus). Some of Isis’s main temples are The Temple of Philae, Behbeit el-Hagar, and Deir elShelwit. Worship of Isis traces back to the pre-dynastic period, and I can prove this because she was mentioned in 4th dynasty pyramid text. Did you enjoy learning about how people worshipped Isis? Isn’t it interesting?


Finally we will learn about the temple Isis was worshipped in. This subject, I find very interesting. The Temple of Philae was a very large and important temple that was dedicated to Isis. The Temple of Philae was established in 380-362 BCE, which is during the 30th dynasty. Philae was a fantabulous temple for Isis worshippers, because it was very large and only dedicated to Isis (unlike some temples that had more than one god). After one extreme Nile flood, the Temple of Philae was moved entirely to the Island of Agilka. Philae started sinking in 1902. Most of the Temple of Philae was underwater after the Aswan Dam was built. Isis’s worship became so popular, Temples to her have been found as far as London. Did you find it interesting to learn about this temple in ancient Egypt? Isn’t it very interesting?

The Temple of Philae when it was in the middle of sinking.

There you have it! You learned about Isis, her family, her worship, and The Temple of Philae. I learned so much during this project. It was so fun!


Canopic Jars-A jar that people would put the internal organs of a mummified body in

Cult-A system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object

Deity- A god or goddess Goddess-A female god that people of a certain religion or country worship

Headdress-A decorative covering on the head Mummify- The method used to preserve a dead body Papyrus-A riverside reed that is used to make boats, rope, and paper

Philae-The island Isis was worshipped Temple-A place where people worship a god or goddess, similar to a church or synagogue

Worship-To bow down to, or pray to


Bibliography Ancient Egypt. (2008). New York: DK books. Ancient Egypt. (2012). New York: DK books. Forest, C. (2012). Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Mankato: Capstone. Meister, C. (2012). Isis and Osiris. Mankato: Capstone. Millmore, M. (1997, September 2). Temple of Isis at Philae. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from eyelid.co.uk: http://www.eyelid.co.uk/philae1.htm Sands, E. (2004). Egyptology. Somerville: Candlewick Press. Williams, M. (2011). Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs. Somerville: Candlewick Press.



Isis and Her Family