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Bas-relief on a limestone column, Karnak. Atum, creatorgod and solar deity of Heliopolis, welcomes Senusret I (r. 1965-1920 BC) to his temple. The gesture of embrace is caught at the moment the god, having taken the pharaoh by the arm, passes his other hand around the pharaoh's neck. (Esther Carre)


In particular, four rulers of Dynasty XII took the birth name Amenemhat (meaning 'Amun is in the forefront') , and in the jubilee chapel of Senusret I at Karnak he is described as 'the king of the gods'. By this time both Thebes and Amun were intertwined. And so with state, ruler and godhead intimately connected, to fight for Egypt meant to follow the banner of the pharaoh as well as the chief god, Amun. Amun is often portrayed carrying weapons, with a dagger strapped to his upper arm and a battleaxe tucked into his kilt. He was thought to provide the ruler with victory in battle. The god also commanded the pharaoh to conduct his campaigns, and provided divine protection for him on the battlefield. Much of the spoils of war were then ritually presented to the temple of Amun in the sacred precinct of Karnak.

Osprey warrior 121 soldier of the pharaoh  
Osprey warrior 121 soldier of the pharaoh