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Ancient Egypt /
1. Introduction
2. Gods
3. Concepts
4. Cult
5. Cult centres
6. Necropolises
7. Structures

Detailed articleAncient Egypt

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Atum with Horemheb knealing in front of him. Luxor Musuem, Luxor, Egypt.
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Atum with Horemheb knealing in front of him. Luxor Musuem, Luxor, Egypt.

Atum (from Nefertari's Tomb, Luxor, Egypt)

Atum scarab, Karnak, Luxor, Egypt.
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Atum scarab, Karnak, Luxor, Egypt.

In Ancient Egyptian Religion, creator god and solar deity, with his main cult centre at Heliopolis. The name "Atum" means "the all" or "complete."
In his representations, Arum took both a human form as well as a serpent. He is often seen wearing the double crown and sitting on a throne. When represented as a serpent, this was in connection to his role in the creation of the world, and with him being central in the future collapse of the cosmos. There were also other animal representations attributed to Atum, but these are rare and not part of any systematic theology. The only exception to this was the scarab, and the famous, giant scarab at Karnak, Luxor was dedicated to Atum.
Atum's cult was very ancient, predating the Old Kingdom. At an early stage in Egyptian history, who would rise to become one of the most important gods of Heliopolis.
Atum would later merge with another solar deity, Re, to form Re-Atum. When Re and Atum were represented separately, Re would be the rising sun, Atum the setting sun.
Atum was also a protective deity, he was the god who lifted the dead king out from the pyramid and into the heavens.
Much of the information relating to Atum is derived from the Pyramid Texts, while it is in the Book of the Dead that it is told that Atum is the one who will eventually destroy everything, thence return to his premieval form as a serpent.
In the Heliopolitan myth, Atum rose from Nun, who was the premieval mound. From this, the Heliopolitan ennead came forth, through 4 generations. Atum had two children without a consort, which was commonly explained to masturbation by his hand, which in images used to be represented as a female principle. Atum's children Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) had Geb (earth) and Nut (sky), who would give birth to the more popular gods of Isis, Osiris, Seth and Nephthys.

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By Tore Kjeilen