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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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Other spellings: Nechbet; Nekhebit


Nekhbet. From The Hathor Temple of Queen Nefertari at Abu Simbel.

In Ancient Egyptian Religion, vulture-goddess who represented dominion over Upper Egypt; Wadjet was her Lower Egyptian partner. Together they represented the duality of Egypt; they were called nebty, the "two ladies."
Her name means "she of Nekheb."

She gradually emerged as the personification of Upper Egypt, and was identified with the white crown. From this, she became closely associated with the person of the king. She was his protector, and sometimes represented as the mother of the king's divine aspect.
She was said to be wife of Hapy.
In the Late Period she would be given the qualities of a protectress and goddess of childbirth.

Her representation was a vulture with the wings spread out, holding the shen signs of eternity. This corresponded with the Egyptian idea that vultures only existed as females. The circular hieroglyph of shen, "eternity" which she held in her claws was associated with other deities too.
In some cases, she is represented as a cobra, then together with Wadjet.
Nekhbet is on occasion represented as a women, often wearing a vulture cap, but it could also be the white crown. In this shape, she is easily confused with other deities.
The Pyramid Texts has her represented as a great white cow.

Nekhbet had been revered since pre-dynastic times. Her origin was with the city of Nekheb, corresponding to modern El-Kab, 80 km south of Luxor.

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By Tore Kjeilen