The Ancient One – Egyptian goddess Bat – gods of Egypt

Bat, the ancient Egyptian goddess is possibly at least 30,000 years old. Bat was a cow goddess in Egyptian mythology depicted as a human face with cow ears and horns. By the time of the Middle Kingdom, her identity and attributes were subsumed within the goddess Hathor. The worship of Bat dates to earliest times and may have its origins in Late Paleolithic cattle herding. Bat was the chief goddess of Seshesh, otherwise known as Hu or Diospolis Parva, the 7th nome of Upper Egypt. The epithet Bat may be linked to the word ba with the feminine suffix ‘t’. A person’s ba roughly equates to his or her personality or emanation and is often translated as ‘soul’. Although it was rare for Bat to be clearly depicted in painting or sculpture, some notable artifacts (like the upper portions of the Narmer Palette) include depictions of the goddess in bovine form. In other instances she was pictured as a celestial bovine creature surrounded by stars or as a human woman. More commonly, Bat was depicted on amulets, with a human face, but with bovine features, such as the ears of a cow and the inward-curving horns of the type of cattle first herded by the Egyptians. Bat became strongly associated with the sistrum, and the center of her cult was known as the ‘Mansion of the Sistrum’. The sistrum is a musical instrument, shaped like an ankh, that was one of the most frequently used sacred instruments in ancient Egyptian temples. Some instruments would include depictions of Bat, with her head and neck as the handle and base and rattles placed between her horns. The imagery is repeated on each side, having two faces, as mentioned in the Pyramid Texts:. I am Praise; I am Majesty; I am Bat with Her Two Faces; I am the One Who Is Saved, and I have saved myself from all things evil.

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