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A image of Khnum making man.[1]

In Egyptian mythology, Khnum (TL:2), aka Khnumn (Clair, 1898), Khnemu (Budge, 1904), or Knumn (Baring, 1993), is one of the creator gods of humans (Ptah being the other), which he made out of clay; he is depicted as a ram-headed man, typically holding the was scepter (dominion over Set amulet) and ankh (life power amulet), and wearing the White Crown, symbolic of Upper Egypt. His main cult center was Elephantine (or Abu) and he was the first member of the "great triad of Abu".[2] He is one of the oldest gods of Egypt; being mentioned, e.g. in the Pyramid Texts of Unas.


The following Khnum making man, out of clay, on his divine potter's wheel, with Thoth, who directs or orders the creation, standing behind him, recording the numbers of years of existence the clay man shall be allotted via the number of markings on his rod.[2]

Khnum and Thoth.jpg

The following shows Khnum making a clay human on his potter's wheel and Heqet[3], the frog goddess, putting power of life into the clay figure, via the ankh, bring it to life:

Khnum and Heqet.jpg

Heqet, supposedly, is equivalent to Hathor.


The following are quotes:

“The god Enki and the goddess Ninhursag made human beings from clay, and in Egypt the gods Knumn and Ptah threw the forms of men and women on the potter's wheel.”
— Anne Baring (1993), The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (pg. #) [4]
“Khnumn [Khnum], a fourth important divinity of the South, is styled Lord of Nubia ; and is called by Maspero the Niiegod of the cataracts. Khnum was called ‘builder of men’, ‘maker of the gods’, the ‘father from the beginning’, ‘creator of things which are, or shall be’, etc. He supported the heaven upon its four pillars in the beginning; the earth, air, sea and sky are his handiwork. Our idea is that Khnum is the divinity of the South Pole, and contemporary with Ptah. The axis on which the universe turned had two pivots, and the southern god contributed to the work of creation as much as the northern god. We are told that Khnum laboured with Ptah in carrying out the work of creation ordered by Thoth; and again that Ptah was assisted in his work by the seven Khnumu or Architects. We remember the seven sons of Ptah. Ptah, besides being the fire-god, turning a drill and creating the flame of the sun, was conceived of as a ‘divine potter’, having power over the clay, and shaping things on his wheel. Ptah had modeled men with his own hands, and Khnum had formed them on a potter's table. At Philae[5] and at Dendera, Ptah is represented as piling upon his potter's table the plastic clay from which he is about to make a human body. According to Bunsen, he is even stated to have formed on his wheel the divine limbs of Osiris. Khnum is sometimes represented as molding the ‘egg of the universe’ out of the matter furnished by Ptah.”
— George Clair (1898), Creation Records Discovered in Egypt (418-19) [6]


  1. Khnum –
  2. 2.0 2.1 Budge, Wallis. (1904). The Gods of the Egyptians, Volume Two (image, pgs. 50-51). Dover, 1969.
  3. Heqet – Wikipedia.
  4. Baring, Anne; Cashford, Jules. (1993). The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (pg. #). Penguin.
  5. Philae – Wikipedia.
  6. Clair, George. (1898). Creation Records Discovered in Egypt: Studies in the Book of the Dead (§4: Khnumn, the South Pole, pgs. 418-19). Nutt.

External links

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