Gods and Goddesses


Role: A goddess who protects the dead; goddess of the North; protector of Hapi (the son of Horus who watched over the canopic jar containing the lungs)

Appearance: Woman wearing the hieroglyphs for "lady" and "home" on her head ("The Lady of the Home")

Relations with other gods: wife of Set; mother of Anubis; sister of Isis, Osiris, Set; daughter of Nut and Geb.

Nephthys is a protector of the dead, along with Isis, Neith, and Selket. She stands with Isis behind Osiris in the afterlife. The four goddesses each protect one of the four sons of Horus, who in turn protect the canopic jars that contain the organs of the dead. The four of them are often carved into the corners of sarcophagi: King Tut's red quartzite sarcophagus is one such example.

Nephthys can usually be found on coffins either standing with or opposite to her sister Isis. The two are shown mourning the deceased at the head end of some coffins. On others, Isis is down by the feet and Nephthys is shown up by the head, kneeling on the hieroglyph for gold. Sometimes both sisters are shown as a pair of hawks (you can tell who's who by the hieroglyphs on their heads) standing at each end of a funeral bier.

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