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Goddess Isis feeding Horus, wall relief

  • Carole Reeves
  • Digital Images
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Credit: Goddess Isis feeding Horus, wall relief. Carole Reeves. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Goddess Isis feeding Horus, here depicted as a child wearing the side-lock of youth. Isis was regarded as the symbolic mother of the pharaoh. In mythology, she sought her dead husband and brother, Osiris, and conceived her son, Horus, by him. She protected her son from snakes, predators and other dangers and was also believed to protect mortal children. Ancient Egyptian mothers breast-fed their babies, probably into the subsequent pregnancy. Wealthy women employed wet nurses. Prescriptions for galactogogues (substances which increase the flow of milk) may be found in the Ebers papyrus (Eb 836, 837) which is dated c 1555 BCE. This wall relief is from the temple at Edfu in Southern Upper Egypt which is the most completely preserved in Egypt. It dates from the Ptolemaic period (332-180 BCE) although the western side has an inner and outer enclosure which was built during the Old Kingdom (2613-2181 BCE). Photograph taken in 1989.

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