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Egypt

Myth
egyptian myth

There are two main Egyptian creation myths, one from the Upper Kingdom, and one from the Lower Kingdom.  They are almost the same, the main difference being that the myth from the Upper Kingdom has more detail when describing the ocean.  The Upper Kingdom creation myth states that, in the beginning, there was only the “primal ocean of chaos”, Nun.  Nun held the beginnings of everything that had yet to come. Ra, the sun god and the first god who gave birth to all the other gods, starting with Shu and Tefnut, comes from the waters of Nun.  “And so the physical universe was created” (Criss).  The people of the Lower Kingdom also believed that only the ocean existed at first.  Again, the first god to appear was Ra.  The sun god emerged from an egg that appeared on the surface of water (O'Connell). The myths agree on the presence of an ocean before anything else, however, in the Upper Kingdom myths, the ocean has a name, Nun.


Geography

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    The Egyptian landscape is dominated by a desert climate, with almost no water.  Because of this, the Egyptian civilization was clustered around the one source of fresh water, the Nile River.  When the Nile flooded its banks yearly, it provided fertile ground for growing crops.  Egypt is bordered on its north side by the Mediterranean Sea,  and on its eastern side by the Red Sea. Both of these, although salt water and not useful for irrigation, provided food in the form of fish.  Because of all this water, it would have been natural for the Ancient Egyptians to notice that where there was water, there was life, and therefore, water must be the source of all life.


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