Goddess Mut | The Vulture Goddess of the Sky



Mut is one of the oldest goddesses who stands for the sky and therefore had great importance for ancient Egyptian beliefs. The culte of Mut became increasingly important during the New Reign, and Amenhotep III built a sacred lake for its worship at the Karnak Temple.


The goddess Mut is represented by the vulture which in Egyptian has the phonetic value mwt which means "mother". Her iconography also presents her with a multi-colored appearance with a vulture-shaped headdress surmounted by the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. A place near Thebes was dedicated to her, called the Temple of Asher.

In art, Mut was portrayed as a woman with the wings of a vulture, holding an ankh sign (key of life), wearing the double crown of the lands of Upper and Lower Egypt and a red or blue dress, with the feather of the goddess Maat at her feet.

Mut is sometimes depicted as a cobra, a cat, a cow, or as a lioness as well as a vulture. Before the end of the New Kingdom, almost all the images of female figures wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt were depictions of the goddess Mut, labeled here as "Lady of Heaven, Mistress of all Gods". The last image on this page shows the features of the goddess's face which mark this as a work done sometime between the 18th dynasty and relatively in the reign of Ramses II.

Queen Hatshepsut had the ancient Mut temple in Karnak rebuilt during her reign in the 18th dynasty. Previous excavators had thought that Amenhotep III had the temple built because of the hundreds of statues found for Sekhmet which had his name. However, Hatshepsut, who completed a huge number of temples and public buildings, had completed the work 75 years earlier. He began the custom of painting Mut with the crown of both Upper and Lower Egypt. Amenhotep III is believed to have removed most of the signs of Hatshepsut while taking credit for the projects he had built.

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