10 Things You Should Know About Ancient Egypt’s Zep Tepi

People of the old kingdom of Egypt believed that the world originated from a lifeless and endless body of water.

Ancient Egypt is one of my favourite topics of all time. I love exploring their culture and customs as they played a significant role in human history. 

The mummies or embalmed bodies that were found from multiple locations in Egypt were impeccably preserved. I firmly believe that there are hundreds of mysteries that have not been solved as of yet. I have mentioned in numerous articles that the people of ancient Egypt had distorted religious beliefs.

They formed multiple religions and came forth with their beliefs regarding the creation of the world. The idea of creation had multiple perspectives and tales associated with it.

Some hieroglyphs and ancient texts suggest that the world was created by the sun god, Ra, whereas the rest lean towards god Atum. Ancient Egypt’s Zep Tepi is known as the first occasion in Egyptian history. Quite a lot of tales and myths are associated with it. 

Zep tepi
The outer walls of the temple of Edfu depict the Zep Tepi. Source: Crystalinks

I have accumulated ten significant facts about the said tale. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?

1) Ancient Egyptian myths are the first religious accounts of the creation of the world. Quite a lot of people of the olden days believed in the ‘first occasion’ or ‘Ancient Egypt’s Zep Tepi’. The said tale originated in the old kingdom of Egypt c. 2780 – 2250 BC.

2) People of the old kingdom of Egypt believed that the world originated from a lifeless and endless body of water. The sun rose for the first time from the depths of a bottomless sea. Therefore, the occasion is called ‘Zep Tepi’.

3) The religious beliefs of ancient Egypt were quite similar to one another. All of them had the same story; the world originated from the depths of dark water. However, some mention the existence of other gods along with the ‘benben‘ stone.

4) The sun is also part of the myths. It is closely associated with creation, and it was said to have first risen from the hill, as the general sun god Ra, who represented the newly risen sun.

5) The myth of ‘Zep Tepi’ is also associated with the lotus flower. As per ancient accounts, the gods originated from the lotus flower in the form of a heron, falcon, scarab beetle, and human child.

6) As per ancient records, Zep Tepi was the first occasion when god Atum created two offsprings; Shu and Tefnut. Each one of them represented dry air and destructive moist air. The offsprings of the god Atum symbolized principles of human existence.

7) According to Egyptian accounts, the twins, Shu and Tefnut, separated the sky and waters. They also gave birth to two children named Geb, the dry land, and Nut, the sky.

8) Geb and Nut further gave birth to four offsprings called Seth, the god of disorder, Osiris, the god of order, and two sisters; Nephthys and Isis. This new generation completed the group of nine deities that began with Atum, the creator god.

9) According to various historical records, Zep Tepi is associated with multiple gods. Different groups of people had a different set of beliefs.

10) Some of the ancient beliefs changed when the pharaohs of the new kingdom took over Egypt. For example, Akhenaten, King Tut’s father, demolished the concept of gods and religions during his era.

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