ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian bestiary: Centipedes, millipedes
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Centipedes, millipedes

centipede Centipede, Coptic period pottery
Source: Petrie Museum website, UC19496

Centipede hieroglyph     The centipedes in Egypt are generally nocturnal and eat mostly insects. Their bite is poisonous, painful but not dangerous to humans. They gave their name, zpA, to the protective deity Sepa worshipped at Heliopolis.
    The centipede was also connected with Horus:
To say the words : 'The uraeus-serpent is for the sky, the centipede of Horus is for the earth. Horus, an oxherd, treads. Unas has trod upon the walk of Horus. Unas knows not, Unas is not knowing.'

Pyramid Texts, Utterance 240


©  September 2006
July 2008