Atum Repelling Apep, Serpent of Chaos
Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Object Type: Tomb painting
Date: c. 1315–1314 BC
Period: Dynasty 19, New Kingdom
Findspot: Tomb of Ramesses I, Valley of the Kings
Print Reference: DP17B
My reproduction of a scene from the ancient Egyptian Book of Gates features the creation god Atum repelling the serpent of chaos, Apep (Apophis). It is based on a wall painting from the tomb of Ramesses I in the Valley of the Kings (KV16).
The Book of Gates is a funerary text dating from the New Kingdom. It narrates the passage of a newly deceased soul into the next world, corresponding to the journey of the sun through the underworld during the hours of the night.
During the soul’s journey, they face many dangers and challenges, including attack from the serpent god of chaos and evil, Apep. Atum, a creator god, is shown protecting the deceased from the snake, surrounded by the words from the Third Hour of the Book of Gates.
What Atum has done for Ra to glorify the god to overthrow the rebel. (Spoken by Atum) “You are upside down so you can't stand You are bewitched so that you can't find yourself My father has triumphed over you, I have triumphed against you I have driven you away on behalf of Ra I have punished you on behalf of Akhty"
What Atum has done for Ra
to glorify the god
to overthrow the rebel.
(Spoken by Atum) “You are upside down so you can't stand
You are bewitched so that you can't find yourself
"my father has triumphed over you,
I have triumphed against you
I have driven you away on behalf of Ra
I have punished you on behalf of Akhty"
𓉻𓊪𓊪 = Apep or Apophis
𓊃𓌉𓆓𓇳𓆑𓎡𓎡𓇰 = he illuminates the darkness