Taweret (Opet) Sightings
- Hippo or Pig? Yes. 2687BC - 2182BC
Taweret appears in the hippo form we're familiar with, but also as Reret, a sow (female pig) who eats demons. Yum. Her image is given as an amulet to pregnant women and children, to keep them safe from disease and nightmares and the dangers of birth.
- No Demons in THIS Bedroom! 1389BC - 1352BC
Keeping a queen safe is important, especially when it's Queen Tiye, Amunhotep III's favorite wife. That's probably why he had golden images of Bes and Taweret put on the headboard of her bed, so they could watch her sleep. Isn't that cute? (Well, okay, in the dark maybe they scared the crap out of her… but he meant well?)
- Sleep Protector 1324BC
Taweret's image appears on a number of artifacts in King Tut's tomb, including a giant bed with hippo-head posts. Taweret's image showed up on lots of household furniture, like beds and couches, throughout Egyptian history. They thought her face would scare off nightmares and sickness just by being there.
- Star-hippo 1280BC
Taweret starts appearing in tombs and temple reliefs as part of the constellation maps. She is called Nebet Akhet, or "Lady of the Horizon," and follows behind the Big Dipper in the night sky. The first depiction of Nebet Akhet is in KV15, the late New Kingdom tomb of Seti I.
- Protecting the Dead 1276BC
Taweret shows up in the Book of the Dead, alongside her buddy Hathor, to make sure that dead people get to judgment safely. Lots of demons to keep at bay!
- Action Figures 673BC - 31BC
Tiny images of Taweret appear all over the place as necklace beads, figurines, lucky charms, and things buried with the dead. They're all to keep her attention—and protection—wherever they are placed. Some people carried the tiny hippos to guarantee pregnancy or keep already-pregnant women from having any complications. Others just wanted to feel safe: "Is that a hippo in your pocket, or are you afraid to see me?"
- The Thoerion 100 - 462
Taweret stayed popular even when the Romans took Egypt over. At the city of Oxyrhynchus, she had her own temple called the Thoerion, where priests and worshippers gathered for rituals and lectures and sometimes for dinner parties. The last known party for Taweret was held in 462. Weird fact: during this time, Taweret was sometimes considered an Egyptian form of Artemis. We have a hard time believing Artemis would want to be worshipped as a hippo, though.