Study Guide

Wepwawet Sightings

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Jan 1, 1970 - Dec 20, 2019

City of the Wolf: Lycopolis

Around 3100 BCE, Wepwawet's city was created, almost in the exact center of Egypt. The ancient Egyptians called it Zawty, "Two Protectors," and it belonged to Wepwawet and Anubis. When the Greeks came to Egypt, they renamed it Lycopolis, or "wolf city." It kept this name until the Arabic-speaking Muslims renamed it Assiut, the Arabic version of Zawty. Today, it's a huge industrial city, but it's still the crossroads of Egypt.

Jan 1, 1970

Setting Standards

Wepwawet's jackal standard, carried as a war banner by the king's army, appears on the very famous Narmer palette, as well as some ceremonial maces (big, stone war hammers) from Narmer's reign. Since this king united Egypt for the first time, we know he saw some gnarly battles. Good thing he had Wepwawet to guide him.

Jan 1, 1970

Royal Hammer-time

The sixth pharaoh of Egypt was buried with lots of bling out at Wepwawet's hangout in the Abydos cemetery. Among the treasures was a pair of royal sandals, complete with an ivory tag with Den's name on it, as well as a nifty drawing of Den swatting an Asiatic chief upside the head with his stone hammer while Wepwawet watches.

Jan 1, 1970

Leading the Forces

An inscription in the Sinai desert (between Egypt and modern Israel) asks Wepwawet to open the way to victory for Sekhmet's army. During the New Kingdom a thousand years later, the Egyptian army's scout division was named Sabu or "the jackals," in Wepwawet's honor.

Dec 21, 2019

Opening Heaven

In the Pyramid Texts, old funeral rituals carved inside pharaohs' pyramids, Wepwawet helps the kings prepare to rise from death. At first, he is helpful with the Opening of the Mouth ritual, a job that later ends up Anubis's duty. Then, Wepwawet leads the risen pharaohs to Ra, the sun himself.

Dec 21, 2019 - Jan 1, 1970

Guarding the Sacred Land

Wepwawet is chief guardian of the giant cemeteries at the sacred city of Abydos (Abdju in ancient Egyptian). He's sort of the second-shift god there. Wepwawet took over for an older jackal god named Khentyamentiu, and once the New Kingdom came, watching over Abydos became Osiris's job.

Dec 20, 2019

John of Lycopolis, a "son of the wolf"

One of the Egyptian Desert Fathers, early Christian monks who lived in desert caves and were said to have magical powers, was named John. He was from Lycopolis, and like Wepwawet (the god of Lycopolis before Christianity came), John could supposedly see the future, predict who would win battles, and appear to people in dreams.

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