Statue of Ptah Ptah


Symbols: Architect's transit, level, plumb-line, bricks, djed
Cult Center: Memphis

Ptah was the chief god of the ancient city of Memphis. He was a creator god who brought all things to being by thinking of them with his mind and saying their names with his tongue. He was unique amongst Egyptian creation gods in that his methods were intellectual, rather than physical. According to the priests of Memphis, everything is the work of Ptah's heart and tongue: gods are born, towns are founded, and order is maintained.

Ptah was also the patron god of skilled craftsmen and architects. This may be due to the excellent sources of limestone near his temple in in Memphis. As a craftsman, Ptah was said to have carved the divine bodies of the royalty. In Dynasty XIX, he was shown fashioning the body of Rameses II out of electrum.

In the artisan's community of Deir-el-Medina, near Western Thebes, Ptah was especially venerated. He was believed to determine the individual destiny of the artists there. Craftsmen carved stelaes dedicated to their god. Ears were often carved on these stelaes to encourage Ptah to take notice of their prayers. In fact, one of Ptah's titles at Thebes was, "the ear which hears."

In Memphis, Ptah was part of a holy triad. His wife was the lioness-goddess Sekhmet, and his son was said to be either Imhotep or Nefertem.

Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap and shrouded as a mummy. His hands emerge from wrappings in front of his body and hold the was sceptre, an ankh (hieroglyph meaning "Life") and a Djed (sign of stability).

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