Picture of Seshat 'Seshet'


(Seshet, Sesheta)

Symbols: seven-pointed star or flower atop a pole, palm branch, writing pen and palette, papyrus scrolls and books

Seshat was an ancient goddess of writing and measurement. She was also the patroness of mathmatics, architecture and record-keeping. Though she shared these duties with her husband, Thoth, Seshat was primarily a royal goddess. As early as the Dynasty II, Seshat was shown with the pharaoh stretching a cord to measure the dimensions of a new temple. To grant the king immortality, she recorded the name of the king of the leaves of the Tree of Life, which grew near where she lived. Also, she calculated the days of the king's earthly life and marked the number on the notched palm branch which she carried.

Throughout Egypt's history, Seshat was shown recording the number of captives and other booty taken during the king's military campaigns. She also recorded the goods brought back to Egypt from Punt during Hatshepsut's famous expedition.

Seshat was portrated as a woman wearing a dress and the priestly leopard skin. In her hands she holds the notched palm branch or the scribe's pen and palette. On her head she wears her headress which resembles a star or flower atop a pole or a bow.

Seshat carried many titles, such as "Lady of Builders", "Mistress of Books", and "Foremost in the Library".

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