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Khnum facts for kids

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God of the source of the Nile
Cnouphis-Nilus (Jupiter-Nilus, Dieu Nil), N372.2.jpg
The Egyptian god Khnum
Major cult center Elephantine
Symbol the potter's wheel
Consort Heqet, Satis, Mehet-Weret, Menhit, Nebtu, Neith

Khnum was one of the earliest-known Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile. Since the annual flooding of the Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surroundings, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he made at a potter's wheel, from clay. He later was described as having moulded the other deities, and he had the titles "Divine Potter" and "Lord of created things from himself".

Khnum is sometimes depicted as a crocodile-headed god. Nebt-uu and Menhit are Khnum's principal partners and Heka is his eldest son and successor. Both Khnum is referred to as creator deitie in the texts at Esna. Khnum is sometimes referred to as the "father of the fathers". He later become the father of Ra, who is also referred to as Khnum-Re.

The worship of Khnum centered on two principal riverside sites, Elephantine and Esna, which were regarded as sacred sites. At Elephantine, he was worshipped alongside Anuket and Satis as the guardian of the source of the Nile River. Khnum has also been related to the deity Min.

The temple at Elephantine was dedicated to Khnum, his consort Satis, and their daughter, Anuket. The temple dates back to at least the Middle Kingdom. By the Eleventh Dynasty, Khnum, Satis and Anuket are all attested at Elephantine. During the New Kingdom, finds from the time of Ramesses II show Khnum was still worshipped there.

In art, Khnum was usually depicted as a ram-headed man at a potter's wheel, with recently created children standing on the wheel. He was also shown holding a jar from which flowed a stream of water.

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