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Gods and spirits in
Ancient Egypt

The king and the Apis Bull

Height: 12.300 cm
Length: 14.700 cm

EA 22920

The king and the Apis bull

From: Egypt
Date: Late Period, after 600 BC

The Apis bull was thought to be the god Ptah on earth. Unlike other sacred animals, there was only ever one Apis bull at a time. Each time an Apis bull died, priests searched the country looking for another bull with the right body markings to take its place.

The bull was kept in splendid housing, and its every action was watched in case it was a message from Ptah. When it died, the bull was mummified and placed in a huge coffin at Memphis, next to all the previous Apis bulls. This little statue shows the king kneeling as he makes an offering to the bull.