Last updated
in hieroglyphs

Seker ( /ˈsɛkər/ ; also spelled Sokar) is a falcon god of the Memphite necropolis.


Seker-Osiris. The syncretized god Sokar-Osiris stands in a shrine. His iconography combines that of Osiris (atef-crown, crook and flail) and Sokar (falcon head, was-sceptre). Sokar-Osiris.svg
Seker-Osiris. The syncretized god Sokar-Osiris stands in a shrine. His iconography combines that of Osiris (atef-crown, crook and flail) and Sokar (falcon head, was-sceptre).


Although the meaning of his name remains uncertain, the Egyptians in the Pyramid Texts linked his name to the anguished cry of Osiris to Isis 'Sy-k-ri' ('hurry to me'), [1] or possibly skr, meaning "cleaning the mouth". [2] In the underworld, Seker is strongly linked with two other gods, Ptah the Creator god and chief god of Memphis, and Osiris the god of the dead. In later periods, this connection was expressed as the triple god Ptah-Seker-Osiris.

Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, composite god Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure MET LC-21 9 1 EGDP025129.jpg
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, composite god


Seker was usually depicted as a mummified hawk and sometimes as a mound from which the head of a hawk appears. Here he is called 'he who is on his sand'. Sometimes he is shown on his hennu barque which was an elaborate sledge for negotiating the sandy necropolis. One of his titles was 'He of Restau' which means the place of 'openings' or tomb entrances.

In the New Kingdom Book of the Underworld, the Amduat , he is shown standing on the back of a serpent between two spread wings; as an expression of freedom this suggests a connection with resurrection or perhaps a satisfactory transit of the underworld. [1] Despite this, the region of the underworld associated with Seker was seen as difficult, sandy terrain called the Imhet (also called Amhet, Ammahet, or Ammehet; meaning 'filled up'). [3] [4]

Roles and cults

Seker, possibly through his association with Ptah, also has a connection with craftsmen. In the Book of the Dead he is said to fashion silver bowls [1] and at Tanis a silver coffin of Sheshonq II has been discovered decorated with the iconography of Seker. [5] Seker's cult centre was in Memphis and festivals in his honour were held there on the 26th day of the fourth month of the akhet (spring) season. While these festivals took place, devotees would hoe and till the ground, and drive cattle, which suggests that Seker could have had agricultural aspects about him. [2]

Also as part of the festivals in akhet, his followers wore strings of onions around their necks, showing the Underworld aspect of him. Onions were used in embalming people - sometimes the skin, sometimes the entire onion. When just the skin was used, it would be placed on the eyes and inside the ears to mask the smell. [6]

Also, the god was depicted as assisting in various tasks such as digging ditches and canals. From the New Kingdom a similar festival was held in Thebes, which rivalled the great Opet Festival [2] [5]

Other events during the festival including floating a statue of the god on a Henu barque, which was a boat with a high prow shaped like an oryx. [7]

In the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments , the Pharaoh Rameses II invokes the same deity to bring his deceased firstborn son back to life, while wearing a dark blue robe with a silver bow.

In the show Stargate SG-1 , the Goa'uld villain Sokar is named after Seker. Sokar appears as a powerful and sadistic Goa'uld who chose the role of the Devil rather than a god like the rest of his species. He is killed when the moon he uses as his own personal version of Hell is blown up, destroying Sokar's ship in orbit and Sokar himself.

Related Research Articles

Osiris God of the afterlife in Egyptian mythology

Osiris is the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. He was one of the first to be associated with the mummy wrap. When his brother, Set, cut him up into pieces after killing him, Isis, his wife, found all the pieces and wrapped his body up. Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning "Foremost of the Westerners", a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called "king of the living" as he is the first god-king of Earth in ancient Egypt, therefore considered the blessed dead "the living ones". Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon.

Ptah Egyptian deity

In Egyptian mythology, Ptah is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. In the triad of Memphis, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum. He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep.

Duat in Egyptian mythology, the realm of the dead

Duat is the realm of the dead in ancient Egyptian mythology. It has been represented in hieroglyphs as a star-in-circle: 𓇽. The god Osiris was believed to be the lord of the underworld. He was the first mummy as depicted in the Osiris myth and he personified rebirth and life after death. The underworld was also the residence of various other gods along with Osiris. The Duat was the region through which the sun god Ra traveled from west to east each night, and it was where he battled Apophis, who embodied the primordial chaos which the sun had to defeat in order to rise each morning and bring order back to the earth. It was also the place where people's souls went after death for judgement, though that was not the full extent of the afterlife. Burial chambers formed touching-points between the mundane world and the Duat, and the ꜣḫ "the effectiveness of the dead", could use tombs to travel back and forth from the Duat.

Meretseger cobra-goddess in ancient Egyptian religion, in charge with guarding and protecting the vast Theban Necropolis

Meretseger was a Theban cobra-goddess in ancient Egyptian religion, in charge with guarding and protecting the vast Theban Necropolis — on the west bank of the Nile, in front of Thebes — and especially the heavily guarded Valley of the Kings. Her cult was typical of the New Kingdom of Egypt.

Sia or Saa, an ancient Egyptian god, was the deification of perception in the Heliopolitan Ennead cosmogony and is probably equivalent to the intellectual energies of the heart of Ptah in the Memphite cosmogeny. He also had a connection with writing and was often shown in anthropomorphic form holding a papyrus scroll. This papyrus was thought to embody intellectual achievements.

The Amduat is an important ancient Egyptian funerary text of the New Kingdom of Egypt. Like many funerary texts, it was found written on the inside of the pharaoh's tomb for reference. Unlike other funerary texts, however, it was reserved only for pharaohs or very favored nobility.

The djed is one of the more ancient and commonly found symbols in ancient Egyptian religion. It is a pillar-like symbol in Egyptian hieroglyphs representing stability. It is associated with the creator god Ptah and Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead. It is commonly understood to represent his spine.

In Egyptian mythology, the hennu boat was a symbol of the god Seker of Memphis. Depending on the era or the prevailing dynasty of Egypt, the hennu boat sailed toward either dawn or dusk.

Imentet Egyptian deity

Imentet was a goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion representing the necropolises west of the Nile.

KV9 tomb

Tomb KV9 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings was originally constructed by Pharaoh Ramesses V. He was interred here, but his uncle, Ramesses VI, later reused the tomb as his own. The layout is typical of the 20th dynasty – the Ramesside period – and is much simpler than that of Ramesses III's tomb (KV11). The workmen accidentally broke into KV12 as they dug one of the corridors.

Ancient Egyptian deities gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these gods formed the core of ancient Egyptian religion, which emerged sometime in prehistory. Deities represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and appeased them through offerings and rituals so that these forces would continue to function according to maat, or divine order. After the founding of the Egyptian state around 3100 BC, the authority to perform these tasks was controlled by the pharaoh, who claimed to be the gods' representative and managed the temples where the rituals were carried out.

Iset Ta-Hemdjert Queen consort of Egypt

Iset Ta-Hemdjert or Isis Ta-Hemdjert, simply called Isis in her tomb, was an Ancient Egyptian queen of the twentieth dynasty; the Great Royal Wife of Ramesses III and the Royal Mother of Ramesses VI.

Book of the Earth literary work

The Book of the Earth is an Ancient Egyptian funerary text that has been called many names such as The Creation of the Sun Disk and the Book of Aker. The Book primarily appears on the tombs of Merneptah, Twosret, Ramesses III, Ramesses VI, and Ramesses VII and serves as a counterpart to the Book of Caverns.

Ra ancient Egyptian solar deity

Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky.

Ancient Egyptian creation myths ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world

Ancient Egyptian creation myths are the ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world. The Pyramid Texts, tomb wall decorations and writings, dating back to the Old Kingdom have given us most of our information regarding early Egyptian creation myths. These myths also form the earliest religious compilations in the world. The ancient Egyptians had many creator gods and associated legends. Thus the world or more specifically Egypt was created in diverse ways according to different parts of the country.

Geb Egyptian deity of the Earth

Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and later a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. He had a viper around his head and was thus also considered the father of snakes. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb's laughter created earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow.


The Theban Tomb TT214 is located in Deir el-Medina, part of the Theban Necropolis, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite to Luxor.

Gate deities of the underworld

The Gate deities of the underworld were ancient Egyptian minor deities charged with guarding the gates of the Egyptian underworld.

Assessors of Maat Wikimedia list article

The Assessors of Maat were 42 minor ancient Egyptian deities of the Maat charged with judging the souls of the dead in the afterlife by joining the judgment of Osiris in the Weighing of the Heart.


  1. 1 2 3 The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart ISBN   0-415-34495-6
  2. 1 2 3 "Sokar". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  3. The Egyptian Amduat, Erik Hornung and Theodore Abt ISBN   3-9522608-4-3
  4. Budge, E.A. Wallis. An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary, vol. I. London, 1920.; pgs. 54-55.
  5. 1 2 The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Wilkinson ISBN   0-500-05120-8
  6. Gahlin, Lucia (2014). Gods & Myths of Ancient Egypt. Southwater. p. 46. ISBN   9781780193328.
  7. "sokar". Retrieved 2016-10-24.

Further reading