Ship of the God: The Amun-Userhet in New Kingdom Egypt
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The Amun-Userhet was a ship which played a crucial role in the development of religious thought in New Kingdom Egypt. The pharaoh and his entourage sailed down the Nile on its deck as part of a religious celebration called the Opet festival. This festival commemorated the annual renewal of the royal Ka and reinforced the order of the universe. This ship was the bridge between the human world and the divine. No one has found any archaeological remains of the ship, but iconography, artifacts that would have adorned a miniature version of the Amun-Userhet, and written sources offer an accurate depiction. From this evidence we know that this ship was gilded and covered in precious gems. It also had a specific formula of symbols attached to it that can give us insight into its function in New Kingdom religion. Through the review of the surviving iconography, artifacts, and written accounts of the Amun-Userhet, this thesis looks at the role this ship played in the development of New Kingdom religion. This ship was not only the bridge between the human and divine, but was also the bridge between the state religion of the Old and Middle Kingdom and the new idea of personal piety that arose in the New Kingdom.
Collier, Megan (2013). Ship of the God: The Amun-Userhet in New Kingdom Egypt. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from