The Ram in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was famous for their animal worship of bulls, cows, cats, dogs, geese, crocodiles, and even scarab beetles. The bull was one of a few animals worshipped specifically in their animal form.  One of the best-known animals and most important to the gods was the Ram, also worshipped in its animal form. The Ram was a temple animal and only one beast was chosen to be a temple animal. The Ram was chosen as a temple animal even though sheep were considered not to be clean or pure by the ancient Egyptians.

In history, rams have been important in mythology and religion.  They were often the objects of sacrifice.  A story in the Old Testament talks about Abraham’s son, Isaac, being saved from sacrifice.  An angel stopped the sacrifice of Isaac and the ram was sacrificed instead. The Ram was also respected by ancient Egyptians for its fertility and warlike attributes.

The very earliest gods who were represented with ram features were based on the Egyptian god Ovis. The most resent excavations have found rams as gods in temples. There was twelve granite and three limestone ram sarcophagi’s found in the temple also. Around the 12th dynasty of Egypt’s middle kingdom a second species of ram appeared, it was the curved horn ram.

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