Hathor was the god of many things, including love and beauty (which is why she is shown on the mirror), music (which is why she is shown on the sistrum), joy, and the cemetery of Western Thebes. She is one of the gods who protected the pharaoh. In the picture left she is giving life to the pharaoh Thutmose IV.

In the papyrus to the right Hathor is shown as a cow, emerging from the hills of the west into a clump of papyrus plants. The papyrus belonged to the scribe Ani. His tomb chapel is shown in the corner. The inscription on the papyrus is a spell from the Book of the Dead. It says:

'Hathor, Lady of the West; She of the West; Lady of the Sacred Land; Eye of Re which is on His forehead; kindly of face in the Boat of Millions of Years; a resting-place for him who has done right within the boat of the blessed; who built the Great Boat of Osiris in order to cross the water of truth.’


Hathor was an important goddess, the daughter of the sun god Re and the wife of Horus. Her name is written with a Horus falcon inside a house. She is often shown wearing a sun disc on her head, with cow horns wrapped round them.      




At Hatshepsut's temple in western Thebes, there was a chapel of Hathor. It has columns shaped like a sistrum, with heads of Hathor with cow's ears (see left).

Hathor also had her own temple, at Dendara, north of Thebes. This was built at the end of the Egyptian period, during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus.

The front of the temple is shown right.


Hathor as a cow - from the Bolton Museum