Khnum was an ancient Egyptian deity of fertility and water. First and foremost a craftsman, Khnum was believed to mold the bodies of children and their ka (soul) on a potter’s wheel.
One of several ram gods of ancient Egypt, Khnum was depicted as a human male with a ram’s head or, rarely, as a ram, wearing a solar crown or disk. A water jug, the hieroglyphic sign for his name, and which signiﬁed his association with the great ﬂood was perched atop his horns.
Khnum constructed the ladder by which the dead kings ascended to the sky and the boat that took them across waterways in the netherworld. He also became known as the creator of all living creatures, especially humankind.
Khnum became associated with several towns, speciﬁcally Esna and Elephantine. The latter was located on an island where caverns were thought to be the source of the annual ﬂooding of the Nile, which was regulated by Khnum. Two goddesses, Satet (or Satis) and Anuket (or Anukis), dispensed cool water and were worshipped with Khnum at this site.
Other divine consorts of Khnum included the frog goddess of childbirth, Heqat, the war and creator goddess, Neith, and an obscure lion goddess named Menhyt. In one tale, Khnum played the part of the goddesses’ baggage handler when they were sent to assist in the births of three kings.