Milky Way according to the ancient Egyptians: the myth of Nut

According to recent studies, the ancient Egyptians represented our Milky Way with the goddess Nut. Let's find out more about this myth

The ancient Egyptianspeople with profound astronomical knowledge, saw the Milky Way as something more than just a trail of stars in the night sky. They associated it with give Nut, divinity of the sky and guardian of the cosmos, represented as a woman with a body covered in stars arched above the earth. Nut, in Egyptian mythology, played a fundamental role in creation and the cycle of life. She was there protector of the earth, and separated her from heaven with his body. Every evening, at sunset, she swallowed the Sun and then gave birth to it again at dawn, thus guaranteeing the day-night cycle. The goddess was also associated with birth and death, symbolizing the passage of souls into the afterlife.

Milky Way according to the ancient Egyptians: the myth of NutMilky Way according to the ancient Egyptians: the myth of Nut

The stars and celestial orientation in the Milky Way

Depictions of Nut often featured the goddess with her arms outstretched and the arched spine. According to some recent studies, this representation could hide a very specific astronomical meaning. Nut's outstretched arms, in fact, would correspond to the winter orientation of our Galaxy, while her spine would represent her disposition during the summer period. The analysis of the myth of Nut and the representations of him offers food for thought not only on the Egyptian cosmology, but also on the universal bond between man and the sky. The Milky Way, in fact, was interpreted in a similar way by different ancient cultures. Each of them had their own deities and legends associated with this fascinating one bright band in the night sky.

The study of the myth of Nut and its connection to the trail that represents our Galaxy demonstrates how mythology and astronomy were intertwined in ancient Egypt. The combination of different disciplines, such as astronomy, Egyptology and comparative mythologyallows us to obtain a more complete vision of ancient beliefs and to reveal the hidden meanings behind the symbols and stories of the past.

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