Chapter 10. Household Religion in Ancient Egypt

  1. John Bodel Professor2 and
  2. Saul M. Olyan PhD Professor3
  1. Robert K. Ritner Professor

Published Online: 23 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444302974.ch10

Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

How to Cite

Ritner, R. K. (2008) Household Religion in Ancient Egypt, in Household and Family Religion in Antiquity (eds J. Bodel and S. M. Olyan), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444302974.ch10

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Brown University, USA

  2. 3

    Samuel Ungerleider Jr Professor of Judaic Studies, Brown University, USA

Author Information

  1. The Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 16 MAY 2008

Book Series:

  1. The Ancient World: Comparative Histories

Book Series Editors:

  1. Kurt A. Raaflaub

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405175791

Online ISBN: 9781444302974



  • household religion in ancient Egypt;
  • New Kingdom royal “harim community” of Gurob - fertility figurines recovered by Petrie;
  • preparatory ritual for birth - passage in literary Papyrus Westcar (col. 10/2);
  • transition from child to youth at puberty - accompanied by two formal rites;
  • fertility/pregnancy – female fertility dominating adult ritual within household setting;
  • Roman-era Egypt - gemstones worn on rings serving as specialized amulets to regulate opening of uterus for menstruation, conception, and birth


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Birth

  • Puberty

  • Fertility/Pregnancy

  • Death

  • General Protective Measures