Egyptian mythology is the set of myths and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. This people flourished in the Nile valley from 4000 BC and gave birth to a civilization lasting for 4 millennia. The Egyptian mythology is not a unitary body, because in the different cities of Egypt different gods were worshiped, with functions and features that changed over the centuries.The main deity is the Sun, called by many names and depicted in many ways. From the third millennium BC It is most often characterised as the sun god Amon-Ra, who crosses the sky every day carrying the Sun on board a ship of gold. In some traditions, Amon-Ra also assumes the function of Atum, the principle creator of the world. Many Egyptian gods have animal form, such as Bastet, the cat goddess, or Wadjet, the cobra goddess-protector of Lower Egypt, which is North Egypt. Some gods have instead only partially featured animals, such as Anubis, the guardian of the dead who is jackal-headed, or Thoth, god of writing and science, depicted with the head of an ibis.
The most important myth of Egyptian mythology is the story of the death and resurrection of the god Osiris. Osiris governed the Egyptians and thought them the laws and the art of agriculture. But his brother Seth, god of the desert, is envious of him and organizes a plot to dethrone him. He kills him and reduces his body into pieces, spreading it across the country. The goddess Isis, wife of Osiris, manages to reassemble the body of her husband, who comes back to life: the two gods come together and generate Horus, the sky god falcon-headed. Later, Osiris finally dies: he passes to the reign of the dead and becomes its ruler. The young Horus grows and challenge the usurper Seth to avenge his father's death: the battle is fierce, but in the end the falcon-god takes over and becomes the king of Egypt.
This myth has various readings. Seth was worshiped especially in Upper Egypt, while Osiris was worshiped in lower Egypt, perhaps the clash between the two deities symbolizes the struggles between the two groups before the unification of the country in 3000 BC. Above all, the myth of Osiris is the basis of the faith in a life after death. According to the Egyptians the soul of the deceased can reach the kingdom of Osiris, provided however that the body is well preserved. This is the reason for mummified corpses: the viscera are removed and the body is treated with chemicals before being wrapped in linen bandages.