In ancient Egypt, the administration of a temple administration was known collectively as wnwt, commonly known among Egyptologists as priesthood. The word priest came from the Latin word presbyter meaning elder. The word priest has since been taken as an official position within churches to carry specific duties and powers that are not synonymous with the diversity of duties and responsibilities of the wnwt of ancient Egypt. People in the wnwt were carried their duties in a part time capacity as their daily life and culture. Greek historian Manetho constructed his Aegyptiaca History of Egypt in part through his joining the wnwt of a temple of Thoth in the delta city of Sebennytus Find here the documents for wnwt training, ritual and duties of the wnwt of an ancient Egyptian temple reconstructed from Egyptian archaeological and Egyptological sources. Access to documents and media is restricted by title of rank, which indicates the accomplishment of time and study. Documents and media are further categorized by use and administrative title
Titles of Rank
Pure Ones. All wnwt are wab.w and thus is the beginning of training. A wab learns the ancient rituals of purification found in Egyptian archaeological and Egyptological records. Documents and accompanying media for understanding purification and ritual in an ancient Egyptian cultural context.
imya ra w’abu
Over the mouth of the pure ones. These are wab.w who have completed one year of training and service to DbA (Djeba, Edfu) and the nTr Hr (Deity Horus). They carry the title of supervisor of wabw. At this time, they may choose their patron for further study of rituals and characteristics of temple veneration for the deity. Access to components of irt wpt r twt – Performance of the Opening of the Mouth of the image to organize reenactment of ritual with wab.w participants. Administration of ritual food offerings in an ancient Egyptian temple.
Father of the deity. This is for wab.w who have completed two years of study at DbA. itf.w nTr in ancient times worked directly with the Swyt nTr – sacred image of the deity. An itf nTr stood at the front of the Swyt nTr during festival processions and took the oracular petition from a supplicant. Direction was then given to the festival boat bearers who kneel fore or rear to indicate the answer. itf.w nTr study the oracular techniques performed in ancient Egyptian temples. Continued studies of irt wpt r irwy Swyt nTr. Introduction to administration of festival rites and ritual procession. HkA sAw – ancient Egyptian protective magic.
Male/Female servant of the deity. Three years and the completion of duty to the dbA temple and Hr. Completion of training for the irt wpt r irwy Swyt nTr, Festival ceremony, Daily rites. HkA aHAw – Combat magic within the cultural context of mAat – Universal rightness. Hm/Hm.t.w nTr will have access to all the discovered knowledge to reconstruct an ancient Egyptian temple and the understanding to perform them in reconstructions and reenactments. Hm/Hm.t.w nTr may also stay within the ranks of DbA and aid in the reconstruction of the temple.
Use and Administrative Title Categories
Çarya Habat – Over the Ritual Book
Known as a lector, the Xry Hbt makes the sacred recitations of the rituals in an ancient Egyptian temple. Through necrophonetics, DbA provides research for reconstructing the role of the Xry Hbt. Understanding the language and phonetic translation utilized by the temple is paramount to serving as a Xry Hbt during a ritual. The phonetic transliteration system utilizes traditional Egyptological transliteration font with Coptic vowel /a/ found as ancient Egyptian vowels in proper names written in Akkadian during the Amarna New Kingdom.
Djad Madw – Recitations
While Egyptologists translate Dd mdw as words spoken or recitation, the word Dd has different cultural meanings depending on context. Dd mdw in temple rituals are performed as a liturgical recitation utilized for different ceremonies. Dd mdw as a ceremonial or ritual recitation involves ritual singing as accompanied by musical instruments. Musical reconstructions are utilized for Dd mdw using ethnomusicology methods. Historica, Litanies, and praises are examples of Dd mdw used for rites and festivals.
Nat ‘a – ritual
While many duties in an ancient Egyptian temple did not include nt a ritual, and as a human universal, many services a temple provided to the community were ritual to bring life, prosperity, and health. Components of ritual and cultural significance accompany the ritual.
Hatap rad Naswt – Offering the Pharaoh gives
This ritual offering formula was utilized to every nTr deity at the Temple.
Irat wapat ra na tut – Performing the Opening of the Mouth of a Statue
Known also as wpt r irwy – Opening of the mouth and eyes, this ritual is most often performed at festivals and dedications to open the image of the being with the ka’ spirit. This was performed on both Dt – body of a deceased person as well as images of nTrw as statues carved into stone. The several stages of the ritual are reconstructed and analyzed individually for cultural understanding.
Inadj Har-ak – Hail to you Invocations
These recitations call the deity by their known names, also called epithets. In ancient Egypt, knowing and speaking the name of a person or deity invokes them to your presence. Their names and titles were thus recited to draw their power to the ceremony.
Haka’u – creative power
Commonly explained by Egyptologists as magic, the components of HkAw are explained and further categorized as sAw and aHAw
Defensive, protective, and healing HkAw
Joining the Wanut
Joining the educational program of the wnwt provides more in-depth knowledge and insight into this essential part of ancient Egyptian culture, with documents and articles of translations and structure of initiation, administration, and ceremony rituals