Egyptian art is full of the snakes that inhabited the natural world, but the Egyptians also imagined fantastical snakes in the Underworld. A scene on the Coffin Base of a Priestly Official, part of the museum’s permanent collection of Egyptian art depicts Apophis and his enemy Ra, the sun god, who is symbolized by a scarab. Apophis hoped to defeat Ra in order to prevent the sun from rising, which would trigger the collapse of creation.
We’ve created a puzzle using an image of the scene between Apophis and Ra. As you complete the puzzle, note the following:
- Apophis’s long body twists and turns like a maze whose exit is unknown, speaking to the chaos outside the ancient Egyptians’ orderly created world.
- Above Apophis, a scarab spreads its wings, symbolizing the rising sun and Ra’s victory over Apophis and chaos.
- The dark lines across Apophis’s body represent the knives that Ra and others used to defeat the great snake.