Sobek, the crocodile god: His importance in funeral rituals and his representation

Egyptian mythology, an inexhaustible source of mystery and fascination, offers us a pantheon of unique deities, including the imposing Sobek, the crocodile god. This article sheds light on the importance of Sobek in Egyptian funeral rituals and explores his representation through the ages.

Sobek, both feared and revered, emerges from the waters of the Nile as an ambiguous deity of power and fertility. The echoes of his name resound powerfully in ancient history, while the temples dedicated to him bear witness to his past greatness and flourishing cult.

Meaning and etymology of the name Sobek

The meaning of the name itself has its roots in ancient Egyptian, symbolizing strength and agility.

Creation myths and early mentions

From the earliest texts, Sobek emerges as a crucial figure, his creation myth linking the world to the original chaos.

Places such as Crocodilopolis bear witness to the scale of his devotion, with imposing structures built in his honor.

Sobek in Egyptian mythology

Depicted with the body of a man and the head of a crocodile, Sobek embodies the duality of protection and threat. His presence is omnipresent in Egyptian folklore, and his impact on other divinities undeniable.

Nature and attributes of the divinity

Sobek is the guardian of the Nile, symbol of fertility and abundance, but also a manifestation of rage and voracity.

Relationships with other Egyptian deities

He has close ties with gods such as Horus and Seth, reflecting the complex balance between cosmic forces.

Stories and legends associated with Sobek

Stories of Sobek illustrate his role as protector of the pharaohs and as guide in the afterlife.

Sobek and funeral rituals

In the journey to eternity, Sobek proves a valuable ally, his attributes and amulets ensuring safety and well-being in the afterlife.

Sobek's role in the afterlife

He acts as a protective force, accompanying the souls of the deceased as they pass between the worlds.

Ritual objects associated with Sobek

  • Amulets and talismans Protecting the deceased, these sacred objects embody the power of Sobek.
  • Pyramid and sarcophagus texts These sacred writings often invoke Sobek to ensure the soul's protection and sustenance in the afterlife.

Specific practices and rituals

  • Rites of protection These guarantee the soul's protection against evil, with Sobek as guardian.
  • Offerings and sacrifices Rituals designed to appease and honor the crocodile god ensure his favor.

The association with the solar god, Ré

The synchretism between Sobek and Ré underlines Sobek's importance in rebirth and regeneration.

Iconographic representation of Sobek

Over the centuries, the representation of Sobek has evolved, but key elements have remained intact, marking his divine identity.

Evolution of the representation of Sobek

The representation of Sobek has undergone various transformations, adapting his figure to the evolution of Egyptian worship.

Classic icons and symbols

Attributes such as the anchor and the palm are essential in the iconography of Sobek, underlining his multiple facets.

Sobek's artistic influence on Egyptian funerary art

Sobek forged a powerful visual legacy, reflected in his sumptuous representations of funerary art.

Statues, reliefs and murals

These works, in which Sobek is often depicted, illustrate his majesty and his deep significance in Egyptian society.

The cult of Sobek has survived many changes, preserving its essence through the ages and influencing the perception of ancient Egypt to this day.

The worship of Sobek through the ages

Despite the vicissitudes of history, the cult of Sobek has endured, adapting to religious and political currents.

Sobek's fusion with other gods

The phenomenon of synchronization has led to the integration of Sobek into other cults, enriching his image and influence.

Sobek's cultural influence in contemporary Egypt

In modern Egypt, Sobek remains a powerful symbol of the national culture and its ancient heritage.


Sobek, the crocodile god, holds a unique place in Egyptian mythology, as protector of the dead and symbol of power. His impact on funerary art and ritual is undeniable, testifying to the complexity of the ancient Egyptian spiritual world. Further study of Sobek promises to reveal even more about the mysteries of this ancient civilization.


Here you'll find a list of sources and bibliographic references essential to deepening your knowledge of Sobek and the practice religion in ancient Egypt.

Keywords : - Sobek - Crocodile god - Egyptian mythology - Egyptian funerary rituals - Sobek cult - Egyptian iconography - Funerary practices - Egyptian deities - Ancient Egyptian art - History of Egypt - Egyptian amulets - Egyptian protection rituals - Ancient Egypt