Ritual of Cutting Grain in Theban Temples: An Overview of the Concept of the Divine and Royal Fertility

Document Type : Original Article


Tourist Guiding Department, Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt


Cutting grain is a remarkable Ramesside ritual in the Theban temples during the New Kingdom. Five scenes are found depicting the king as a harvester cutting grain before the deities of fertility in the New Kingdom temples of Thebes. The ritual was rarely represented in the New Kingdom and it was performed in the Theban temples only during the reigns of Kings Ramesses II and Ramesses III. After the reign of King Ramesses III, this ritual was no more attested in the Theban temples. However, it regained its importance once more during the Ptolemaic Period. Grain crops were sacred and aphrodisiac offerings of the male sexual potency and masculine virility during the festival of the fertility-god Min. Therefore, the image of the self-created god Amun-Re in his form as Kamutef, the fertility-god Min, and the fecund-god Hapy of the fertile Nile and flooding dominated the scenes of the ritual, in reference to the role of the male deities in fecundation, regeneration, birth, and rebirth.