Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Heru, whose appearance was identified as early as 3100 BC, is one of the most complex neters (deities) of ancient Kemet. His complexity is due to the fact that, throughout the thousands of years of Egyptian culture, he acquired new qualities while maintaining his previous ones. Therefore, by the end of Egyptian civilization, there was an impressive list of symbols, characteristics, and archetypes attributable to Heru. His name derives from the root her , meaning face as in “face of heaven,” which reveals his origins as a sky neter whose right eye is the sun and left eye is the moon. In addition to these celestial bodies, Heru is also symbolized as the golden hawk, falcon, and wedjat eyes. Sometimes these images would be combined, such as the sun disk with wings, wedjat eyes with wings, or sun disk with a wedjat eye inside. In Egyptian mythology, Heru is son-consort ...