Climbing Mafdet from an alabaster jar of King Den.
First dynasty c. 2.800 BC.
Mafdet also spelt
Mafdet was an old feline goddess mentioned in the Pyramid texts as killing a snake. Her fame was mainly in the Old Kingdom and not much is known about her except that she stood for protection and possibly official (punitive) power.
She could also appear as a cat, lynx, leopard and cheetah (with the bodies (or just heads) of a woman), but normally she was seen as a woman like the more famous lioness Sekhmet.
She fought snakes and scorpions and evil doers in general and could be seen climbing up a pole as a mongoose (picture left). In the early New Kingdom she is also depicted attending in the Judgment Hall, perhaps to take care of the legal consequences. Her name can possibly mean "runner" and she is mentioned on the Palermo Stone from the fifth dynasty. She was identified with the protective dwarf god Bes. Her parents were (at least from the New Kingdom and on- wards) - Amon and Mut.          Main text