By Barbara Waterson
Last updated 2011-02-17
Ptah was head of three gods and goddesses who were worshipped at Memphis (near modern-day Cairo); the other two were his wife, Sekhmet, a lion-headed goddess who brought destruction upon the enemies of the god Re; and their son, the lotus god, Nefertem.
Ptah was depicted as a mummified man standing inside a shrine, and held a measuring rod to signify that he was patron-god of craftsmen. He was a creator-god who, according to the Memphite Theology recorded on the so-called Shabaka Stone (now in the British Museum), brought the world into being through thought and speech.
He became identified with Sokar, the god of the necropolis, at Memphis, and as Ptah-Sokar became a god of the dead. The Greeks equated him with Hephaestus, god of metalworking.
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