By Barbara Waterson
Last updated 2011-02-17
Amun, whose name means the Invisible One, was usually depicted as a man wearing two tall plumes on his head, and holding a sceptre in his hand. His sacred animals were the ram and the goose, both symbols of virility - which was one of Amun's characteristics.
During the Middle Kingdom he was identified with the god Re, as Amen-Re, and Thebes (modern-day Luxor) became his cult-centre. He rose to political importance as the favourite god of the kings who freed Egypt from Hyksos rule, and in the Eighteenth Dynasty royal patronage ensured that he outstripped all other gods in power and prestige.
His great temple at Karnak is a demonstration of his status as king of the gods.