Statue of Amenhotep II as Ptah-Tatenen
A fine limestone statue of king Amenhotep II depicted in the form of the god Ptah-Tatenen from the Karnak Cachette. Tatenen (or Tanen) was the god of the primordial mound in ancient Egyptian religion. His name means “risen land” or ‘exalted earth’, as well as referring to the silt of the Nile.
Both Tatenen and Ptah were Memphite deities. Tatenen was the more ancient, combined in the Old Kingdom with Ptah as Ptah-Tatenen, in their capacity as creator deities. By the Nineteenth Dynasty Ptah-Tatenen is his sole form, and he is worshiped as royal creator god.
Tatenen’s ambiguous portrayal may be a result of his being merged with Ptah. He was most commonly depicted in human form, sometimes with green skin, usually seated with a divine beard, wearing either an Atef crown (as Ptah-Sokar) or, more commonly, a pair of ram’s horns surmounted by a sun disk and two tall feathers.
As Tanenu or Tanuu, obviously a chthonic deity, he carried two snakes on his head. He was both feminine and masculine because of his status as a primeval, creator deity. Some depictions show Tatenen with a green complexion (face and arms), as he had connections to fertility and a chthonic association with plants.
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep II, ca. 1427-1401 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 11248