The Bennu or phoenix is a bird encompassing great significance to both ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks. There have been numerous descriptions of this bird some differing in colors as well as the type of bird it was. These have ranged from a heron where it was portrayed to have a long straight beak and a feathered crest resembling Ra and Osiris to an eagle bird, yellow wagtail as well as a golden hawk (Nigg, 2016). However, the bird (as depicted in the symbol) is believed to bear a close resemblance to two of the most common birds found in the Egyptian part of Red Sea. These are a gray heron as well as the slightly bigger goliath heron. It could be spotted wearing the Atef crown of Osiris or the sun disk at the top of its head. The name originates from the term “Weben” which means “shine” or “to rise” (Nigg, 2016).

The Nile as well as the creation of all bearing Atum aspects. Ancient Egyptians believed that it had sacred pillars referred to as ben-ben stone where it had rested upon during the inundation of the waters of chaos known as Nun at the beginning of time (Nigg, 2016). Its cry was believed to have marked the creation of time.  Most people also believed that it was linked to planet Venus especially named start of Bennu-Asar (the Egyptian term for Osiris is Asar). In the Greek mythology, Herodotus believed that the bird visited Arabia after five centuries and carried its father’s body in an egg myrrh. He also believed that before dying, the bird would create a nest from the incense twigs. Finally, the bird was also believed to have a small worm emerge and turn into a phoenix through the power emanating from the sun’s heat.

Bennu or phoenix

 

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