Aken

Aken

In ancient Egyptian mythology Aken was the patron and custodian of the boat named "Meseket" that carried the souls of the dead into the underworld. Apparently he remained in a deep sleep when he was not needed, and had to be woken by the Ferryman, Mahaf, when the dead required his services. He was generally depicted as a sailor standing in the stern of a papyrus boat. He was not the focus of worship, and had no cult centre but is referred to a number of times in the Book of the Dead.

Aken is often associated with Kherty (or Cherti) a more ambiguous deity who was considered to be a god of the underworld and the ferryman of the dead. This god was worshipped in Esna (Latopolis) and may be the origin of the Greek ferryman Charon.

copyright J Hill 2010
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Predynastic period Early Dynastic Old Kingdom First Intermediate Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate New Kingdom Third Intermediate Graeco-Roman period Late period