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.

  • Pinch, Geraldine (2002) Handbook Egyptian Mythology
  • Redford Donald B (2002) Ancient Gods Speak
  • Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003) The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

Copyright J Hill 2008