Amulet (shows goddess Isis suckling god Horus as a baby). Gold. From Meroe.
Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Khartoum, National Museum. Source: Wildung, Dietrich.
Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile.
Goddess of motherhood and fertility
Isis, also known to the Kushites as the "great lady
of Nubia [Kush]",1 was particularly popular among
women. Figurines and amulets bearing her image can be found
in both rich and poor graves throughout Sudan. Since child
mortality rate was extremely high in ancient times, the cult
of Isis attracted mothers worried about the health conditions
of their children.
The cult of Isis was unique for advocating high moral values
of peace and tranquility. Beside being the goddess of motherhood,
Isis was a goddess of literacy, and crafts. Her cult was associated
with high intellect and wisdom. Kushite pharaohs often claimed
Isis to be their heavenly-mother to assume high moral values,
good judgment, and integrity. A translation of Meroitic inscription
about Isis, reads as follows:
"Give noble renewal (Oh Isis) to the new vivification.
Give renewal--give (its) erection. Reflect (on) the patron
(and) guide good prosperity (on the) good path indeed."2
There is no reason to assume that Isis was originally an
Egyptian goddess. Even the cult center of Isis was located
at Philae in Lower Nubia. Although part of Nubia, Philae has been
a subordinate of Egypt for most of history. However, the local
population of Philae has been predominantly of Sudanese extraction, until today. The
cult of Isis at Philae received Pilgrims from different parts
of the ancient world including Rome, Greece, Syria, and Israel.