Ancient Egyptian Art is a very interesting era of art to study. Although it is one of the earliest forms of art, we can still learn from it today. As I was looking through the different pieces that have been recovered from Egypt, one thing that stood out to me was the use of the lotus flower. ^ The lotus flower has appeared in Ancient Egyptian legends since the beginning. It actually plays a very important part of their religion. It is believed, from their legends, that out of the watery chaos in the beginning, Nun, came this beautiful lotus blossom that opened up and released the sun. In some forms of their beliefs, when the blossom opened up the sun-god, Atum, walked out as a child and each evening he would return to the flower and be protected by its petals. ^ The lotus flower is the only flower from that part of the world that fruits and flowers at the same time. It emerges from the muddy depths of a pond or stream and blossoms on top of the water. In the evening time the blossom closes itself up and submerges itself back underneath the water and when the day breakes the following day, it comes back to the surface to bloom once again. It has a very strong fragrance and therefore it was used in many perfumes in the Ancient Egyptian society: which was known for its grand scale of perfumes. ^The lotus flower's seeds can remain viable for many years. It is a very hardy aquatic perennial. Throughout the years the lotus flower has made its way into many different types of religions and has symbolized various aspects of these belief systems. One of its main symbolizations is for spiritual enlightenment. It is also almost always associated with healing and spiritual rebirth, this is the reason that the Ancient Egyptians would do everything from eat the flower to bathe in a lotus bath. They would even use the root of the flower. It is told that Cleopatra VII would take a lotus bath every day and she would also use the perfume of the lotus blossom to scent the sails and curtains of her royal ship. ^ When the tomb of King Tut was discovered and opened in 1922, archeologist found lotus flowers scattered over his body. It has been a controversy since then if it was simply a symbolic flower or if the people used it to induce hallucinations and other types of stimulation. In my gallery you will see a funerary statue of a male holding a lotus flower. Either way it may be looked at, the lotus flower played a very enteric part of the funeral process and everyday life for the Ancient Egyptian people. ^ With the lotus flower being such an important part of the Ancient Egyptian religion and everyday life, it is no wonder that it would show up in all forms of their artwork. As you will see in my gallery exhibit, the lotus flower appears on tomb wall paintings, funerary statues, chalices, and jewelry. The Ancient Egyptians designed their tombs for the afterlife, therefore the symbol that means rebirth and renewal is expected to be used in many different forms.