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Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms
Naqa Lion Temple: Three-headed Apedemak with four arms
Name in hieroglyphs

Major cult centerLion Temple, Naqa
Lion Temple of Naqa: Apedemak represented as a coiled snake with lion’s head

Apedemek or Apademek was a lion-headed warrior god worshiped by the Meroitic peoples inhabiting Nubia. A number of Meroitic temples dedicated to this deity are known from the Western Butana region: Naqa, Meroe, and Musawwarat es-Sufra,[1][2] which seems to be his chief cult place. In the temple of Naqa built by the rulers of Meroe Apedemak was depicted as a three-headed leonine god with four arms,[3] and as a snake with a lion head. However, he is usually depicted as a man with a lion head.

Apedemak was considered the war god of Kush. The Kushites believed that Apedemak brought victories to their armies and defeated their enemies. When Kushite pharaohs carried out military campaigns, they often claimed the support and companionship of Apedemak.


  1. ^ Edwards, David (2004). The Nubian Past. Oxon: Routledge. pp. 150–153, 167, 179–180. ISBN 9780415369886.
  2. ^ Casely-Hayford, Gus (2012). The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. London: Transworld Publishers. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9780593068144.
  3. ^ Claude., Traunecker (2001). The gods of Egypt (1st English language ed., enhanced and expanded ed.). Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0801438349. OCLC 46564790.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Apedemak at Wikimedia Commons