Creation Stories of Early Civilization, according to Ancient Egypt

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Just like other creation stories, Egypt offers several complex versions of how the world started. According to ancient egypt, the gods determined the basic principles of life, nature, and society dueing the creation. The process started by stirring the high god, Nu, in the primeval waters. However, the story also stated that the sun god of the Heliopolis city, Atum, ascended from the waters through his thoughts and will. As he appeared on the water, he had nowhere to stand on so he created a hill. It was on this hill top that his temple was established. The hills also symbolized the coming of light into Nu’s darkness.

With him being the single supreme god, Atum decided to create more gods. However, he did not have a mate he could produce with, and so he made a union with his shadow. The Egyptians do not perceive this as an unusual way of producing offspring (Mark, Joshua, and Joshua Mark). Atum is seen as a bisexual god and at times referred to as the “Great He-She.” This permitted the Egyptian to believe that Atum was the only creative force in the universe. The birth of his children is a debatable issue with some stating that he stayed at the waters of Nu to give birth while others suggest that it was on the hill. However, Atum gave birth to his daughter through vomiting her while his son through spitting. Tefnut, his daughter, became the goddess of moisture while Shu, his son, became the god of air. It is considered that Tefnut and Shu proceeded with the line of creation by setting social orders. Tefnut provided the “Principles of Order” while Shu supplied the “Principles of life.”

According to the story, the children of Atum got lost in the watery chaos of Nu. As a result, Atum – who had a single removable eye, removed and send his eye to search for his children. His eye is commonly referred to as the Udjat. When his eye (the Udjat), returned with his offspring, Atum wept like a child. It was in these place where the tears fell that men descended. Atum together and his children continued with the work of creating the world.

The Chinese Creation Story

According to ancient China, the heavens and the world were one with all being chaotic. The tale depicts the universe as one huge black egg that held Pan Gu inside. However, after eighteen thousand years, Pan Gu awake from his long sleep. Being trapped, he felt suffocated and therefore, used his might to wielder it thereby cracked it open. The cold, turbid matter remained below to form the ground while the light, bright part floated and created the heavens. Pan Gu stood in between with his feet planted on the earth and his head touching the ground ("Pangu And The Chinese Creation Story"). The land and the sky started to expand at a speed of ten feet per day, and as well Pan Gu grew along. The earth was thicker, the sky higher and Pan GU stood in the middle like a pillar nine million li (miles) high within a period of eighteen thousand years, and thus there was no chance of them ever joining again.

After the demise of Pan Gu, his voice became the rolling thunder and his breath the wind. His eyes formed the moon and the sun. His blood changed to form the roaring waters, and his limbs and body formed the five big mountains. His muscles became the fertile land and his vein the far-stretching roads. His skin and the fine hairs on his body became the trees and flowers while his beard and hair became the innumerable stars in the sky. His marrow changed into pearls and jade. Moreover, his sweat became the sweet dew and the good rain that nurtured everything on the earth. However, some version of this creation story states that the radiance of his eyes became lighting and thunder and his tears flowed to make rivers. It is claimed that when he was angry, black clouds gathered in the sky and when happy the sun shone. Other legends of Pan Gu claim that the lice and fleas which were on his body became the humankind ancestor.

The legend of Pan Gu have been widely acknowledge in the tradition of China. For instance, there is an idiom related to this myth: “Since Pan Gu made the earth,” which means a long time. However, this narrative is a latecomer in the Chinese legend's catalog. It was first mentioned in a book written by Xu Zheng during the three kingdom period. Other opinions hold that the myth originated in the Southeast Asia or South China.


Being a Christian, much difference can be observed between the ideologies of Christianity and that of these two creation narratives. For instance, I believe in a single supreme being who created everything from nothing. Moreover, the issue of having more than one god is well depicted in these myths. However, all these stories share a common thing which is Supreme Being that his actions and interaction with nature led to the creation of humanity.

Works Cited

"Pangu And The Chinese Creation Story." Ancient Origins, 2017,

Mark, Joshua, and Joshua Mark. "Ancient Egyptian Mythology." Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017,

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