The Ancient Egyptian crocodile
god, whose cult
was centered around the Fayum Basin
. He was originally a fertility symbol
(he was sometimes called the 'Lord
')and water god, representing both reproductive forces and natural dangers. Later texts identify him with Horus
, and give him the role of the sun's protector as it passes through the waters of the underworld
He gained national importance only in the Middle Kingdom, as the Fayum gained strategic importance. In the New Kingdom, as centralised power declined, he slowly developed into a localised universal deity. Later, Herodotus mentions temple worship of live crocodiles, and the mass burials of the mummified animals. His positive aspects, however, found little acceptance outside of the Fayum and the Nile river delta.