Geb “God of the Earth” was the Egyptian god of the earth and a mythological member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. He could also be considered a father of snakes. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb’s laughter created earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow.

Role & development the oldest representation in a fragmentary relief of the god was as an anthropomorphic bearded being accompanied by his name, and dating from king Djoser’s reign, 3rd Dynasty, and was found in Heliopolis. However, the god never received a temple of his own. In later times he could also be depicted as a ram, a bull or a crocodile (the latter in a vignette of the Book of the Dead of the lady Heryweben in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo). Geb was frequently feared as father of snakes (one of the names for snake was s3-t3 – “son of the earth”). In a Coffin Texts spell Geb was described as father of the mythological snake Nehebkau of primeval times. In more mythology, Geb also often occurs as a primeval divine king of Egypt from whom his son Osiris and his grandson Horus inherited the land after many conflicts with the disruptive god Set, brother and killer of Osiris.

Goose Some Egyptologists (specifically Jan Bergman, Terence Duquesne or Richard H. Wilkinson) have stated that Geb was associated with a mythological divine creator goose who had laid a world egg from which the sun and/or the world had sprung. This theory is assumed to be incorrect and to be a result of confusing the divine name “Geb” with that of a Whitefronted Goose (Anser albifrons), also called originally gb(b): “lame one, stumbler”.This bird-sign is used only as a phonogram in order to spell the name of the god (H.te Velde, in: Lexikon der Aegyptologie II, lemma: Geb). An alternative ancient name for this goose species was trp meaning similarly ‘walk like a drunk’, ‘stumbler’. The Whitefronted Goose is never found as a cultic symbol or holy bird of Geb. The mythological creator ‘goose’ referred to above, was called Ngg wr “Great Honker” and always depicted as a Nile Goose/Fox Goose or Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) who ornithologically belongs to a separate genus and whose usual Egyptian name was smn, Coptic smon.