Erich Lessing

Temple priests helped Re, the sun god, to pass through cycles of death and rebirth. As evening expired, the sun died, traveled through the underworld and rose at dawn—mirroring the journey of the deceased. This carving, on a Ptolemaic sarcophagus from Saqqara, depicts the rising sun greeted by deities, including two stork-legged figures. Migratory birds, such as storks, symbolized the voyage of the sun and the deceased through the netherworld.