Do the Ancient Egyptians have any renderings of flames comparable to the flames in the Destruction of Susa (seen atop the buildings and walls)? I need something Ancient Egyptian, not Sumerian.

Update: I was ridiculously wrong in my initial question to think there is any difference in naturalism of the Fowling Scene water and the Lake of Fire's fire. Thus far neither I nor anyone else seems to have noticed. They render water and fire in exactly the same way: with close zag zag lines. The difference is only that the water has black lines on a blue background, but the fire has red lines on an empty (papyrus) background. If the Lake of Fire had used black (or white/yellow) zig zag lines on a red background, and then added some creatures, it would be exactly the same. My original premise was this:

“In the frescoes of the Tomb of Nebamun we have the beautiful Fowling Scene.

Its rendering of water is very naturalistic, and I'm wondering if the Ancient Egyptians have naturalistic renderings of fire like this, such as a scene of hell or a large fire, as opposed to merely putting in the brazier hieroglyph (like the Lake of Fire in the Papyrus of Ani - also depicted here, which does actually have a rather unimpressive but seemingly standard rendering of fire inside, but I'm looking for something a little more wow and naturalistic like Nebamun's water).

I would be happy with something comparable to the fire in the Destruction of Susa, but I need something Ancient Egyptian, not Sumerian.”

  • 1
    Would the rays of the Sun count?
    – Spencer
    Commented Dec 23, 2019 at 19:43
  • Good question but no, I'm afraid they would not @Spencer
    – Johan88
    Commented Dec 24, 2019 at 3:33
  • 1
    It's curiously absent from google searches. (But then, shirt without stripes...) You might be luckier if you try searching for items that would have contained fire, such as oil lamps, braziers, etc. Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 10:59
  • 1
    I suspect the answer is "no" but that sort of answer is always hard to prove. Here is another crude Egyptian hieroglyph which is supposed to represent a lamp.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 12:06
  • @BrianZ Thanks. Yes, I love the incense pot hieroglyph. We always see it on the tomb walls held up as an offering by the votive to a god. Alas, I'm hoping for multiple flames.
    – Johan88
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


Here is a representation of the cooking of tiger nut cakes for the sun god Amun from the tomb of Rekhmire, an Egyptian vizier, painted in the 18th Dynasty, around 1400 BCE . You can see the flames represented under the cooking vessel in the top image. They are very similar to those found in the Destruction of Susa.

Cooking tiger nut cakes for the sun god Amun on behalf of Rekhmire.

The amusingly circular way I came to find the answer to your question is that I was trying to figure out the recipe for the tiger nut cakes on my own (because I don't really trust most of the sources out there, most of the recipes seem to not follow the images from the tomb), and there is an image where two workers are stirring a liquid into the tiger nut flour in an elevated large dish. I was curious whether they could be cooking it here, even though there were no flames below the dish (because the cakes themselves don't seem to ever be cooked in any of the images, just things that appear to go on the cakes seem to be cooked). I googled whether they represented flames in paintings in ancient Egypt, and your question came up. I redid the search for "representations of cooking in ancient Egypt", and the paintings from the tomb of Rekhmire came up again, but this time in higher quality, and combined with my curiosity and your question, I noticed the flames below the cooking vessel (not the one the same image I was wondering about, but a different one). I still don't have the answer to my question, but now, many years later, you have the answer to yours.

And as a bonus, here is a drawing of a painting from the tomb of Ramses III (they are baking a kind of emmer wheat bread spiral), where you can see a different kind of individual flame represented.

Baking emmer wheat bread spirals from the tomb wall of Ramses III


  1. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/ancient-egyptian-recipes
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rekhmire

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