God from the Meroitic culture, originally belonging mainly to the southern part of the Meroitic kingdom. The most important cult areas of the god are to be found there, near Musawwaret el-Sufara (thus far the oldest known temple to the god, built at the end of the 3rd century BC) and Naq'a, to the east of the 6th cataract in the Sudan. In a text in the temple of Musawwaret el-Sufara the god is called 'the god at the head of Nubia'. There was also a temple to the god much further to the north, near Meroe, but in general in Lower Nubia, references to him are scarce. The same text in Musawwaret el-Sufara (which, incidentally, is not written in Meroitic but in Egyptian) also addresses the god as 'Lion of the south, strong of arm'. This refers to the appearance of the god, a lion, as well as to his function: a god of war. The Egyptians have rendered his (Meroitic) name in hieroglyphs as Pa-ir-meki, 'the one who protects'. Apedemak is often depicted as a man with the head of a lion or entirely as a lion. Frequently he is holding a bow (and arrow) with which he shoots enemies, or else he is holding shackled enemies. In the temple of Naq'a he is depicted with three lion heads and four human arms and as a snake rising out of a lotus with a lion's head and a human torso.
[Note: Meroitic is also written with Meroitic hieroglyphs]