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Apis was the beast-god of ancient Egypt. He was also known as Mnevis, and Onuphis. Apis / Mnevis / Onuphis (who, for the sake of simplicity, we will refer to here after as Apis) was regarded as the Avatar of the god Osiris, whose soul it was said had transmigrated into the body of a bull. The sacred bull was allowed to live no more than years, after which it was drowned in one of the sacred wells of the Nile. His death was followed by national mourning, soon forgotten and transformed into national thanksgiving when a new sacred bull was found, to take his place. The stigmata that marked a bull as the new incarnation of Apis / Osiris were a black coat, a white triangular spot on the forehead, a spot like a half-moon on its right side, and a knot like a beetle under its tongue.

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