Amaunet's name is the feminine version of Amun
's, but She seems to be at least as old as He: The first mention of either Deity is as a pair, in a Pyramid Text dating to around 2350-2345 BCE, during the Egyptian Old Kingdom's Fifth Dynasty. The "Pyramid Texts" is the name given to a series of spells carved on the walls of the burial chamber of pyramids (natch) which were believed to protect the dead King and help him make his way through the afterlife. The texts (and the Gods mentioned) are quite likely even older than the Fifth Dynasty, for the spells appear as it were fully formed, and include language that was archaic for the time. Amaunet (and Amun
) in these spells were regarded as protective Deities: They are adressed as "Amun
and Amaunet, You Who protect the Gods, and Who guard the Gods with Your shadows". Though Nun and Naunet are described in a similar manner, it seems especially appropriate for Amun
and Amaunet, Who both represent the mysterious and invisible hidden forces of nature, to give protection through their shadows; implicit in the idea of a shadow is that things can be hidden there.
She is referred to as 'the mother who is father' and in this capacity she needs no husband.
She is portrayed as a snake or a snake-head on which the crown of Lower Egypt rests. the snake represented the Underworld, water, and transformation. her feet were sometimes replaced by jackals which was another symbol of the underworld and death. Amaunet could also be depicted in human form, however, and in this guise She was shown wearing the Red Crown of Upper Egypt (meaning the southern, or upstream, part of Egypt); She sometimes holds a papyrus staff, which can symbolize both the primeval waters as well as thriving new life, as the image of the papyrus-plant was used in hieroglyphs to write the verb "to flourish".
Amaunet is depicted in a small temple to Amun
at Djamet (the modern Medinet Habu), just across the Nile from Luxor, dating from the 18th Dynasty which was begun by the Pharoah-Queen Hapshepsut in the mid-15th century BCE and continued by her successor/predecessor/co-regent (depending on when in the reign we're talking) Thutmoses III. The decoration of this temple nicely illustrates the war between Thutmoses and the memory of Hatshepsut; many of the reliefs have been altered or defaced, and the names changed in an attempt to erase Hatshepsut's legacy (though we can still read them—nice try, Thutmoses III!).
On one of the pillars from this temple, Amaunet is shown with Thutmoses III, offering him life by placing an ankh to his mouth. She is depicted wholly in human form, and dressed in the archaic sheath-dress common to Goddesses, with the Red Crown of Upper Egypt on Her head. She clasps the upper arm of the King, who is wearing a headdress typical of Amun
, thereby identifying him as Amaunet's husband. This same temple was built on and added to through Ptolemaic times, a millennium and a half later, where a door-lintel from that period is carved with Amun
and Amaunet, showing that She was worshipped right up till the latest times of ancient Egypt. All told, Her worship spanned (at the least) a good 2300 years."