- b3s (an ointment jar)
- t (a bread loaf)
- t (another bread loaf)
- a seated woman with lion head
The primary spelling for the city Bast is b3st. This spelling uses the same ointment jar b3s and bread loaf t characters as used for b3stt, plus the determinative indicating a place. Because of determinatives, there is no ambiguity of the city Bast and the goddess Bast when written in hieroglyphs, even if there is no second "t" used in "Bastet": for the place, for the goddess.
An alternate spelling for the city Bast is , which still spells b3st. The characters used are
- b (a foot)
- b3 (a something bird)
- st (a throne)
- t (still a bread loaf)
Phonetic complements are common in hieroglyphic spelling. Sometimes the phonetic complement disambiguates a character that can have more than one sound. The throne symbol can be js or st. Because of the phonetic complement t we know the throne character represents st in . The phonetic complement b in front of b3 is not so useful, but complements often appear even when they seem redundant (and are often absent when they might be really helpful).
A final "t" is the normal feminine ending for Egyptian, so the names of most goddesses end in "t": Sekhmet, Nekhbet, Wadjet, Selket, and many others. Scribes did not start writing an extra at the end of their names. There are other goddess names that can show a doubled final "t", such as Renenutet, whose name appears as rnnt, rnnwt or rnnwtt. So the doubled "t" is not a variation unique to Bast/Bastet, though it is unusual. I have not seen an explanation of why a phonetic complement might be applied when spelling b3st but not when spelling skhmt or nkhbt.