The original Roll of Papyrus of Ani is in one length viz 76 feet. The facsimile has been divided unequally into 37 plates by the British Museum.
Written in 1240 BC. The original version of the book is filled with beautiful pictures of Ani and his wife as they travel through the land of the dead, and to the Halls of Maáti and beyond.
The Book of the Dead was a collection of formulas, hymns, and prayers for the deceased of ancient Egypt. It was also known as Pyramid Texts. The Egyptians believed that you needed a Book of the Dead to lead you safely through the demons of the Underworld when you died. You also needed a Book of the Dead to be judged by Osiris in a ceremony called Weighing of the Heart. The Weighing of the Heart ceremony was when Osiris judged you to be eaten by the Devourer of Souls or carried safely on into the Underworld. The Devourer of Souls Ammut was one third crocodile, one third lion, and one third hippopotamus.
The above artifact is from the Old Kingdom, which is the fifth and sixth dynasty. In this artifact, the scribe Ani and his wife, are praying and are being tested. The gods shown here are Thoth, who recorded the results of the test; Anubis, the god who set the scale from which Ani and his wife would be judged; Maát, whose feather was weighed against the person’s heart; and Osiris, who was the overseer of the ceremony. On top of the judgment scale is Thoth’s baboon. Above twelve gods seated in order, as judges before a table of offerings
What happened in this ceremony is Maát’s feather is placed on the scale against the person’s heart. The person would tell all the good deeds he or she has done. After the person is finished talking, Anubis sets the scale. If the heart is heavier than the feather, the person has told a lie, and shall be eaten by the Devourer of Souls and will not have eternal life. If the heart is lighter than the feather, the person will go on to the Underworld, which was the exact same as the regular world and would have eternal life. In this particular test of Ani and his wife, it is unknown if they lived or were eaten by the Devourer of Souls.
Book of the Dead of Maiherperi
1427-1392 BC, 18th Dynasty
The Judgment of the Dead
The “Declaration of Innocence” had to be said by the deceased in the “Hall of Justice” descending to the broad “Hall of Two Truths”, purging all the forbidden things he/she has done in order to be purified, and be allowed Rebirth.
There were forty-two Confessions with forty-two judges. One must pass these confessions after practicing holiness to achieve an acceptable death of immortality. These “Confessions” is one of the most distinctive, innovative and best known features of the Book of the Dead. These forty-two declarations were found on papyrus in the tomb of the Nubian Maiherperi of the 18th Dynasty.
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