Sporadicq

sporadic quotes and inspirations

'Book of the Dead' of Nestanebtasheru (sheet 80): Nestanebisheru kneels before the balance where her heart is being weighed. Vignette of spell 125.
The operation is performed by the jackal-headed Anubis, god of embalming and guardian of cemeteries, and sitting atop the scales is a small baboon representing Thoth, the scribe of the gods, who ensured an accurate result. The heart in the left-hand scale pan is shown in perfect balance against Maat, which is depicted as a small squatting goddess, whose feather-headdress is the hieroglyphic sign for her name. At the right stands another pair of Maat-figures who represent the “Two Truths” for whom the hall is named. At left are two images which indicate what might happen to Nestanebisheru if her heart should reveal that she has lived a life of wickedness. Just behind her stands Ammit (“the devourer”), a monster which is part crocodile, part lion and part hippopotamus. Her task was to swallow the heart, depriving its owner of their very being and condemning them to non-existence. Above is the “Lake of Fire,” a place of punishment for the wicked. It is shown in bird’s eye view as a pool with stylized ripples, guarded by four baboons; in the middle of each side is the hieroglyphic sign for “fire.” For the corpse to be consumed by fire was abhorrent to the Egyptians, as this left no physical “harbor” for the spirit to inhabit, and the result was total annihilation. As in all scenes of the weighing, however, the result for Nestanebisheru is a positive one, for by depicting the deceased as “true of voice” a favourable outcome would be assured.

'Book of the Dead' of Nestanebtasheru (sheet 80): Nestanebisheru kneels before the balance where her heart is being weighed. Vignette of spell 125. The operation is performed by the jackal-headed Anubis, god of embalming and guardian of cemeteries, and sitting atop the scales is a small baboon representing Thoth, the scribe of the gods, who ensured an accurate result. The heart in the left-hand scale pan is shown in perfect balance against Maat, which is depicted as a small squatting goddess, whose feather-headdress is the hieroglyphic sign for her name. At the right stands another pair of Maat-figures who represent the “Two Truths” for whom the hall is named. At left are two images which indicate what might happen to Nestanebisheru if her heart should reveal that she has lived a life of wickedness. Just behind her stands Ammit (“the devourer”), a monster which is part crocodile, part lion and part hippopotamus. Her task was to swallow the heart, depriving its owner of their very being and condemning them to non-existence. Above is the “Lake of Fire,” a place of punishment for the wicked. It is shown in bird’s eye view as a pool with stylized ripples, guarded by four baboons; in the middle of each side is the hieroglyphic sign for “fire.” For the corpse to be consumed by fire was abhorrent to the Egyptians, as this left no physical “harbor” for the spirit to inhabit, and the result was total annihilation. As in all scenes of the weighing, however, the result for Nestanebisheru is a positive one, for by depicting the deceased as “true of voice” a favourable outcome would be assured.

(Source: britishmuseum.org)

1 year ago

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