The Duat is the inner dream world, existing in parallel with the Earth of the living and with the skies of the justified and the deities. It is before life and after death. This realm is entered by everybody during the hours of sleep and at death. It is the home of the deities and the spirits of the noble, justified ancestors in the retinue of Osiris. In a mysterious way, the undifferentiated inertness of the primordial waters runs through it cf. In Nun, the autogenetic power floats

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We know it since the time of queen Hatshepsut, ca. C, and during the 18th dynasty it forms the exclusive decoration on the walls of the royal burial chamber. In Ramesside time 19th and 20th dynasty , it still belongs to the standard decoration of royal tombs, besides other Books of the Netherworld. The only non-royal person in the New Kingdom who has used an Amduat for his tomb is the vizier highest official Useramun who was in office under Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III. After the end of the New Kingdom B.

C , the Amduat was copied on papyri and on coffins and became now available for priests and their relatives. It was still prominent in tombs of the Late Period and on royal or non-royal sarcophagi until the Ptolemaic Period. Quotations from it are still found in the Roman Period.

Whereas the Book of the Dead is composed of individual spells with no fixed sequence, the Books of the Netherworld follow a strict pattern. The earlier compositions Amduat and Book of Gates are divided into twelve sections which correspond to the twelve hours of the night, text and pictures always forming a unity. Thus for the first time in history, the world beyond death is described here in word and image.

In addition to the long, illustrated version of the Amduat, a short version, without illustrations, is found in the tombs and on papyri. It is a sort of abstract or summary, listing important names and adding further remarks on the usefulness of the book.

Only Tuthmosis III, in the upper pillared hall of his tomb, adds deities from the Amduat to this catalogue, enemies excluded. Stars are added to express the desired ascent of the Ba-soul to heaven. During the 18th dynasty, all texts are written in cursive hieroglyphs which were used for religious texts on papyri. For quick orientation, introductions and instructions are written in red, the rest black. Starting with Tutankhamun, the writing changes to normal hieroglyphs which are usually coloured.

In our text, we transcribe the cursive forms into normal hieroglyphs and follow, wherever possible, the version of Amenhotep II, but in some places it had to be corrected or completed; the red parts rubra are mostly identical in the tombs of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II, but Tuthmosis, trying to follow the orientation of the hours according to the text, had to rearrange some of the registers each hour but the first is divided into three horizontal sections, the registers.

Normally, in the center of each hour the sun bark is placed, showing the sun god in his ram-headed, nocturnal form the ram is one of the signs for the Ba-soul passing through the Netherworld. The numbers in brackets refer to this edition, and the continuous numbering of the deities without brackets is now generally used, going back to the German edition with translation and commentary of A subsequent volume with the same layout will bring a detailed psychological commentary by Theodor Abt.

The commentary is based on lectures given at the Research and Training Centre for Depth Psychology in and


Amduat Explained

Unlike other funerary texts, however, it was reserved only for pharaoh s until the Twenty-first Dynasty almost exclusively or very favored nobility. It is said that the dead Pharaoh is taking this same journey, ultimately to become one with Ra and live forever. The Amduat names all of these gods and monsters. The main purpose of the Amduat is to give the names of these gods and monsters to the spirit of the dead Pharaoh, so he can call upon them for help or use their name to defeat them. As well as enumerating and naming the inhabitants of the Duat , both good and bad, the illustrations of the work show clearly the topography of the underworld. The hours In hour 1 the sun god enters the western horizon akhet which is a transition between day and night. In hour 4 he reaches the difficult sandy realm of Sokar , the underworld hawk deity, where he encounters dark zig zag pathways which he has to negotiate, being dragged on a snake-boat.


The Egyptian Amduat: The Book of the Hidden Chamber

The hours[ edit ] In hour 1 the sun god enters the western horizon akhet which is a transition between day and night. In hour 4 he reaches Imhet the difficult sandy realm of Seker , the underworld hawk deity, where he encounters dark zig zag pathways which he has to negotiate, being dragged on a snake-boat. In hour 5 he discovers the tomb of Osiris which is an enclosure beneath which is hidden a lake of fire, the tomb is covered by a pyramid like mound identified with the goddess Isis and on top of which Isis and Nephthys have alighted in the form of two kites birds of prey. In the sixth hour the most significant event in the underworld occurs.


The Egyptian Amduat – The Book of the Hidden Chamber



Amduat – The Ancient Egyptian Funerary Text


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