Book of the Dead of Her-weben-khet

Book of the Dead of Her-weben-khet. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 19323
Book of the Dead of Her-weben-khet. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 19323

Her-weben-khet also known as Herytubekhet or Heruben, the Chantress of Amun, was daughter of Isetemkheb D, wife of the High Priest of Amun, Pinedjem II, and granddaughter of the High Priest of Amun, Menkheperra. This papyrus is intended to be a part of her own abbreviated version of the Book of the Dead. It contains a set of spells to guide her through the underworld.

Her-weben-khet presents offerings to Ptah-Sokar in his form as Osiris

It was written to be read from right to left, visually and textually. This papyrus shows the deceased with the deities in several scenes. In one, she presents offerings to Ptah-Sokar in his form as Osiris. In another she is purified by Re-Horakhty and Thoth.

Her-weben-khet purified by Re-Horakhty and Thoth

One scene shows her greeting the new sun of the morning, accompanied by a baboon, the animal most associated with the rising sun. The god Harpocrates or Horus the Child depicted within the sun disc, resting upon the Aker lions and surrounded by an Ouroboros.

Harpocrates or Horus the Child depicted within the sun disc, resting upon the Aker lions and surrounded by an Ouroboros
Harpocrates or Horus the Child depicted within the sun disc, resting upon the Aker lions and surrounded by an Ouroboros

Another scene shows her prostrates herself before the god Geb in the form of a crocodile and drinks from the waters that will unite her with the gods and assure safe passage to the afterlife.

Her-weben-khet drinks from the water before the god geb as a crocodile

Her-weben-khet is also shown in the Field of Blessing, sowing seed and gathering the harvest. In all these scenes, the deceased is wearing a white gown and a wig. The strongly built shape of the body of the deceased exemplifies a new image for the female figure in this period. It contrasts with the slender images that were in vogue earlier.

Her-weben-khet sowing seed and gathering the harvest

Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, ca. 1069-945 BC. Length 198 cm, height 23.5 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. SR 19325

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