Book of the Dead of Taysnakht, daughter of Taymes

One of the best-known vignettes in the Book of the Dead of Taysnakht is that of the weighing of the heart (“psychostasia”) in the tribunal of the Double Truth, in the presence of Osiris and other gods of the netherworld. The heart of the deceased is placed on one pan of a pair of scales, a feather on the other pan.

The feather symbolizes the goddess Maat, protector of justice and the cosmic order. A light and pure heart will grant the deceased a happy passage into the netherworld and a serene eternal life in the Fields of Iaru; should the heart turn out to be heavy, that is, evil, the monster Ammit (the Devourer) will annihilate the soul for eternity. Psychostasia – Chapter 125 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht

The Weighing of the Heart Ceremony - Psychostasia – Chapter 125 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht
The Weighing of the Heart Ceremony – Psychostasia – Chapter 125 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht

Taysnakht in front of Osiris – Chapter 148

In a room whose roof is supported by columns, Taysnakht, dressed in a white tunic with long fringed sleeves, worships Osiris, who is mummiform, falcon-headed, and wears the atef crown. The god is hugged by the goddess Imentet, personification of the West.

Behind this scene, arranged in four registers, are the seven sacred cows and the black bull (a symbol of regeneration), the four oars with the wedjat eye (to facilitate navigation in the sky and the netherworld), and the four triads of deities who protect the deceased and ferry her across.

Taysnakht in front of Osiris – Chapter 148 of the Book of the Dead of Taysnakht
Taysnakht in front of Osiris – Chapter 148 of the Book of the Dead of Taysnakht

Life in the Fields of Iaru – Chapter 110 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht

Accompanied by Thoth, the deceased arrives in front of the three guardian deities of the kingdom of the netherworld. Having passed the threshold, the soul travels on to the Fields on a boat laden with offerings.

The lower register illustrates the stages of cultivation. The scene symbolizes the nourishment needed by the body and the soul for their regeneration. Below are islands, canals, deities, and boats with staircases leading up to the celestial kingdom.

Life in the Fields of Iaru – Chapter 110 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht
Life in the Fields of Iaru – Chapter 110 of Book of the Dead of Taysnakht

Ptolemaic Period, ca. 305-30 BC. Cyperus papyrus, paint, ink. 35 Dimenstions: 35 x 865 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 1833

Follow Egypt Museum on Facebook to get latest posts and updates.