Relief of Khepri Scarab and Re, Tomb of Seti II

It is composed of the globe of the sun, inside which are carved the sun god in two of his guises: his dawn form Khepri, the scarab beetle, and his night form, the ram-headed Re. The scene from the tomb of Seti II is shown the central image of the title illustration associated with the Litany of Re.

The Litanies of Re became an important part of the decoration of the royal tomb during the Ramesside Period. The Litany of Re is not a guide through the Netherworld, but instead describes the various forms of the sun god, beginning by listing his seventy-five names. 

Relief of Khepri Scarab and Re, Tomb of Seti II
Relief of Khepri Scarab and Re at the entrance of the Tomb of Seti II (KV15). Photographer Zangaki

In the “Litany of Re,” the deceased is equated with the sun god, who was reborn each morning, in the hope of securing the same fate.

Like many other funerary texts, the “Amduat” and “Litany” were originally restricted to the use of the king, though the elite had adopted them by the 21st Dynasty. In its fullest form, the “Amduat” consists of twelve sections, corresponding to the hours of the night when the sun god travels through the Underworld in his boat.

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1292-1189 BC. Tomb of Seti II (KV15), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes.