The Weighing of the Heart Ceremony, Papyrus of Ani

The ‘Book of the Dead’, Papyrus of Ani (sheet 3): Ani’s Judgment: the scene is the Hall of Judgment. Centrally placed is a balance, holding in its two pans Ani’s heart (on the left) and a feather (on the right) representing Maat, the divine personification of truth and order. The crossbar of the balance hangs from a feather-shaped peg attached to the upright support, on the top of which squats a small baboon. This creature is a form of the god Thoth, who acts in a different form and with a different duty elsewhere in this “trial”.

The god Anubis, here shown as a jackal-headed, human-bodied, kneeling deity, described as “he who is in the place of embalming,” holds the cord of the right-hand pan, and steadies the plumb bob of the balance. To the right of the balance stands Thoth, here in human form with ibis head; he is the scribe of the gods, and he holds a scribe’s palette and a reed brush, ready to note down the results of Ani’s interrogation.

The Weighing of the Heart Ceremony
The Weighing of the Heart Ceremony

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, reign of Ramesses II, around 1250 BC. Now in the British Museum. EA 10470,3

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