|Papyrus of Hunefer
This papyrus was found in the tomb of the scribe Hunefer in Thebes. It dates from the 19th Dynasty, about 1285 BC. It can be seen in the British Museum.
|What does the papyrus show?
This is a famous scene from the Book of the Dead, chapter 125. It shows the soul of the deceased (Hunefer) being led to judgment by Anubis. A court of gods sits above. Hunefer's heart is weighed on the scales on the left, against the feather of truth (maat) on the right.
of the Heart
If the heart is heavy with sin, (if Hunefer has done lots of bad things in his life), then his heart will sink lower than the feather of truth. You can see another Anubis in the middle adjusting a weight on the scales. The goddess Maat is on top of the scales. The spell in the papyrus was supposed to help him pass the test.
Hunefer has been bad?
If Hunefer has been bad, then a strange monster called Ammut - that's the creature with the crocodile's head and hippo's body - will devour him!
Hunefer has been good?
You can see the god of writing, Thoth, recording the result of the weighing. He is holding the rush pen and palette. If Hunefer has been good he will be brought before Osiris (who is shown just to the right of this scene), and allowed into heaven.
|What is heaven
In the afterlife, the soul lived a blissful life, perhaps working in the fields of reeds with his loved ones, or hunting in the marshes. The picture here shows Sennedjem with his wife Iyneferti, who sows seeds after he has ploughed the soil.