Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Amduat

     The Book of the Amduat is sometimes said to date back to the Old Kingdom. This argument has been advanced in spite of the fact that there does not seem to be any solid evidence for it (Hornung, Erik. The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999, pp. 27 - 28). The earliest example of the text is from the tomb of Tuthmose I. An argument has been made that his daughter Hatshepsut is responsible for the text being in Tuthmose's tomb, but there is, once again, no solid evidence for this idea.

     In the Tomb of Tuthmose III there is a complete copy of the text, which starts on the west wall of the Pharaoh's burial chamber (sunset) and concludes on the east wall (sunrise). In the tomb of Tutankhamen, an abbreviated version of this text is on the burial chamber walls, and some of the chapters are on the shrines that surrounded his sarcophagus and coffins.

     The tomb of Horemhab does not have any portion of the Book of the Amduat on its walls. Since Horemhab's shrines have long since disappeared, we do not know if they had a copy of the text on them or not. Portions of the text appear in the tombs of the Ramesside Pharaohs down to the 22nd Dynasty. By Dynasty 21 the text began appearing in the tombs of priests while, in Dynasty 30 it has been found on the sarcophagi of both kings and nobles. It finally goes out of use during the Ptolemaic Period (Hornung, p. 28).

No comments:

Post a Comment