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Papyrus from the Book of the Dead of Nedjmet

 

Gift of King Edward VII

EA 10541

Reading Room

    Papyrus from the Book of the Dead of Nedjmet

    Perhaps from the Royal Cache at Deir el-Bahari, Egypt
    21st Dynasty, around 1070 BC

    Herihor and Nedjmet before Osiris

    Some ten years before it was drawn to the attention of Egyptologists, robbers had already raided the tomb of Nedjmet in the Royal Cache at Deir el-Bahari. The robbers presumably took Nedjmet's Book of the Dead, as by then it had already passed out of Egypt.

    This scene shows Nedjmet and Herihor, her husband (whose burial has never been found) making offerings to Osiris, Isis and the four sons of Horus, who are also watching a small scene of weighing the heart. The weighing is supervised by Thoth in his form of a baboon, and the conventional heart is replaced by a small female figure which must represent Nedjmet.

    Although there is no doubt that the papyrus was Nedjmet's - she appears in the judgement scene, and the mummy shown in a vignette is hers - Herihor features prominently. This is probably due to his royal status. He was one of the first of the High Priests of Amun who effectively ruled Upper Egypt from the end of the Twentieth Dynasty (about 1186-1069 BC) until some time in the Twenty-second (about 945-715 BC). He was also the first of the high priests of Amun to take on royal attributes, such as placing his name in a cartouche, and showing himself with the royal uraeus on his brow.

    G. Robins, Reflections of women in the Ne (Atlanta, Georgia, Michael C. Carlos Museum, 1995)

    J.H. Taylor, 'Nodjmet, Payankh and Herihor. The end of the New Kingdom reconsidered' in Proceedings of the Seventh I-1 (Leuven, 1998), pp. 1143-55

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