Skip Navigation

 Museum Explorer

Death in Ancient Egypt

Weighing the heart

Length: 44.500 cm (frame)
Width: 30.700 cm (frame)

EA 10470/3

Weighing the heart

From Thebes, Egypt
19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC

The Book of the Dead of Any is full of spells and rules to help Any travel safely on his journey through the Afterlife.

Here he is facing his last and most important test – the weighing of the heart. On the left Any and his wife enter the area where he is to be judged. The Egyptians thought that a person’s heart showed all their good and bad deeds. Any’s heart is placed on some scales and weighed by the god Anubis (with the black jackal head) against the feather of truth. If it is lighter than the feather he will survive and continue into the next world. If it is heavier then he will be eaten by the Devourer, the monster on the right who is part-lion, part-hippopotamus and part-crocodile. Next to the Devourer stands Thoth, the god of truth (with an ibis head). He is checking that the weighing is fair.

Have a look at the scales - does Any make it through to the next world?