- Museum number
Book of the Dead of Hunefer (Hw-nfr) frame 3; fully coloured vignettes; coloured border. The scene (vignettes) shows episodes in Hunefer's judgement.
Height: 45 centimetres (frame)
Height: 40 centimetres (max)
Length: 90.50 centimetres (frame)
Length: 87.50 centimetres (max)
- Curator's comments
- 'Book of the Dead' papyri are first found in the early New Kingdom c.1450 BC and the finest (like Hunefer's) were written by expert scribes and decorated by master draftsmen. Perhaps, as royal scribe, it was Hunefer himself who put brush to ink to inscribe his own papyrus.
Full size polychrome vignette of Hunefer in judgement scene.
From left: above, Hunefer kneels in adoration before a company of deities, who are named as Ra, Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Hu and Sia, and the Southern, Northern and Western 'roads'. Below, the jackal-headed Anubis leads Hunefer towards the balance of judgement, where Anubis is depicted again, kneeling to adjust the plumb-weight on the balance. On the left scale-pan is Hunefer's heart, and on the right the feather hieroglyph which symbolises Maat. Below the balance crouches Ammit, the 'Devourer of the Damned', accompanied by a short inscription which describes her: 'Her front is a crocodile, her rear a hippopotamus, her middle a lion.' To the right, Thoth, ibis-headed, holds a pen and scribal palette to record the outcome of the weighing. Horus then conducts Hunefer to a shrine in which Osiris sits enthroned, accompanied by the goddesses Isis and Nephthys. The four Sons of Horus stand on a large lily (lotus) which grows from a pool of water beneath Osiris' throne. The lines of inscription above the scenes contain passages from spell 30B of the Book of the Dead.
Composition is framed on top and bottom with red and yellow lines. Very little text/image loss except for yellow paint which has faded.
M.A. Corzo, Nefertari Luce d'Egitto, Rome 1994, pp. 176-80 .
Tarasenko, Mykola. 2016. Studies on the vignettes from chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead. I, The image of mś.w Bdšt in ancient Egyptian mythology (Archaeopress Egyptology 16), Oxford, p. 82, 91-92, 99-100, fig. 58.
- On display (G62/dc24)
- Exhibition history
1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.32
1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.32
1990 20 Oct-9 Dec, Japan, Tokyo, Setagaya Art Museum, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.60
1991 5 Jan-20 Feb, Japan, Yamaguchi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.60
1991 9 Mar-7 May, Japan, Osaka, National Museum of Art, Treasures of the British Museum, cat. no.60
2010 4th Nov-2011 6th March, Round Reading Room BM, Book of the Dead
- Papyrus Survey:
Papyrus: bleached, fractured
Backed: white paper
Checked for loan to Australia 1988
checked for loan to Mexico 1991
Checked for loan to Italy 1994
Checked for loan to Italy 1995
Displayed in Room 63 until 1997
Refused for loan to Japan 2002
Refused for loan to Japan Star Objects 2004
Binding: Filmoplast T self adhesive linen tape
Object Priority: B
Mount Priority: A
Overall Condition: B
Curatorial condition comment:
good (but bleached in part)
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Book of the Dead
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Frame.3
- Joined objects
Associated Group: G16566 (9 objects)