Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Book of the Dead of Henuttawy; frame 2; Amduat vignettes in red, yellow and black.

  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 74 centimetres (frame)
    • Width: 22.8 centimetres (frame)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Translation

        Titles/epithets include : Lady of the House; Chantress of Amun Titles/epithets include : High Priest of Amun
  • Curator's comments

    The scene of auto fellatio is a variant on the usual scene of the cosmos as Nut and Geb (seen on the right of the frame); here however, specifically the night sky seems to be represented, and as a male who is identified as ‘Osiris Foremost of Westerners, maker of heaven, maker of earth, maker of the netherworld …’. The other figure is identified as ‘Geb father of the gods, the great god who made the earth and all that the sun encircles’. The fact that Osiris is ithyphallic presumably refers to the fact he is potent and resurrected, while Geb’s autofellatio is presumably a way of representing him as self-sustaining fertile – like the masturbating creator god: although alone, he is still capable of creation. The motif of Geb’s posture (but not the sex act) is paralleled in other scenes, which show the deity as androgynous to indicate fertility (see O. Kaper, The Astronomical Ceiling of Deir el-Haggar), Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 81 (1995), p. 179-82. Geb's aroused state is paralleled in other mythological papyri where is rising towards Nut.A possible parallel is a scene on the coffin of Ast-em-kheb (CCG 61031) where Geb is curled up underneath a female Nut. The photograph in Daressy 1909, pl. 52 is too small to be clear, but it looks as if Geb might have an an erect phallus also there.


  • Bibliography

    • Trismegistos 381226 ( bibliographic details
    • Quirke 1993 65 bibliographic details
    • Parkinson 1999 fig. 55 bibliographic details
    • Parkinson 2013 pp. 42-3 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    Papyrus Survey: Condition Details: Papyrus: fractured, bleached Black ink Pigment Backed: brown paper Overlaid: brown paper Varnished (discoloured) Mount Details: Sandwich: glass Sandwich: board Binding: cloth Object Priority: B Mount Priority: A Overall Condition: C Curatorial condition comment: good

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Amduat
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Murray was British Consul-General in Egypt.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Frame.2
Book of the Dead of Henuttawy; sheet 2; Amduat vignettes in red, yellow and black.

Book of the Dead of Henuttawy; sheet 2; Amduat vignettes in red, yellow and black.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: YCA66321

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help