Anonymous papyrus – Turin 5

Probably from Thebes, 21th Dynasty, acquisition in 1824

This papyrus presents the most complete version of the Amduat within Museo Egizio’s papyri collection. The manuscript presents the last four hours (9th-12th Hours) of the Langfassung (or Long version) and there are 97 text columns reporting the Kurzfassung (or Short version) which synthesise the Sun-god’s journey from the First to the Seventh Hours of the night (the Eighth Hour is missing).

The treatise’s structure consists of three horizontal registers. From left to right it describes the netherworld reality through a multimodal composition of visual and linguistic signs

The Ninth Hour is introduced on the manuscript’s left-hand side and presents the following scenes: The Divine Court, The Twelve Deities Following Osiris, The Twelve Rowers of the Boat, The Divine Simulacra Making Sacrifices, The Twelve Urei and The Nine Deities of the Fields with Horus

The Tenth Hour presents some significant concepts. In the top register, we see the healing of the Sun-god’s eyes and, in the bottom register, Horus’s intervention in preserving the drowned corpses of the deceased who share the same destiny as Osiris (cfr. the death of Osiris in the Nile). This hour presents the following scenes: The God and the Beetle, The Eyes of the Sun, The Mighty, The Punishment, The Solar Boat, The bA of Sokar, The bA of Osiris, The Armed Ones, The Drowned and The Goddesses and Seth’s Crook

The Eleventh Hour displays a predominantly apotropaic characteristic, particularly in the bottom register, whereas the top register refers to the dual concept of time, both flowing and static. This hour presents the following scenes: The Two-Headed Deity, Atum and the Winged Serpent, The Snake of Time, The Twelve Gods, The Goddesses on Snakes, The Solar Boat, The Bearers of Mehen, Isis and Nephthys depicted as Urei, The Shapes of Neith, The Punishment of the Damned and The Goddesses of the Desert

The Twelfth Hour describes the end of the Sun-god Re’s nocturnal journey through the Netherworld. Here, the Sun’s rejuvenation process takes place inside the life-regenerating serpent anx-nTr.w (Life of the gods), as we see a beetle on the manuscript’s far right-hand side, Khepri, representing the Sun-god’s rebirthed form. Hence, Re’s renewed form exits the Netherworld travelling through the air-god Shu’s outstretched arms to be reborn as the sun disk at dawn. In the top and bottom registers, many deities witness the end of the Sun-god’s journey, praising the Great God and protecting him from the danger of his nemesis, the serpent Apophis. This hour presents the following scenes: The Twelve Goddesses with Snakes, The Twelve Worshipers, The Solar Boat, The Twelve Gods of Tow, The Snake of Rejuvenation, The Thirteen Goddesses of Tow, Khepri and Shu, The Primordial Deities, The Row of Rowers, The Ten Worshipers and The Mummy of Osiris (source Museo Egizio Papyri, research Enrico Pozzi, Shenali Boange)

Anonymous Amduat papyrus

Length 412 cm, height 24 cm
BD 1776, Turin 5, Type BA.II.1a Niwinski
See Museo Egizio for additional info
Photo website Museo Egizio and panorama view VB 2022