Amduat (Netherworld) Papyrus Inscribed for Gautsoshen

Third Intermediate Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126

This colorful papyrus was found rolled up and placed between the thighs of Gautsoshen's mummy. It contains three scenes depicting the Duat, or netherworld, to which Gautsoshen's spirit traveled at night with the sun. On the right, Gautsoshen stands before the mummified figure of Osiris, king of the netherworld, and Selket, one of the four goddesses who protected the mummy. In the center, the sun descends into the Duat, where it will meet the mummified body of Osiris. The other figures in this scene are denizens of the netherworld; the twin lions represent the two horizons in which the sun sets and rises, with the sun itself appearing between them. The scene to the left, in two registers, illustrates various aspects of the sun's journey through the netherworld. The text in the center, in four vertical columns, explains the purpose of the papyrus: "May this great god, ruler of the west...cause the secret gates of the necropolis to open to that she may come forth as she wishes."

Amduat (Netherworld) Papyrus Inscribed for Gautsoshen, Papyrus, ink

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