"Book of the Dead" Papyrus of Gautsoshen

Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty 21
ca. 1000–945 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb MMA 60, Pit, burial 4, MMA excavations, 1922–24
Papyrus, ink
L. 120 cm (47 1/4 in.); Frame: L. 123.2 cm (48 1/2 in.); W. 27.9 cm (11 in.); Th. 2.5 cm (1 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126
Found inside Gautsoshen's Osiris figure (25.3.37a, b) this papyrus contains Chapter 15 of the Book of the Dead, a hymn adoring the sun god, Re. The vignette on the right shows the deceased pouring a libation to Osiris and Isis. The slim, delicate figures are indicated by outline, and the details are rendered in a polychrome palette. The vignette was originally made for another Chantress of Amen-re, and was probably usurped by Gautsoshen, as her name was written over someone else's. The hieratic text on the left of the vignette was written by a skilled scribe, with beautiful calligraphy.
Museum excavations 1923–24. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1925.

Niwinski, Andrzej 1989. Studies on the illustrated Theban funerary papyri of the 11th and 10th centuries B.C., Orbis biblicus et orientalis, 86. Freibourg, Switzerland: Biblical Institute of the University of Freibourg Switzerland, p. 346 (New York 9).

Jansen-Winkeln, Karl 2007. Inschriften der Spätzeit, Teil I: Die 21. Dynastie. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, p. 246-7, cat. 11.117.

Aston, David 2009. Burial Assemblages of Dynasty 21–25: Chronology – Typology – Developments. Contributions to the chronology of the Eastern Mediterranean, vol. 21, Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie, 56. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp. 201, 309.