Egyptian Painted Papyrus Fragment

SKU: MS.0101

Origin: Egypt
Circa: Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, 1070 BC - 712 BC
Dimensions: 5.15" Height x 21.5 Width (13.1 cm x 54.6 cm)
Medium: Papyrus

The fragment is divided in two parts, with a winged sun disc surmounting the deceased to the right.  He wears a white tunic with red stripes on the sleeve, and a bag wig, held with a white fillet tied at the rear that is topped with a perfume cone.  He offers incense to the falcon-headed god Re-Harakhty-Atum, seen wearing a red sun disc encircled by a uraeus, a blue wig, a broad beaded collar, while holding a crook and a flail.  On the left, there is a scene from the 12th Hour of the Book of Amduat, with a procession of eight figures facing right adoring the Sun God. They are outlined in black with added red, some with fire-spitting snakes coming out of their mouth, seen with hieroglyphic text above and below.

Four columns of hieroglyphs above the deceased, read: "Adoring Re, the foremost (?), possessor of goodness, the Osiris Overseer of the Servants of the First Prophet of Amen-Re King of the Gods, Amenmose [...]", and four columns of text above the deity, reading: "A royal offering to Re-Harakhty-Atum, lord of the two lands, the Southern Helopolitan (=Armant), may he give the sacred sefet-oil, beer, oxen, fowl, incense, linen garment, and all things good and pure, (for) the Osiris, Overseer of the Judges, Amenmose, justified."

Gustave Jéquier (1868 - 1946) collection; and thence by descent. Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 4 June 2008, lot 11. Private collection, UK, acquired at the above sale.

Fragmented and backed mounted as shown. Edges chipped and frayed, with portions of the continuous scene missing due to age.

The book of Amduat, literally "That which is in the Underworld", is a funerary text composed for royalty which first decorated tomb walls in the Valley of the Kings. The first complete version was found in KV34, the tomb of Thutmosis III. The 21st Dynasty is the only period in which the Amduat is found in non-royal papyri. The Book describes, hour by hour, the nocturnal journey that the Sun God, Amen-Re, makes by boat through the Underworld. It is filled with deities which appear in no other treatise, for example, fire-spitting snakes who act as protectors of the Sun god.

This fragment includes an offering scene to the god Re-Harakhty, at the twelfth and last hour of the night, when the Sun God prepares to emerge once again into the eastern horizon at the start of a new dawn. It was believed that the deceased undertook the same journey, ultimately to become one with Re and live forever.

For a similar scene of Re-Harakhty-Atum and an offering bearer see the First Denon Papyrus, from The Book of the Dead of Oscorkon, National Library of Russia.


Third Intermediate Period

Egyptian Painted Papyrus Fragment

Third Intermediate Period

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