Mar 17, 2006

Book of the Dead of Hori

Book of the Dead of Hori

c. 1069–945 BC


Overall: 23 cm (9 1/16 in.)

The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1921.1032



The Egyptian Book of the Dead--or as they called it, the Book of Going Forth By Day--was not a single, unified, and authoritative manuscript, but a handful of special spells selected from a pool of about 200 age-old magical formulae. This illustrated Book of the Dead inscribed for the priest Hori includes the so-called Book of Gates. There are sixteen gates through which Hori must pass, each guarded by a fierce, animal-headed, knife-brandishing monster. Among them are "The Mistress of Wrath," "The Fiery One," and the "Long-Horned Bull." To reach the afterlife, Hori must present the gate-keepers with a series of secret passwords provided for him in the papyrus. At the far right, we see Hori, who having completed his task, is now reborn.

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