Funerary Papyrus Of Ani The Feather of Maat. Funerary Papryus of Ani dates probably from about 1306 B.C. and is the most richly illustrated of all known copies of the Book of the Dead. It is of great length, measuring no less than 76 feet. The Feather of Maat . Funerary Papryus of Ani was purchased for the British Museum in 1888 by Dr E. Wallis Budge, and is said to have been found at Thebes, 450 miles above Cairo.
This collection of funerary chapters began to appear in Egyptian tombs. It can be thought of as the deceased’s guidebook to a happy afterlife. The text was intended to be read by the deceased during their journey into the Underworld. Egyptian burial rites included the recitation of a number of spells intended to assist the dead in their life beyond the grave, to preserve them against the attacks of demons, and to secure them full enjoyment of the good things that the gods lived upon. These spells and others were ultimately inscribed about the tomb, with the idea that the dead himself would thus be enabled to recite the formula needed.
It enabled the deceased to overcome obstacles and not lose their way. It did this by teaching passwords, giving clues, and revealing routes that would allow the deceased to answer questions and navigate around hazards. It would grant the help and protection of the gods while proclaiming the deceased’s identity with the gods. The Papyrus of Ani is one of the finest and most complete examples of this type of Egyptian funerary text to survive. The Book of the Dead must not be confused with the funeral ritual, but in it, as throughout the funeral ceremonial, the deceased is called The Osiris, and is generally associated to the analogy of Osiris, and by incorporation with him, the dead were supposed to attain greatness.
The funeral ritual was intended as a re-enactment, for the benefit of the deceased, of what had been done to re-constitute and re-animate the body of the God-king Osiris, after he had suffered death and dismemberment at the hands of his wicked brother. According to the Osirian legend, Isis, wife and sister of Osiris, sought and found the scattered remains of her husband and restored his body to unity and life by means of her powerful magic with the help of her sister Nephthys, of her son Horus, and of other deities, including Anubis, the God of Embalment. “The great being reigned beneficently over the Egyptian dead, as he had in life reigned over the living. Thus to be identified with Osiris after death was the great hope of every Egyptian. Above twelve gods seated in order, as judges before a table of offerings. Below the of weighing of the conscience. The jackal headed Anubis trying to balance the heart of the deceased against the feather of Maat, symbolical of law.
If the person’s heart is heavier than the feather, and the scales tip, the vicious Amemit, seen lurking to the right, leaps upon the unfortunate voyager and devours him or her. If the person’s heart is as light or lighter than the feather, they proceed onward to the throne of Osiris where they receive eternal blessings. On the left Ani and his wife in an attitude of devotion. On the right the ibis headed Thoth, the Scribe of the gods and God of Wisdom, noting down the result of the trial, and behind him the monster Amemit, the Devourer. On the left of the balance, Shai (Destiny) with the two goddesses Renenit and Meschenit behind him. Above them the Soul of Ani, as a human headed hawk and the symbol of the cradle.
Note the use of red ink in the text to mark certain catchwords or rubrics. Note also that owing to a superstitious objection to red, names of gods, when occurring in the rubrics, are always written in black. As with other Egyptian paintings and sculptures, human were also viewed from a side profile. Notice that the some figures are lighter in complexion than others. This was evident in most depictions of women and men.
Men being more tanner or darker skin texture than women. “Afterlife-Coffins-Mummy Masks.” *http://crystallinks.com/egyptaferlife.html* (11 Nov 2001) The Feather of Maat. Funerary Papyrus of Ani. *http://cas.buffalo.edu/english/faculty/ christian/syllabi/375/hhjw1/hhjw1.html* (11 Nov2001) Feather of Maat. Funerary Papyrus of Ani History.