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The Amduat
The Amduat

The Amduat

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  • Pages: 4 (1811 words)
  • Published: October 10, 2018
  • Type: Case Study
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The Amduat, also called the ‘The Book of the Secret Chamber’ was a knowledge oriented book and an important book in the history of ancient Egyptian funery text, that was found written on the inside of the tomb of Pharaoh mainly for references purposes. The book was reserved for pharaohs only until the 21st dynasty. This paper will research on the Amduat; its development, evolution and importance in the art history of Egypt.

The Amduat

The Amduat dates back to the time of the first appearing in the tomb of Tuthmosis I, which is called the New Kingdom in some tombs in the Valley of the Kings. The Amduat was initially intended for royal tombs but it also included such tombs like the vizier from the time of Tuthmosis III. The Duat is interpreted as the inner world that exists parallel with the earth where we have the living and the skies where there are deities. The book Amduat contains what is in the Duat and divides Re’s journey into 12 hours from duck (Mojsov, 2001/2002). The book is remarkable with unseen fusion of both visual and textual meanings that underlines the accessibility of the Duat by those who are living on earth. The texts speak of the regeneration of the Osiris and royal illumination otherwise known as the Re.

According to Schweizer and Lorton, the Amduat was written around the year 1500 BC, creating a big impact in Egypt (p.vii). Although the author of the Amduat work is still not known, the Egyptian art and literature are anonym

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ous. The book is represented in a multimedia presentation where there is both the use of illustrations and texts in describing the “hidden chamber.” At the end of the Valley of Kings, there is the Tuthmosis III tomb, within which the tomb is the copy of Amduat decorating its walls. The walls of the tomb are crudely chiseled with the first room having a fine layout that distracts attention. A shaft around 20 feet interrupts the path but a small bridge enables one to continue. In Egypt, archeological symbols always have a meaning and the shaft is interpreted to mean a transition from the netherworlds where life originates (p.16). The other room is a rectangular chamber with two pillars with a blue ceiling containing several stars. The next room is oval, decorated in red. People traveling in their have to read illustrations in the burial chamber as doing so is like accompanying the sungod Re and his barque crew on the eventful but dangerous 12 hour journey.

In the book, the story depicts the sun god entering ‘the Swallow of All’ and crosses over into the twilight world (Mosjov). The Amduat was used to sketch the nocturnal journey of the god of the sun through the earth. It began from the west and ended in the east. The scenes were divided into three phases; the middle register and two other registers on the bank of the river. The middle register was to depict the river flowing through the earth’s center whose solar bark and crew sail on the river. This rive

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is in many ways compared to the river Nile that passes through Egypt. Many deities do surround the sungod some escorting him in the barque while others live on the banks of the stream (p.19). On Re’s appearance, they come to life at the riverbanks expressing joy at the great god when he passes but fall back into sleep (death) when he sails out of site. The remaining other two registers are the shores of the river whre the world’s inhabitants live. The god descends from through the western portal into the death realm accompanied by deities and the blessed dead to participate in his regeneration mystery.

The Hours

The book has several hundreds of figures with captions and longer texts that explain what is happening. It is divided into twelve hours. The hours are separated by texts that introduce them. Another book called the Book of Gates (this is another book of the underworld) divides the hours from each other depictions of gates; the hours and the events they represent have slight relations from what they represent. Each hour has a heading that describes the events that occur in that hour with notations that concern its orientation.

The hour’s countdown starts with the book describing entry of the sun god. The first six hours represent the differentiation awareness (represented by the soul of Re) and starts at noon. In hour 1, the sun is shown entering the western horizon called the akhet. This is a transition between day and night. In the succeeding two hours (hour 2 and 3), it is shown passing through an abundant watery called ‘waters of Osiris’ and the ‘Wernes’. In hour 4, he reaches at Solkar that is a difficult sandy realm underworld hawk deity. Here he encounters zig zag paths being dragged by snake boat that he negotiates. In hour 5, he discovers where the tomb of Osiris is hidden in a lake fire. A pyramid like mound, which is identified as the goddess Isis, covers the tomb of Osiris and on top of the goddess; Nephthys alights in form of two kites that are interpreted to be birds of prey.

The sixth hour is the most important event in the world. The sixth hour, which is the deepest point is the central moment and represents the unification of the sun god with the body of Osiris. This is comparable with the unification between ‘ba’, which is interpreted as the soul and the body. The Amduat represents the sun god. It depicts the sun god with the head of a ram, which is the symbol of ‘ba’. This is the event that the sun begins regenerating and a moment of great significance. This is because it is at this hour that a conjunction happens between the solar awareness and the divine substrate. This is the point where the Re and Osiris body ascends to the autogenic cause of consciousness. The soul is united with the body and we have a Re-Osiris returning to an energy-surplus to the universe.

In hour 7, the serpent Apep lies in wait to impede the way of

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