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Bob the Buildrr

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The art of Ancient Egypt was a time of gods and the afterlife the best displaying this is the “Last Judgement of Hu-Nefer” from the Nineteenth Dynasty around 1310 B.C. and is currently at the British Museum in London, United Kingdom. Hu-Nefer lived with his wife Nasha, and he was a “Royal Scribe” as well as a “Scribe of Divine Offerings”. (Khan Academy)He was a prominent administrative officer we know this from the titles. The papyrus scroll is what visualized the New Kingdom about what happened after they passed on into the next life. These scrolls are called “Books of the Dead” and were commissioned by the dead’s family. Also, the “Book of the Dead” was drawn in composite view.  The books were believed to have contained spells and other similar things. Hu-Nefer’s high status was shown through his “Book of the Dead” due to its quality and was specially made for him. (Cothren)It is known that the Egyptians believed in an afterlife, and that is what the book shows. This is what exactly is being displayed by Hu-Nefer’s book. The beliefs of the New Kingdom Egyptians were shown throughout the scroll. Ancient Egyptians were polytheistic people, and the Underworld was full of many gods and goddesses.  The art that is shown today was never supposed to be seen after the tombs were sealed. (Khan2)Instead they were meant to benefit the divine or the deceased themselves. This is what purpose the spells and incantations found on the scroll was for. The scene shown by Hu-Nefer’s book is read from the left to the right. It has various gods of the dead, beginning with Anubis.  Starting from the left, it shows Anubis bringing Hu-Nefer to the judgement area. It also shows how Anubis overseeing the judgment scales. The scales are what decide what happens to the dead soul. The dead’s heart was placed on the scale along with a feather on the opposite side. The heart was judged on the emotions, intellect and character of the dead person’s life. The pot symbolizes the heart and the feather is the symbol of Maat, the order of what is “right”. (Cothren) (Khan Academy) If the heart was unbalanced with the ostrich feather, it would be devoured by the ferocious “devourer” and then sentenced to nonexistence. The “devourer” (also known as Ammit) is depicted as a part hippopotamus, lion, and crocodile. (Cothren)He is shown waiting to see if the verdict of the judgement would lead to his next meal. It is shown that the scroll is devoted to ensuring esteeming existence was continued throughout the Afterlife. Hu-Nefer is next being shown to be brought to the presence of Osiris by his son Horus, since after judgement he was found being justified. Osiris is the Lord of the Underworld and Judge of the dead, and Horus depicted as the king deity of Egypt and has a falcon head. (Cothren)The scroll shows Osiris sitting under a canopy with his sister-wife Isis and his sister Nephthys. Along the top of the “Book of the Dead” it is seen that Hu-Nefer is adoring the rows of the deities that supervise the judgment. In conclusion, the “Last Judgement of Hu-Nefer” is a perfect example of the Ancient Egyptians beliefs on what happened after they died. With this the modern world can see how the old world viewed death as a continuation of the soul itself.



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