Daily Flickr Finds: johnmartine63’s Scene from The Egyptian “Book of the Dead”

The “Book of the Dead” isn’t as daunting as some horror cinema flick may make it sound to be. In fact, it was a series of spells, pleas and stories which were written and compiled as a guide for the deceased to navigate across the underworld to reach paradise.

johnmartine63‘s image shows a scene depicted by figures in the Chicago Field Museum’s exhibition, showing a crucial chapter of the Book of the Dead – Judgement. In the scene, the heart of the deceased is weighed against the Feather of Truth (an ostrich plume, representing the proper order of the universe known as ma’at), as they plead their case of having lived a life aligned with the ethical values held in Ancient Egypt.

Should the God Thoth and the accompanying 42 Judges decide that the heart is lighter than the feather (hence pure), the deceased joins Osiris on a path to eternal paradise. Should the heart be heavier than the feather, then it is eaten by the demon Ammit with the deceased dying forever. And whichever way you cut it, that’s not really a good scenario..! Be sure to have a look around johnmartine63’s Flickr stream, and if you want to know more about the Book of the Dead?Learn about the latest research and new perspectives on the ‘BD’ in Sean’s article.