Feature Object: Heart Scarab inscribed with Spell 30B, New Kingdom

Feature Object: Heart Scarab inscribed with Spell 30B, New Kingdom
Most people following this Collection will probably know about the 'Weighing of the Heart' scene portrayed in chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead (Book of Going Forth By Day) where the heart of the deceased is weighed against the feather of Ma'at (or Truth) on scales before Osiris prior to being judged worthy of entering the Afterlife.
Being pragmatic and careful people, the ancient Egyptians attempted to ensure that their hearts did not bear any kind of false witness against them by inscribing shortened versions of spell 30B onto a 'heart scarab' (see below).
A scarab held in the Manchester Museum belonging to a scribe called Naherhu (Acc.No. 5998) says:
“O my heart, which I had from my mother, the centre of my being. Do not stand against me as a witness, do not oppose me in the judgement hall, in the presence of the keeper of the balance. You are my ka (spirit) in my body, the creator [who makes my limbs prosper]”[1]
The less common spell 30A is along similar lines:
"Formula for not allowing the heart of N[2] to be removed from him
My heart of my mother, my heart of my mother, my heart of my earthly being
Do not stand against me as witness beside the lords of the ritual
Do not say against me, he did do it, about my actions
Do not make a case against me beside the great god
Hail my heart, Hail my heart
Hail my entrails, Hail those gods
At the fore, tressed, resting upon their sceptres
Tell my goodness to Ra, hand me to Nehebkau[3]
See him, uniting the earth at the great one within
May I endure on earth, not die in the west, and be a blessed spirit there"[4]
Heart scarabs first appeared in the archaeological record in the 13th Dynasty and continued to be used until the Late Period. The ancient Egyptians regarded the heart as the seat of the intellect and for this reason it was not removed from the body during mummification, while the brain was generally removed. These heart scarabs were placed over the heart to magically protect it, and ensure that the heart didn't do or say anything to prejudice their chances of it's owner gaining entry to the Field of Reeds (or the Kingdom of Osiris).
[1] https://egyptmanchester.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/texts-in-translation-1-the-heart-scarab-of-na-her-hu-acc-no-5998/
[2] 'N' is used to denote the name of the deceased in the text. Where it appears we expect to see the name of the owner of the text.
[3] The serpent that guards the Duat or Underworld, and is a personification of the magical binding of different aspects of a person's soul in the Afterlife. (Specifically the ba and ka).
[4] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt//literature/religious/bd30a.html


  1. It's absolutely Breathe Taking and the meaning behind all of it is beautiful !!


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