The Book of the Dead of Nes-Min, Section 13, between 4th and 3rd century BCE

  • Egyptian

Ink on papyrus

  • 22 5/8 × 28 5/8 × 1 3/8 inches (57.5 × 72.7 × 3.5 cm) Image (approx. average of leaf): 13 3/4 × 21 5/8 inches (34.9 × 54.9 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Shelden III Fund, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund, and Hill Memorial Fund

1988.10.13

Department

Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas

This page is only a small part of a complete manuscript of The Book of the Dead made for a man named Nes-min. The Book of the Dead was a collection of prayers and spells believed to provide aid for the spirit of the deceased in the next life. In this vignette Nes-min is led into the presence of Osiris and the gods who judge the dead by Ma’at, goddess of truth. His judgment is represented by the weighing of his heart against an ostrich feather, symbolizing truth and right-doing. If he did not pass this individual judgment, his heart would be fed to the “devourer,” the monster crouching in readiness before Osiris.

Inscribed: This leaf contains the text of: BD 125 continued from Leaf 12. BD 91 For Not Restraining His Soul in the Land of the Dead. BD 126: Prayer for the Baboons of the Sun.

1988-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Eggebrecht, Arne. Das Alte Ägypten. München, 1984, p. 357. Schildkraut, Linda. Masterpieces: Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Ancient Near Eastern. New York, 1984, p. 15. "Selected recent acquisitions." Bulletin of the DIA 64, no. 4 (1989): 55 (ill.). Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 105 (ill.). Meeks, Dimitri and Christine Favard-Meeks. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Ithaca, NY, 1996, fig.16. "DIA Art Game: Art Speaks." The Detroit Free Press, April 26, 1998, 28.

Egyptian, The Book of the Dead of Nes-Min, Section 13, between 4th and 3rd century BCE, ink on papyrus. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Shelden III Fund, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund, and Hill Memorial Fund, 1988.10.13.