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Funerary Papyrus of Tayu-henut-Mut

Horizontal five-panel document featuring written characters in black on the left four pages and an illustration of the fifth. A seated figure at left in profile, wearing a tall headdress and white clothing, looks toward a dark-haired female figure at right in white with a white object on her head. She holds up her hands in gesture. A panel of hieroglyphs in white squares is visible behind them.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Horizontal five-panel document featuring written characters in black on the left four pages and an illustration of the fifth. A seated figure at left in profile, wearing a tall headdress and white clothing, looks toward a dark-haired female figure at right in white with a white object on her head. She holds up her hands in gesture. A panel of hieroglyphs in white squares is visible behind them.

Date:

Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21 (about 1069-945 BCE)

Artist:

Egyptian

About this artwork

Potent symbols, sacred words, and divine protection helped ancient Egyptians transition from the earthly realm to an eternal existence. Interactions between mortals and the gods were depicted on funerary objects including papyri, like this example made for temple singer Tayu-henut-Mut (“the mistress of [the goddess] Mut”).

This papyrus shows Tayu-henut-Mut standing with raised hands before an offering table, praising the enthroned god Osiris, ruler of the afterlife. Behind Osiris a scribe has carefully copied spells from the Book of Going Forth by Day. First appearing during the New Kingdom (about 1550 BCE), this religious text is better known today as the Book of the Dead, because scrolls were buried with their owners. Tayu-henut-Mut’s copy includes five spells selected from nearly 200 known options to aid in her journey to eternity, including one for “causing a man to remember his name.” Egyptians believed that one would cease to exist in the afterlife if their name was forgotten or no longer spoken among the living.

Status

On View, Gallery 50

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Ancient Egyptian

Title

Funerary Papyrus of Tayu-henut-Mut

Place

Egypt (Object made in)

Date

1069 BCE–945 BCE

Medium

Papyrus and pigment

Inscriptions

“Words spoken by Osiris foremost of the West, lord of Abydos, Wenenefer, lord of eternity… that he might give offerings and provisions to the Osiris, the mistress of the house and songstress of Amun-Re, king of the gods, Tayu-henut-Mut, true of voice, daughter of the scribe of the treasury Nes-pa-her-en-(ta-)hat, true of voice.”

Dimensions

24.5 × 101 cm (9 11/16 × 39 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, Robert H. Fleming, and Norman W. Harris

Reference Number

1894.180

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/805/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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