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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Daemons 'playing drums', mummy bandages and sky journeys

Very interested to read Rita Lucarelli's article yesterday. I'm certainly not an expert on the Book of the Dead, not indeed daemons, so advance apologies to Rita if I misinterpret her. Her paper can be seen by clicking here.

Basically, it is about mound 14 from the Book of the Dead Spell 149. This mound is one of several illustrated on copies of Book of the Dead Spell 149, and one through which the deceased had to travel in order to get to the afterworld. Rita compares demons from the Book of the Dead papyri with other daemons which appear to be very similar from elsewhere. She concludes that the daemons seem to be very similar to those describing the journey of the sun boat across the sky, a means by which the deceased shared in the sun god's daily rebirth and the annual Inundation of the Nile, another rebirth trope.

So, we haven't got a mound 14 on any of our Book of the Dead fragments, but we have got a fragment of mummy bandage showing Spell 149, and the first 5 mounds. That's it on the picture above. It shows 5 mounds, each with a daemon. The one second from the right looks like he is playing a drum! More about the fragment here.

I am wondering if  the other mounds in this Spell too, show any comparison with journeys across the sky? Certainly the Four Sons of Horus, which you can see on the far right of our papyrus, are associated with the Northern Sky, and rebirth. In Book of the Dead 17 the Four Sons of Horus are associated with the bull's leg in the sky (the ancient Egyptian constellation Msxtyw). The Northern Sky is, in its turn associated with the Inundation, the Imperishable ones, as well as the vigil of Osiris, all rejuvenating factors.

I understand Rita is writing up an article on the other daemons in Spell 149, when it's published expect another blog on this piece!

1 comment:

  1. How to reference The Inhabitants of the Fourteenth Hill of Spell 149 of the Book of the Dead?...