Sunday, February 12, 2012

Texts in Translation #1: The Heart Scarab of Na-her-hu

Egypt at the Manchester Museum (Campbell Price)

Campbell Price continues to do an excellent job of making Egyptian objects more accessible to the general public on the Manchester Museum blog.

With a photograph of the inscription on the scarab.

Visitors sometimes comment that they would like to have access to translations of the hieroglyphic texts that appear on some of our Egyptian and Sudanese objects. We aim to provide these as a digital resource to complement the new Ancient Worlds galleries, and I will post them here as time – and work – allows. On a recent visit to the Museum, a group called Forever Young expressed a particular liking for this text, so it seemed a good place to start.

This spell is of a type usually carved on the underside of amulets known as Heart Scarabs. This example dates to the later New Kingdom (c. 1320-1069 BC), and belonged to a scribe named Na-her-hu. This is a shortened version of Spell (or ‘Chapter’) 30B of the Book of the Dead: slightly different versions are sometimes included in papyrus copies of the Book.

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