viernes, 20 de febrero de 2015

'Book of the Dead', Papyrus of Ani (sheet 35): Spell 110 (vignette); spell 148

Museum number



Detail: Other
'Book of the Dead', Papyrus of Ani (sheet 35): Spell 110 (vignette); spell 148. Life in the Afterworld: Ani has passed judgment and entered paradise. The large scene on the left is the vignette for Spell 110. Ani is shown doing things he is unlikely to have done on earth, not only greeting various gods of the Underworld, but also paddling his own boat in the top register, which is labeled, at the far right, "Field of Offerings." In the second register, he harvests flax and drives oxen over a threshing floor, and he is plowing with oxen in the third, which is labeled over the cattle's backs as the "Field of Reeds." Other captions in the scene make it clear that this is a blessed land, a land of abundance. The labors of Ani, who is here referred to only as Osiris, will ensure provisions for himself and these celestial spirits. Ani will join them soon - already his boat has the same shape as the one in which the sun god travels the sky. The fields are shown as surrounded by water. There are two small islands and an inlet or harbour for one of the boats. It is questionable, however, whether the four large registers should be interpreted as separate islands, since their numbers vary in different compositions. The fields are drawn as a combination of a plan and elevations. The plan takes the form of a highly schematic, and of course imaginary, map. To the right is part of Spell 148 and its vignette. This scene is composed within an architectural framework, as if it is taking place in a temple or shrine. The unrealistically narrow doors, one of which is visible on the left, are open. Inside, Ani prays to the sun god Ra, here shown as a mummiform falcon-headed figure. The cows represented are shown wrapped in red shrouds, each wearing a necklace and a sun disk between her horns. The bull has no signs of divinity. The animals are not named here, though we know their names from other sources. On the other side of this vignette, the four steering oars are depicted, with their names.

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