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Heart Scarab bearing a standard spell requesting the heart not to testify against its owner during the "weighing of the heart" ceremony

Unknown15th century BCE

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Resurrection in the afterlife was dependent on having lived a virtuous life. Everyone who died underwent a symbolic trial in which his heart, viewed as the seat of the personality (and not removed from the body during mummification) was weighed on a scale against the goddess Ma‘at, the symbol of truth and justice. The deceased recited a formula, denying all ethical and cultic sin, and if declared to have spoken the truth, he gained entry into the realm of Osiris king of the dead. The scarab's back is decorated with painted gold stripes. The base is inscribed with spell 30B of the Book of the Dead.

Credit: Harry Stern Collection, bequest of Kurt Stern, London

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  • Title: Heart Scarab bearing a standard spell requesting the heart not to testify against its owner during the "weighing of the heart" ceremony
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 15th century BCE
  • Location: Egypt
  • Type: Scarab
  • Rights: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Green phyliite, gold paint
  • Exhibition: The Scarab: A Reflection of Ancient Egypt
  • Dimensions: 6.6 x 5.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Curator: Ben-Tor, Daphna

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