Is Your Heart as Light as a Feather?

In order to get to the afterlife, the Egyptians had to pass a very unusual test

By American Research Center In Egypt

Menna awaiting Osiris' judgment (2009-04) by Katy DoyleAmerican Research Center In Egypt

Menna's Final Test

This is Menna and he's on his way to the afterlife.  

After his body is mummified and all the things he needs for the afterlife are brought to his tomb, he has one more thing to do...  

He must receive the final judgment from Osiris, the Egyptian lord of the underworld and judge of the dead.

To determine his worthiness, Menna's heart is weighed again a feather, represented by Maat, the goddess of truth.

The god Horus watches the scale. If it does not stay level, Menna’s heart and his chance for an afterlife will be lost - forever.

The hieroglyphic text above the scene addresses the heart on the scale: It cannot testify against Menna now!

Thoth, the god of the moon, wisdom, learning and writing, records the sentence. 

He passes the test! Now Menna can step through the gloomy threshold of death into the glorious afterlife. Menna recorded the story of his journey in his tomb (TT69) in the Theban necropolis, which was one of the first private tombs to depict the Weighing of the Heart scene.

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Credits: Story

The conservation and documentation of the tomb of Menna was sponsored by American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Egyptian Antiquities Conservation Project with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Georgia State University in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. 

 Created by Elisabeth Koch and Tessa Litecky
Visit ARCE at www.arce.org 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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