Inventory number


  • Document
  • Writing Recto

General description

Anonymous Amduat papyrus

Turin papyrus Cat. 1776 presents the most complete version of the Amduat within Museo Egizio's papyri collection. The manuscript presents the last four hours (9th-12th Hours) of the Langfassung (or Long version) and there are 97 text columns reporting the Kurzfassung (or Short version) which synthesise the Sun-god’s journey from the First to the Seventh Hours of the night (the Eighth Hour is missing).

The treatise’s structure consists of three horizontal registers. From left to right it describes the netherworld reality through a multimodal composition of visual and linguistic signs.

The Ninth Hour is introduced on the manuscript’s left-hand side and presents the following scenes: The Divine Court, The Twelve Deities Following Osiris, The Twelve Rowers of the Boat, The Divine Simulacra Making Sacrifices, The Twelve Urei and The Nine Deities of the Fields with Horus.

The Tenth Hour presents some significant concepts. In the top register, we see the healing of the Sun-god’s eyes and, in the bottom register, Horus's intervention in preserving the drowned corpses of the deceased who share the same destiny as Osiris (cfr. the death of Osiris in the Nile). This hour presents the following scenes: The God and the Beetle, The Eyes of the Sun, The Mighty, The Punishment, The Solar Boat, The bA of Sokar, The bA of Osiris, The Armed Ones, The Drowned and The Goddesses and Seth’s Crook.

The Eleventh Hour displays a predominantly apotropaic characteristic, particularly in the bottom register, whereas the top register refers to the dual concept of time, both flowing and static. This hour presents the following scenes: The Two-Headed Deity, Atum and the Winged Serpent, The Snake of Time, The Twelve Gods, The Goddesses on Snakes, The Solar Boat, The Bearers of Mehen, Isis and Nephthys depicted as Urei, The Shapes of Neith, The Punishment of the Damned and The Goddesses of the Desert.

The Twelfth Hour describes the end of the Sun-god Re’s nocturnal journey through the Netherworld. Here, the Sun's rejuvenation process takes place inside the life-regenerating serpent anx-nTr.w (Life of the gods), as we see a beetle on the manuscript’s far right-hand side, Khepri, representing the Sun-god’s rebirthed form. Hence, Re’s renewed form exits the Netherworld travelling through the air-god Shu's outstretched arms to be reborn as the sun disk at dawn. In the top and bottom registers, many deities witness the end of the Sun-god’s journey, praising the Great God and protecting him from the danger of his nemesis, the serpent Apophis. This hour presents the following scenes: The Twelve Goddesses with Snakes, The Twelve Worshipers, The Solar Boat, The Twelve Gods of Tow, The Snake of Rejuvenation, The Thirteen Goddesses of Tow, Khepri and Shu, The Primordial Deities, The Row of Rowers, The Ten Worshipers and The Mummy of Osiris.


Third Intermediate Period (1076-664 BC)


Dynasty 21 (1076-944 BC)


Amenemope (Usermaatre Setepenamun)


Thebes (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

Joining object(s) (log into TPOP)



  • Text 1


  • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs


Enrico Pozzi (EP)


Shenali Boange (SB)


cursive hieroglyphs

Text type



Eleventh Hour, Fifth Hour, First Hour, Fourth Hour, Ninth Hour, Second Hour, Seventh Hour, Sixth Hour, Tenth Hour, Third Hour, Twelfth Hour

Place name

Mouth of the cavern which examines the corpses (rA-n-qrr.t-ip.t-XA.wt), With deep water and high banks (mDw.t-qA.t-wDb.w), Igeret (igr.t), With emerging darkness and appearing births (xpr(.t)-kkw-xai.t-msw.wt), Mysterious cavern (TpH.t-StA.t), With living forms (anx.t-xprw.w), Wernes (wrns), Hidden Chamber (a.t-imn.t), Water of the Unique Master, which brings forth offerings (n.t-nb-wa-xpr.t-Aw.t), Unified Darkness (kkw-smAw), Temple of Atum (Hw.t-itm), West/Underworld (imn.t), Nun (nww), Imehet (imH.t), Sais (zAw), Horn of the West (wp.t-n.t-imnt.t), Water of Osiris (n.t-wsir), Rosetau (r'-sTA.w), Water of Re (n.t-ra), Land of Sokar (tA-skr), Netherworld (dwA.t)


Third Intermediate Period (1076-664 BC)


Dynasty 21 (1076-944 BC)


Amenemope (Usermaatre Setepenamun)



Drawing description

The manuscript’s visual representation describes the Sun-god Re's nocturnal journey through the last four hours (9th-12th Hours) of the night. The treatise's visual model perfectly resembles the prototype established that decorates the 18th Dynasty royal burial chambers in the Valley of the Kings. The only exceptions are a few missing deities in the Ninth (deities: 621-624, 641, 645-654, 671-675 and 689), Eleventh (deity 770) and Twelfth hours (deity 878). The treatise's structure consists of three horizontal registers presenting Re, in his nocturnal shape as a ram-headed deity, travelling on the solar barque through the netherworld regions. In the Ninth Hour, the top register presents eight seated deities representing the Netherworld’s Divine Court who are alongside eleven of Osiris' courtiers. In the middle register, twelve rowers replace the usual representation of the solar barque, following three divine figures (in the shape of a bA-bird, a ram and a bull) making offerings to the Great God. From left to right, the bottom register presents two distinct episodes: the first is an apotropaic scene regarding seven fire-spitting urei and the second represents Horus, alongside eight deities who are protectors of the god's garden. In the Tenth Hour, the top register's first vignette shows the deity pan-irw (Who acts clever) with a beetle, bearing the oval-shaped representation of the Netherworld itself (i.e.: the Duat), while the following episodes present the healing process of the Sun-god’s eyes. The left eye, mann.wy (The double-coiled), emerges from two snakes that are between two deities - one bearing the red crown and the other bearing the white crown (symbols of Upper and Lower Egypt), whereas the right eye, sdfy.t (The wrapped (staff?)), comes out from the top of the hieroglyphic sign for “god”. In the next scene, eight deities, representing the goddess Sekhmet's unpredictable nature (both destructive and healing), head to the mummy-shaped canine-headed god iwf-fAi-ir.t=f (Flesh who carries his eye) to examine, heal and protect the Sun-god’s eye he bears in his hands. The top register’s last scene presents eight deities in charge of stripping the corpses and tearing the bandages off of Re’s enemies. The middle register displays the solar barque and its crew, the double-headed serpent Ts-Hr.w (Uniting faces) carrying the falcon-shaped bA of Sokar xnty-p.t (Foremost of the sky), as well as a second vessel transporting the serpent anx-tA (The living one of the earth) as the bA of Osiris. This register’s last episode shows twelve armed deities with arrows, bows and spears, protecting the Sun-god’s path from the danger of the serpent nHA-Hr (Horrible of face). In the bottom register we see the Netherworld’s more merciful nature in which Horus’ hypostasis uses magic spells to assist several drowned corpses. This scene shows how the divine intervention of Horus can intercede for those who do not have the required funeral ritual arrangements as they have died an unfortunate or violent death, or their bodies are missing or have drowned (like Osiris). The last scene depicts four goddesses and Seth’s crook of whose task it is to brighten the path of those inhabiting the Netherworld. In the Eleventh Hour, the top register's first vignettes show the two-headed deity apr.w-Hr nb-D.t (He with equipped face, Lord of time) and Atum emerging from a winged serpent. The third scene displays the snake of time Sd-wnw.t (He who takes away the hours), with the deity D.t (Time) above its coils: the former represents the flowing concept of time (nHH) and the latter its static aspect (D.t). In the following scenes, twelve gods guard and protect the Sun-god’s mysteries, and four goddesses, riding double snakes, bring Re’s bidding in the sky to fruition. In the middle register, twelve deities tow the solar barque and carry the serpent Mehen over their shoulders; two crowned serpents resembling Isis and Nephthys, and four deities bearing Neith’s shapes, accompany the Sun-god’s path through this region. The bottom register presents one of the Netherworld’s apotropaic features where Horus’ hypostasis orders the destruction and annihilation of the hostile forces that interfere with establishing the natural order (Cfr. the Maat principle). In the first scene, the serpent st-HH.w (He who burns millions), one lion-headed goddess and four anthropomorphic fire-spitting and knife-wielding goddesses slaughter Re’s enemies over their fire-pits, while in the second scene, five anthropomorphic deities punish Osiris’ enemies in the western desert. In the Twelfth Hour, the top register presents twelve goddesses with fire-spitting snakes on their shoulders, punishing Re’s nemesis Apophis and brightening the Netherworld’s darkness, while twelve worshipers, characterised by the typical adoration gesture with raised hands, praise the Great God. In the middle register, to complete Re's rejuvenation process, twelve gods and twelve goddesses tow the solar barque through the entire body of the life-regenerating serpent anx-nTr.w (Life of the gods). On the register’s far right-hand side, we see the accomplishment of this deed: a beetle known as Khepri, the Sun-god in his renewed form, exits the Netherworld by travelling through the outstretched arms of the air-god Shu to be reborn as the sun disk at dawn. The bottom register presents two couples of primaeval deities with wAs sceptres, and eight rowers of the solar barque alongside the serpent nsr-m-ir.t=f (He who burns with his eye). In the final scenes, ten worshippers adore and praise sSm-iwf (Image of the flesh), the corpse of Osiris, who is restricted into the boundaries of the Netherworld.

Bibliographical reference

Hornung E., Das Amduat: die Schrift des verborgenen Raumes, Teil I–III (ÄA 7 und 13), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1963-1967 (OEB10071-12422).

Hornung E., Texte Zum Amduat, Teil I-III: Kurzfassung und Langfassung, 1. bis 12. Stunde, Autographiert von Lotty Spycher und Barbara Lüscher (AH 13–15), Genève: Éditions de Belles-Lettres 1987–1994 (OEB 28504, 35567, 36111).

Niwinski A., Studies on the Illustrated Theban Funerary Papyri of the 11th and 10th Centuries B.C. (OBO 86), Fribourg / Göttingen: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck Ruprecht 1989 (OEB 32792).

Sadek, A-A F., Contribution à l’étude de l’Amdouat: Les variantes tardives du Livre de l’Amdouat dans les papyrus du Musée du Caire (OBO 65), Freiburg / Göttingen: Universitätsverlag / Vandenhoeck Ruprecht 1985 (OEB 29751).

Museo Egizio