Inventory number


  • Document
  • Writing Recto

General description

Anonymous Amduat papyrus

Turin papyrus Cat. 1786 presents scenes from the Amduat's Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Hours.

This composition perfectly represents the 21st Dynasty funerary beliefs and the deceased’s desire to be reborn in the Solar-Osirian unity.

The treatise’s structure consists of three horizontal registers describing the Netherworld in its Twelfth Hour; on the manuscripts’ left-hand side, the scribe also included a Book of the Dead vignette alongside the Tenth and Eleventh Hour’s main episodes. These episodes are the first scenes in the top and bottom registers: respectively Book of the Dead chapter 148, The Goddesses on Snakes (Eleventh Hour), Atum and the Winged Serpent (Eleventh Hour), The Drowned (Tenth Hour) and The Punishment of the Damned (Eleventh Hour). Their function is to recollect the last phases of the Sun-god Re’s journey by applying the pars pro toto’s rule (a part of something taken as a representative of the whole). 

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 on the manuscript’s far right-hand side a beetle, Khepri, who represents the Sun-god’s rebirthed form. Hence, Re's renewed form exits the Netherworld travelling through the (here missing) 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 Worshipers, The Solar Boat, The Twelve Gods of Tow, The Snake of Rejuvenation, The Thirteen Goddesses of Tow, Khepri and Shu, The Twelve Goddesses with Snakes, The Ten Worshipers and The Mummy of Osiris.

This manuscript is also known as the "Patchwork Papyrus": gaps are filled with patches of residue fragments from other papyri dating to the New Kingdom (for the verso texts see sub-numbers to Cat.1786/001 - 003).


Third Intermediate Period (1076-664 BC)


Dynasty 21 (1076-944 BC)


Siamun/Psusennes II


Thebes (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

Joining object(s) (log into TPOP)



  • Text 1


Enrico Pozzi (EP)


Shenali Boange (SB)


cursive hieroglyphs

Text type



Eleventh Hour, Tenth Hour, Twelfth Hour


Third Intermediate Period (1076-664 BC)


Dynasty 21 (1076-944 BC)


Siamun/Psusennes II



Drawing description

The manuscript’s visual representation describes the Sun-god Re’s nocturnal journey through the last three hours of the night. The treatise’s visual model does not resemble the prototype established that decorates the 18th Dynasty royal burial chambers in the Valley of the Kings. The scribe arranges the scenes without following the treatise’s standard protocol and presents the episodes according to his discretion. In addition, he replaces the cosmographical text with horror-vacui (fear of empty spaces: the filling of the entire surface of a space with details) generic captions of the deities. Therefore, several deities are missing from these scenes (deities 773-774, 804-805 and 810-816 in the Eleventh Hour and deities 825-833, 845-846, 852-853, 856, 865-868, 877-882, 884, 889-891, 893, 897 and 905-907 in the Twelfth Hour). The treatise’s structure consists of three horizontal registers presenting Re, in his nocturnal shape as a ram-headed deity, travelling on the solar boat through the last three netherworld regions. In the top register from left to the right, the first scene presents three rams, most likely from the Book of the Dead chapter 148, around a double ibis-headed god. The following scenes show two goddesses riding snakes and bringing Re’s bidding in the sky to fruition, and Atum emerging from a winged serpent. In the last scene, ten worshipers, characterised by the typical adoration gesture with raised hands, praise the Great God. In the middle register, from left to the right, in order to complete Re’s rejuvenation process, eight gods and seven 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 (here missing) outstretched arms of the air-god Shu to be reborn as the sun disk at dawn. In the bottom register, from left to the right, the first scene presents the Netherworld’s merciful feature in which Horus’ hypostasis uses magic spells to assist three 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 following two scenes present the Netherworld’s apotropaic features where (the here missing) Horus’ hypostasis orders the destruction and annihilation of the hostile forces that interfere with establishing the natural order (Cfr. the Maat principle). Three goddesses with fire-spitting snakes on their shoulders punish Re’s nemesis Apophis and brighten the Netherworld’s darkness, while two knife-wielding lion-headed goddesses slaughter Re’s enemies over their fire-pits. The following episodes present three rowers of the solar barque, and seven worshippers adoring and praising 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).

Quirke S., Going out in Daylight. prt m hrw. The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: translation, sources, meanings (GHP Egyptology 20), London: Golden House Publications 2013 (OEB197753).

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