Inventory number


  • Document
  • Writing Recto

General description

Amduat papyrus of Nesuaset

Turin papyrus Cat. 1782 presents scenes from the Amduat 's Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Hours.

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

On the manuscript’s left-hand side, the scribe emphasises the progression of the Sun-god Re’s nocturnal journey through the Netherworld, while focusing on the transcendent aspect of Osiris’ hypostasis on the right-hand side.

From the manuscript’s left-hand side, the top register presents the following scenes: The Mighty or The Punishment (Tenth Hour), The Row of Rowers (Twelfth Hour), The Twelve Goddesses with Snakes (Twelfth Hour) and The Twelve Worshipers (Twelfth Hour).

From the manuscript’s left-hand side, the bottom register presents the following scenes: The Solar Boat (Eleventh Hour), The Bearers of Mehen (Eleventh Hour), The Shapes of Neith (Eleventh Hour), The Mighty or The Punishment (Tenth Hour), The bA of Osiris (Tenth Hour) and The Mummy of Osiris (Twelfth Hour).

The scribe also inserts Khepri and Shu’s scene (Twelfth Hour) amongst the two registers on the manuscript's right-hand side.

On the manuscript’s far left-hand side, the scribe identifies the deceased, Nesuaset, as “Lady of the house” and “Chantress of (Amun)”, and on the far right-hand side, the scribe completes the treatise with a five-column text.


Third Intermediate Period (1076-664 BC)


Dynasty 21 (1076-944 BC)


Siamun/Psusennes II



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, Tenth Hour, Twelfth Hour

Place name

Iaru (iArw)


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 Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth 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. Therefore, several deities are missing from these scenes (deities 701-703, 707-709, 712-717 in the Tenth Hour, deities 775, 778, 780, 783-784, 790-797 in the Eleventh Hour and deities 827-833, 842-845, 869-892 and 897 in the Twelfth Hour). The treatise's structure consists of two horizontal registers presenting Re, in his nocturnal shape as a ram-headed deity, travelling on the solar boat through the last three netherworld regions. From the manuscript’s left-hand side, the top register presents five deities with the wAs sceptre: two are anthropomorphic, one lion-headed, one serpent-headed and one crocodile-headed. They represent the goddess Sekhmet's unpredictable nature (both destructive and healing). These deities can also be in charge of stripping the corpses and tearing the bandages off of Re’s enemies. In this particular case, reconstructing this episode's meaning is quite challenging, mostly because of the scribes' inability to distinguish between the iconography of more than one episode (The Mighty and The Punishment, both from the Tenth Hour). Following the first scene, we encounter three rowers of the solar barque and five goddesses with fire-spitting snakes on their shoulders. These goddesses punish Re’s nemesis Apophis and brighten the Netherworld’s darkness. Finally there are eight worshipers characterised by the typical adoration gesture with raised hands, praising the Great God. From the manuscript’s left-hand side, the bottom register presents four deities towing the solar barque and carrying the serpent Mehen over their shoulders. An anonymous goddess and two deities bearing Neith’s forms accompany the Sun-god’s path through his journey. The following scene contains a predominantly apotropaic characteristic, presenting three deities with the wAs sceptre, as in the top register’s first scene. The first deity posses the x.t sign (the determinative for the word “fire”) as his head, the second is a serpent-headed deity, and the third is anthropomorphic. This register’s last two scenes gather two crucial elements: a vessel transporting the serpent anx-tA (The living one of the earth), the bA of Osiris, and his corpse, sSm-iwf (Image of the flesh) which is restricted into the boundaries of the Netherworld. The scribe states the end of the Sun-god’s journey through the Netherworld between the two registers on the manuscript's right-hand side. A beetle, that is 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.

Bibliographical reference

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

Naguib S.-A., Le clergé féminin d’Amon thébain à la 21e Dynastie (OLA 38), Leuven: Peeters 1990 (OEB 33024).

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).

Onstine S., The Role of the Chantress (Smay.t) in Ancient Egypt (BAR International Series 1401), Oxford: Archeopress 2005 (OEB 154482).

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