Ancient Egyptians Judgment of the dead – Ancient Egyptian Legends and Myths

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To the ancient Egyptians, the judgment of the dead was the process that allowed the Egyptian gods to judge the worthiness of the souls of the deceased. Deeply rooted in the Egyptian belief in immortality, judgment was one of the most important parts of the journey through the afterlife. As such, many variations of judgment scenes appear in the Egyptian afterlife texts. Each soul that entered the afterlife was handled individually during judgment. Once the deceased finished their journey through the underworld, they arrived at the Hall of Maat. Here their purity would be the determining factor in whether they would be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Osiris.

The deceased’s first task was to correctly address each of the forty-two Assessors of Maat by name while reciting the sins they did not commit during their lifetime. This process allowed the dead to demonstrate that they knew each of the judges’ names or Ren and established that they were pure and free of sin. After confirming that they were sinless, the deceased was presented with the balance that was used to weigh their heart against the feather of Maat. Anubis was the god often seen administering this test. If the deceased’s heart balanced with the feather of Maat, Thoth would record the result and they would be presented to Osiris, who admitted them into the Sekhet-Aaru. However, if their heart was heavier than the feather, it was to be devoured by the Goddess Ammit, permanently destroying the soul of the deceased.

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