Tour Egypt

Book of the Earth
by Taylor Ray Ellison

 

 

Introduction This funerary composition lacks an original ancient Egyptian title, and has actually been called by a number of names, depending on the scholar. Piankoff refers to it as La creation du disque solaire (The Creation of the Sun Disk).  Hartwig Altenmuller calls it Buch des Aker (Book of Aker), while Erik Hornung names it Buch von der Erde (Book of the Earth) and Barta refers to it as Erdbunch (Earth-Book).

 

 

 

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Tour Egypt     This was the last great composition concerning the netherworld.   Above all. in reality it is not known if these scenes and texts from a part of a single composition or an amalgamation from different works. those whose souls have not been blessed. it stresses the gods of the depths of the earth Geb and Tatenen . and the divisions of the book are confusing at the very least. where the sun disk is raised up from the depths of the earth by numerous pairs of arms.   However. are punished and destroyed in the Place of Annihilation. and where the enemies of Egypt.   Original Sources   2 / 10 . such as Aker .

They serve as a counterpart to the concluding representations of the Book of Caverns . and in the Tomb of Ramesses IV . We also find the solar barque atop Aker as a double sphinx as an individual scene from Merneptah on. Tausert ( tomb ) and Ramesses III ( tomb ). it concludes the representation in the decoration of his tomb.Tour Egypt       The first vestiges we have of the Book of the Earth appear in the tombs of ah b Mernept ( tom ). 3 / 10 . where two scenes that wold later be including in the complete composition are depicted on the left wall of their sarcophagus chambers.

TT197 of the 26th Dynasty at Thebes . Later. including one scene represented on the actual sarcophagus of Ramesses IV . only one register depicts the scenes from parts D and C.Tour Egypt   In the tomb of Ramesses VI . We also see. The section of the Book of the Earth that Painkoff called the Book of Aker occurs on Papyri of the 21st Dynasty . Finally. individual scenes also occur on several sarcophagi of the Late Period . all the decorated walls of the sarcophagus chamber have scenes from the Book of the Earth. and Lepsius 23 at Saqqara . All of the examples of this book appear within the sarcophagus chambers of the royal tombs. Ramesses IX uses two scenes from part A in his tomb .   We also find individual scenes from the Book of the Earth in the cenotaph of Seti I at Abydo s . as well as in the tomb of Osorkon II at Tanis . the tombs of Petamenophis and Padineith. the depiction of Nut from part D  in the tomb of Aba (TT36) and the scene of the birth of the stars on a cartonnage 4 / 10 . together with variations on the resurrection scene in A2. though in the tomb of Ramesses VII . from the Late Period.

576-578). vol. just as in the Book of Caverns . Bruno H. 1889).   Research   Jean-Francois Champollion published the scenes and texts in the sarcophagus chamber of Ramesses VI in his Monuments de l'Egypte: Notices descriptives (Paris 1844. the hours of the night are not divided into sections. However.Tour Egypt from the Ramesseum . a part of the composition was also published by Lefebure in his Notices des hypogees (Cairo. 2. Stricker provided an explanation of the book as a divine embryology in 1963.   The Structure of the Book of the Earth   In the Book of the Earth. pp. and later. it was Alexandre Piankoff who actually provided the foundation for real study of the composition with his edition of it in 1953. while Winfried Barta and Friedrich Abitz have been responsible for investigating the composition and meaning of the text. and the solar barque is largely missing as an aid to orientation. Though the original composition was probably divided 5 / 10 .

He further theorizes that part D.   The directions of the scenes are mostly all oriented to the right and there is no visible morning goal.   Lake the Book of Caverns . Ramesses VI inserted many references to the king throughout the composition and uses subtitles to structure it. which were lettered A-D. with its praying king. portions of it appear on the sides of several pillars. the Book of the Earth uses the sun disk as a reoccurring theme. while the solar barque only makes rare appearances. Because of the incomplete condition of his sarcophagus chamber which gives rise to various transpositions of materials. the composition seems like a loose sequence of scenes. nor is there depicted the entry into the netherworlds. Barta instead designates the sequences of scenes from the sarcophagus chamber of Ramesses VII and Ramesses IX as part E. Piankoff recognized four parts. the registers in the surviving work are uncertain. and part C to be a part of D. with the last scenes derived from a wide variety of books. Unless the Aker scene is intended as such. In the tomb of Ramesses VI . Hence. Further more. represents the beginning of the composition. like the Book of Caverns. Like the Book of Caverns. it is very uncertain whether the tomb of Ramesses VI provides a complete example of the Book of the Earth. Like the Book of Caverns. Part A in the tomb of Ramesses VI portrays a clear central axis that has probably led to changes in the arrangements of the scenes in later versions. while Abitz added further scenes on three pillar sides as parts E. 6 / 10 . there is also no concluding representations at the end of the composition.Tour Egypt into three registers. Scholars such as Abitz believe that the Book of the Earth. as at the beginning of the corridor of the Osireion. which is contrary to the usual arrangement. he believes part B belongs in part A. the divisions of the book run right to left. consists of two halves of which only one contains scenes of punishment.

with its " barque of the earth". as is the transformation of Re . we find a schematic depiction of the entire realm of the dead with Osiris as the central figure. probably the beginning of the composition. Two mounds.   Part D   In part D. A special theme is the journey of the sun through the earth god Aker . surmounted by his ba and the 7 / 10 .Tour Egypt   The Composition   While the content of the book is similar in many ways to the Book of Caverns . Osiris is. together with the ba of the blessed dead. This actually represents and expansion of the eleventh scene in the Book of Gates . there remain clear divergences also. an central figure within the work. of course. He resides within a tomb structure which serpents guard.

Flanking her are two human headed serpents and a crocodile. A ram-headed ba-bird and a disk. Above. she is called the Mysterious One. He stands upon a large sun disk that in turn is flanked by two pairs of arms rising from the depths of Nun .Tour Egypt "corpse of Geb ". atop the back of Aker 8 / 10 . who's ends are held in the hands of two goddesses. A modification of this scene where the pairs of arms replaced by a double ouroboros (a serpent biting its own tail) and the name of the king is placed in the large disk occurs in the sarcophagus chamber of Ramesses III . whose names refer to the devouring of the bodies and the ba-souls of the enemies. and to either side are scenes depicting punishment.   The final scene in this section is also a variation of a popular theme. together with another snake. a God holds the hieroglyphs for fire and blood from decapitated enemies flows down into the cauldrons below   the next scene we find the mummy of the sun god flanked between two fire spitting uraei. Beneath hi are Anubis and a "Mysterious One" who protectively stretch their arms over a "mysterious coffer" that invisibly contains his corpse. Surrounding this scene is a wreath of twelve stars and twelve small disks indicating the course of the hours. This is a scene of renewal. hold cauldrons aloft. Here. Here. flank Osiris. looking backwards. rests upon the palms of her hands. representing the sun god.  Here.   A modification of the depiction of Nut from the fifth section of the Book of Caverns occurs in the next scene. we find punishing gods .

In this scene. Underneath the barque. They are flanked by burial mounds surmounted by ram-headed mummies . each containing gods . Next we find seven shrines or mounds. In the next scene. posthumous propagation of Horus is repeated. which is avian in form. In the next scene. The barque is supported by two uraei. and inside the barque are Khepri and the ape headed Thoth . the falcon-headed Horus rises from the curved corpse of  Osiris which is in turn being protected by the corpses of Isis and Nephthys . "those of mysterious forms". hold high a winged scarab beetle and sun disk. two anonymous gods look upon the ba of Osiris.Tour Egypt is represented the barque of the sun god as a double sphinx.     9 / 10 . who pray to the sun god.   Protected by Atum. two royal figures together with Isis and Nephthys . the miraculous. the middle register begins with Horus rising up out of the recumbent divine figure called the Western One.

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