The Greenfield Papyrus

c. 940 BC

Found Deir el Bahri, Egypt

Length: 93 cm

Width: 53 cm

The “Greenfield Papyrus,” is one of the longest and most beautifully illustrated manuscripts of the ‘Book of the Dead’ to have survived. Originally, over thirty-seven metres in length, it is now cut into ninety-six separate sheets mounted between glass. It was made for a woman named Nestanebisheru, the daughter of the high priest of Amun Pinedjem II. As a member of the ruling elite at Thebes, she was provided with funerary equipment of very high quality. Many of the spells included on her papyrus are illustrated with small vignettes, and besides these there are several large illustrations depicting important scenes.
One of these scenes, shown here, is a symbolic representation of the creation of the world. According to mythology, this occurred when the sky goddess Nut was raised aloft to form a heavenly canopy above the earth, personified as the god Geb. Here the earth god is shown as a semi-recumbent figure stretching out his limbs while the elongated body of Nut arches above him. Her feet touch the ground at the eastern horizon and her fingers at the western horizon. She is supported by a third key-figure, Shu, god of the atmosphere, who is aided in his task by two ram-headed deities. This scene became a common one on papyri and coffins in the 21st Dynasty, for the process of creation which it depicts was closely linked in the minds of the Egyptians with the renewal of life for the dead. On this papyrus, Nestanebisheru herself kneels at right raising her hands in adoration.

Source: British Museum

Notes

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    The Greenfield Papyrus c. 940 BC Found Deir el Bahri, Egypt 93 cm 53 cm The “Greenfield Papyrus,” is one of the longest...
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    Uk museum indeed…hide the TRUTH
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