Saite recension of the Book of the Dead. Chapters 67-165.

Manuscript, Book
Egyptian (Ancient)
2 rolls : illustrations ; 28.5 x 1160 cm


Former owner
Getty AAT genre
Summary note
Princeton University Library, Manuscripts Division, Robert Garrett Collection (C0744), housed with Princeton Papyri Collections, as Pharaonic Rolls, no. 8. Accession number: AM 22087. Measurements: 28.5 cm (height) x 1160.0 cm (total length). Two complete rolls of the Saite recension of the Book of the Dead (chapters 67-165), containing hymns, prayers, spells, magical formulae, and images for the deceased. The text is written in Hieratic, a simplified version of Hieroglyphic script, and accompanied by vignettes in ink, including the Weighing of the Heart and Elysian Fields. The two rolls are made of woven linen cloth, which was far less common than papyrus for funerary texts placed in the coffins with the deceased. The Saite recension is the standardized version of this ancient Egyptian funerary text and remained in use, with some changes, from the 26th Dynasty or Saite Period (ca. 685-525 BCE) through the Ptolemaic period. This Book of the Dead includes the name of the owner, Hekaemsaf (or Heka-m-saf), whose mother was named Tinetmehenet; and of its scribe Ankh-hetep, son of Nefer-en-Shepet. Hekaemsaf was an Egyptian naval officer who served as Chief of the Royal Ships under Pharaoh Amasis II [or Ahmose II] (570-526 BCE), 26th Dynasty. The Chief of Royal Ships was then also responsible administratively for the taxation of goods transported on the River Nile. In 1904, the intact tomb of Hekaesaf was discovered at Saqqara, the necropolis of the ancient capital of Memphis. A total of 401 blue-green faience shabti (ushabti, shawabti) funerary figures or statuettes of Hekaesaf were excavated from his tomb, some of which are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other leading museums with Egyptology collections. The beaten-gold mask and embroidered covering for Hekaemsaf's mummy is preserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. On 8 August 1928, the British coin and antiquities dealer Spink & Son, Ltd. (King Street, St. James, London) offered this Book of the Dead for sale to Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Princeton Class of 1897, who was then staying at Bisham Abbey, a historic English manor house in the County of Berkshire. Garrett agreed a day later to purchase the Book of the Dead for £700 in monthly installments. At the time of purchase, the two linen rolls had already been mounted on ten strips of cardboard. Pharaonic Roll no 8 was part of Garrett's 1942 donation of his manuscript collection to the Princeton University Library.
Language note
Source acquisition
Purchased by Robert Garrett (1875-1961) in 1928.
Other format(s)
Also available in an electronic version.
Statement on language in description
Princeton University Library aims to describe library materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. Read more...
Other views
Staff view

Supplementary Information