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Book of the Dead Chapter 42 (picture)

Source for the composition: not known as a unit before the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), though one phrase from the second part (not in the Hepres version) occurs in a group of incantations for good health on a papyrus fragment from Lahun (late Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC))

Chapter 42 stands out from other Book of the Dead formulae, by its tabulated format for the identification of parts of the body with named deities. Such tabulated format was also used for the parts of the ferryboat in Chapter 99 (though not in the Hepres version UC 71000), and for the denial of sins or 'Negative Confession' Chapter 125B.

The tabulated part of the chapter varies between manuscripts, but there is a general tendency to move from head to foot, as in the surgical manual Papyrus Edwin Smith (early Eighteenth Dynasty). The following example is taken from the Book of the Dead Papyrus Hannover Kesnter Museum 1970.37, published in the Book of the Dead project of Bonn and Cologne Universities:


iw Sny n N m nwn
iw irty n N m HwtHr
iw msdr n N m wp-wAwt
iw fnd n N m xnty-xAs
iw spty n N m inp
iw ibHw n N m srqt
iw nHbt n N m ist
iw awy n N m ba-nb-ddt
iw Sna n N m nt nb(t) saw
iw psd n N m stS
iw Hnn n N m wsir
iw wfw n N m nbw Xr-ahA
iw Snbt n N m aA-Sfyt
iw Xt iat n N m sxmt
iw xpdwy n N m irt-Hr
iw mnty ssty N m nwt
iw tbty n N m [ptH]
iw Dbaw sAHw n N m arwt anxw


The hair of N is the hair of Nun, the eyes those of Hathor
The ears of Wepwawet, the nose of Khentkhas
The lips of Anubis, the teeth of Serqet
The neck of Isis, the arms of Banebdjedet
The upper breast of Neit, lady of Sais, the back is that of Seth
The phallus is that of Osiris, the flesh is that of the lords of Kheraha
The lower breast is that of the Great of Dignity
The stomach and spine are those of Sekhmet
The buttocks are those of the Eye of Horus, the thighs and legs those of Nut,
The feet are those of Ptah, the fingers and toes of living cobras


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