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Book of the Dead Chapter 38A (picture)

Source for the composition: before the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), phrases found in chapter 38A occur in a number of funerary compositions written on the walls of early Middle Kingdom coffins ('Coffin Texts', numbers 143, 153, 173 (end), 423, 437, 438). The version in Hepres presents phrases in a different order to that found in other New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC) manuscripts, either because the copyist garbled what he saw (from the reversal of orientation?) or because he intended a different sequence. An early version may be cited from the shrouds of Ahmose-Henuttjemehu, Ipu and Mentuhotep, buried in the Valley of the Queens at Thebes; the shroud fragments are now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and were recently made accessible in the publication by Irmtraut Munro.

ink itm pr m nwn r hms hayt
iw ssp.n.i st.i nt imntt wd.i mdw axw
imn st axw m axt rwty iry.i pxr.i n hnhn
anx.i im sxm.i im anx.i m taw n anx
ssm.i wia n ra/r n ta sn.n.f sbaw gb
it.n.i imyw ih wr ssm.n(.i) imyw kariw.sn
snsn(.i) hr stx sb.n.i wrw hr.i …htt.i
h3.i r-gs ra/r wia n nb maat tr.n.i … psd.f m axt
anx.i m-xt mwt mi ra ra nb wsr.i rwty
anx.i m-xt mwt mi ra ra nb/
mdw m mxrw … n ra wd mdw … rwty anx


I am Atum who emerges from Nun to the seat of the flood
I have taken my place of the West, and commanded the Blessed Dead
Hidden of place, blessed in transcendence of Ruty
I achieve the circuit of the flood
I live by it, I have power by it, I live by the breath of life
I guide the boat of Ra, it has passed the gates of Geb
I have taken those who are in the camp of the Great God
I have guided those who are in their shrines
I have mingled with Horus and Seth
I have directed the great ones to me
My throat cannot be blocked
I descend to the boat of Ra, I greet those who are in the Morning Boat,
As a follower of Ra at his back in the horizon
I live after death every day, I am powerful as Ruty
I live, I live, after death like Ra every day

The composition as represented in the papyrus of Hepres

To the left of a thick red black-lined band are the following lines:


gb axw axt rwty iry.i pxr n hnhn n xpri
sxm.(?).i ra (?) pr.n.i m nwn r hnnyt ssp.n.i st nt imnt wd
mdw axw imn st

There follows a rubric title r n anx …

Note that the phrase axw axt rwty iry.i pxr n hnhn seems here to precede the phrase pr.n.i m nwn r hnhnyt ssp.n.i st nt imnt wd mdw axw st imn st, whereas it follows it in the shroud versions of chapter 38A


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