2013/01/23

Amenhotep Son of hapu

A royal scribe in  the court of Amenhotep III (1390–1352 b.c.), Amen- hotep-son-of-Hapu, was deified during Ptolemaic  times (332–32 b.c.) as a man of great wisdom. His  cult center was at Karnak Temple in Thebes (mod- ern Luxor), where he was worshipped as a healer  and benefactor. Petitioners brought their requests  and prayers to Amenhotep in the hope that he would  serve as an intermediary for their prayers to the great  god Amun.

Amenhotep Son of hapu

Amenhotep was a northerner born in the Delta,  but he spent most of his 80 years in Thebes in the service of his king. Working his way up through the  ranks in the court of Amenhotep III, he impressed  superiors with his ability to recruit men for the  pharaoh’s army and to supervise monumental build- ing projects. He earned the title “chief architect of  all the king’s building projects.” As Amenhotep III’s  most trusted official, Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu was  depicted, along with the king, on the wall of the great  temple at Soleb in southern Nubia. A man of many  talents, Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu became manager of  the vast estates of the royal family and was rewarded  with his own mortuary temple on the West Bank  at Thebes.

He was enormously popular among the  people, and his mortuary temple soon became the  center for his growing cult. A copy of a royal decree  from the Twenty-first Dynasty grants permission  for the construction of his temple, the only nonroyal  temple to be built among the royal monuments on  the West Bank. Amenhotep-son-of-Hapu, in spite of his fame,  seemed to be most pleased with his title as a royal  scribe, for his statues often show him sitting with a  roll of papyrus across his knee. Many of Amenhotep- son-of-Hapu’s statues were found in Karnak temple,  and their inscriptions tell us much of what we know  about him.

Amduat

Book of Amduat  

“The book of that which is in the  Underworld” is an account of the nightly journey  of the sun god in his sacred boat through the realm  of the Underworld. Unlike earlier funerary texts,  the Amduat gives a detailed description of what the  god will encounter during the 12-hour journey. The  Amduat explains in text and pictures what happens to  the sun when it falls below the horizon each night a  phenomenon that must have been debated by Egyptian priests. The Amduat chronicles the perils of the  Underworld and the victorious emergence of the sun  each dawn. Amduat, “The book of that which is in the Under- world,” first appeared in the tomb of Thutmose  III (1504–1492 b.c.) in the Valley of the Kings. 

Book of Amduat 

His walls were painted to resemble papyrus, and  the text of the Amduat was in cursive script. The  many variations of the Amduat were favorite tomb  decorations for Egyptian kings. Most important to  the deceased king was the set of directions contained  in the Amduat to help him make his way through the  12 dark and dangerous hours of the Underworld.  When priests began to collect and condense  assorted myths in the temple libraries, they must have seen the similarity of human life on Earth and  the daily life of Re, the sun god. Just as the sun was  reborn each day, so, too, could humans be reborn by  resurrecting in the next world. If the proper burial  rituals were performed, the deceased could join Re  in his sacred boat and travel in safety through the 12  hours of the Duat.

In the Amduat, Re and Osiris  each worked to ensure eternal life for the souls of  the deceased, but Re was the more important god.  Although his light died each night, Re was still  the chief protector and guide for the souls of the  deceased as they made their way through the terrors  and darkness of the Duat. The Amduat is divided into chapters representing  the 12 hours of the night, each one describing the  dangers encountered during each hour. The First Hour of the night is called “Crusher  of the forehead of the enemies of Re.” Re and  the solar (sun) boat are between the sky and  the Underworld. The god has lost his vitality  and has become a “sun of night,” a sun without  light. The Second Hour of the night is called “She who  knows how to protect her lord.” Re and the  souls of the deceased enter the Ur-Nes, the  land near the Nile of the Underworld.

They  meet the souls or gods of the Duat and are  advised to address them by their names. In the Third Hour of the night, the solar boat  enters the realm of “those who slay” and passes  over the Stream of Osiris, accompanied by  three boats rowed by Osiris, who appears in  various forms. In the Fourth Hour of the night, Re and the souls  of the deceased travel into the realm of Sokar,  a desert guarded by snakes. In order to travel  across the sand, the sacred boat turns into a  snake and slithers across the desert. In the Fifth Hour of the night, Re and the souls  of the deceased, still in their serpent boat, con- tinue through the domain of Sokar.

Seven gods  and seven goddesses, representing 14 days of  a month, tow the sacred boat and accompany  the travelers as they approach the secret cave  of Sokar. In the Sixth Hour of the night, Re and the souls  of the deceased return to the solar boat. They  approach the Shrines of Osiris in the Delta.  The Shrines of Osiris occupy a large hall with  16 rooms, each holding a mummy. Re com- mands the 16 mummies to be pleased with his offering, to protect him, and to kill his enemy,  the serpent Apophis. The Seventh Hour of the night takes the solar  boat into the hidden place of Osiris. It describes  the terrible battle between Re and his archen- emy, the serpent Apophis, who blocks the way  of the sacred barque.

In the Eighth Hour, Re and his entourage enter  the city of Tebat-Neteru, where they come  under the protection of the mighty serpent  called Mehen.It is here that the gods and souls  come to life as Re passes their secret homes,  and Re commands them to kill his enemies and  all the demons in that domain. In the Ninth Hour, the solar boat reaches the  “Hidden Circle of Amentet,” where anyone  who learns the names of the gods and their  places shall be honored in the city. They are  accompanied by 12 divine sailors, each car- rying an oar so that he might splash water  upon the spirits that stand on the banks of  the river. In the Tenth Hour, the solar boat continues its  journey, with Re holding a snake as his staff. 

Several boats carrying gods of the Underworld  have joined the solar boat, and the gods of the  Underworld kill the enemies of Re as they  make their way to the eleventh hour. In the  Eleventh Hour, Re holds a scepter of  authority, and on the bow of the boat a solar  disk represents the sun with a serpent around  it. The serpent, Pestu, symbolizes time and  swallows the stars that represent the hours of  the night that have passed. In the Twelfth Hour, Re and the souls of the  deceased leave the darkness of the Duat and  enter the circle where they will be reborn.  Re will enter this world as the rising sun, and  the deceased safely enter the Netherworld  (heaven).

Four Canopic Jars of Maherepri

The four canopic jars are made of fine alabaster and were found in a wooden cubic chest placed over a sledge, according to the traditions of the eighteenth dynasty.

The jars contained the internal organs extracted from the mummy of the "Fan Bearer to the right of the king and child of the nursery" who lived during the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty called Maherepri.

The canopic jars have human heads as stoppers and are inscribed with hieroglyphic signs filled with blue paste containing the name of the deceased and the names of the gods in-charge of protecting the internal organs of the deceased. The facial features of the heads are marked; the contour of the eyes and the eyebrows are painted in black while the white of the eye is painted with lime containing a slight red point in the internal angle of the eye to give the impression of lively human heads.

The content of the jars were found wrapped in linen impregnated in aromatic material such as the mummy itself that was found in a sarcophagus inside the tomb.