The oldest map of the underworld discovered in Egypt: Etchings on coffin show how the dead had to get past the lake of fire and knife

These are engravings found in a 4,000-year-old coffin that show the path that the souls of the dead must make in order to reach eternal life. The engravings show the map of the underworld.

map of the underworld
Wooden panel of the coffin containing the oldest copy of ‘The Book of Two Paths’.

A new study published in The Journal of Egyptian Archeology by Harco Willems argues that the illustrated text found is the oldest copy of the one known as The Book of the Two Paths.(map of the underworld)

The book of the two paths was conceived as a guide that helped the deceased to overcome the dangers of the underworld, such as lakes of fire or demons armed with knives, in order to reach the kingdom of Osiris and with it eternal life.

map of the underworld
Recreating engraving.

The map is engraved on two wooden panels and, although other similar texts have been found in other coffins, it is the oldest version discovered so far.

It is believed that the coffin, found in 2012 in a funerary well in the Egyptian necropolis of Dayr al Barsha, contained the remains of an aristocratic woman named Ankh.

map of the underworld

The ancestral book is part of a major work known as ‘The Texts of the Sarcophagi’, which include 1,185 spells, spells and religious writings on the Hereafter – which are also part of ‘The Book of the Dead’ (image) -(map of the underworld)

Two roads to Osiris

The text of the two paths instructs on the journey of the spirit of the deceased in the solar boat through the Rosetau region, where the body of Osiris is protected by walls of fire, to reach the Field of reeds. The existence of seven doors with guardians or demons in each one is described. At the beginning, a door of fire protected by a guard called “He who rejects the ignorant”, which prevents the passage to those who have no knowledge, and that once passed, offers two alternatives, towards the region of Light or towards the world of darkness.

map of the underworld
Map of the underworld in the sarcophagus of Gua, found in Deir el-Bersha, Egypt. Dynasty 12, 1985-1795 BC Currently in the British Museum.(map of the underworld)

Map of the underworld in the sarcophagus of Gua, found in Deir el-Bersha, Egypt. Dynasty 12, 1985-1795 BC Currently in the British Museum.(map of the underworld)

There is a diurnal path, of a solar character, represented in black, where it is accompanied by the solar god Ra and a water path, of an osiriac character, represented in blue, where it is accompanied by the lunar god Thot.

Only the pure, through these texts can go bypassing the guardians of the lower world and move forward, without being trapped in absolute darkness, nothingness, to the Kingdom of full Light, presided over by Ra-Horus the Elder, which is the own divine light.

Source: DailyMail

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