• Hella Radwan

"Give gladness unto the heart of Isis and to that of Nephthys"

We are still visiting the Mummification Museum in Luxor, looking at this splendid display of a model of a funerary boat transporting the deceased to the west bank of the Nile, flanked by Isis and Nephthys. This sort of boat was placed in the tombs or depicted on the walls of the tombs.


This boat model is from the Middle Kingdom and was excavated at Deir el-Bersha. The decorated tombs in the cliffs of Deir el-Bersha date from the Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom, when it was the principal cemetery of Hermopolis.


Ancient Egyptians largely buried their dead on the west bank of the Nile, but they lived on the east bank, so boats were used to transport the mummy of the deceased to the burial place. During the transportation, relatives were positioned at either end of the coffin, with two of the female relatives or priestesses acting the roles of goddesses Isis and Nephthys: Nephthys positioned at the head of the mummy and Isis at its feet.


Isis and Nephthys are both considered major funerary deities in charge of the mourning and protecting the dead person, relating to the similar roles they played in the myth of Osiris.

Isis

Nephthys

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