This page is only a small part of a complete manuscript of The Book of the Dead made for a man named Nes-min. The Book of the Dead was a collection of prayers and spells believed to provide aid for the spirit of the deceased in the next life. In this vignette Nes-min is led into the presence of Osiris and the gods who judge the dead by Ma’at, goddess of truth. His judgment is represented by the weighing of his heart against an ostrich feather, symbolizing truth and right-doing. If he did not pass this individual judgment, his heart would be fed to the “devourer,” the monster crouching in readiness before Osiris.
Artist Egyptian
  • The Book of the Dead of Nes-Min, Section 13
Date between 4th and 3rd century BCE
Medium Ink on papyrus
Dimensions Framed: 22 5/8 × 28 5/8 × 1 3/8 inches (57.5 × 72.7 × 3.5 cm)
Image (approx. average of leaf): 13 3/4 × 21 5/8 inches (34.9 × 54.9 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Shelden III Fund, Ralph Harman Booth Bequest Fund, and Hill Memorial Fund
Accession Number 1988.10.13
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
Not On View
Inscriptions Inscribed: This leaf contains the text of: BD 125 continued from Leaf 12. BD 91 For Not Restraining His Soul in the Land of the Dead. BD 126: Prayer for the Baboons of the Sun.
1988-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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Henshaw, Julia P., ed. A Visitors Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1995, p. 105 (ill.).

Meeks, Dimitri and Christine Favard-Meeks. Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Ithaca, NY, 1996, fig.16.

"DIA Art Game: Art Speaks." The Detroit Free Press, April 26, 1998, 28.