Text of sarcophagus

Inside the sarcophaguses of the XI and XII dynasty (2055 – 1795) more than 1000 “magic formulas” have been found, many of which derived from the previous texts of the pyramids.
During the ancient reign only the pharaoh could become a god, who transformed himself in Osiris at his death. But in the epoch at the XVIII dnasty a more opened attitude prevailed: everybody could enter the other world, in a form or another. It was so essential to establish the dead perosn’s hopes and desires with prayers, songs and incantations, leaving them written inside the sarcophaguses, to avoid any misunderstanding about the soul’s final resting place.

Sometimes, instead of painting the sarcophaguses, the funeral texts were written on papyruses that accompanied the dead person in the tomb or on the walls. Often they were actual “guides” for afterlife, as the book of the two ways. The funeral texts were more common in the second middle period (1650 – 1550) and that culminated in the book of the dead and the book of afterlife, in the writings of the hidden chamber, in the book of the Gates in the book of the Caverns in other miner collections. 

They widaly appeared during the new reign (1550 – 1069 BC) specially in the tombs of the valley of the kinfs.

In Ramesses’s VI tomb the book of the gates was found at the entrance of the superior level, followed by the book of the Caverns and, closer to the sarcophagus, by the book of what is in the Duat.

Unas’s pyramid, near Giza, has some of the most remarkable inscriptions, including the text of Ptah-Hoteo’s wisdom. The circular zodiac of Dendera, painted on the ceiling of the temple, crearly show the astronomical constellation represented by the astrolog personaes of the zodiac.

The inscriptions in Unas’s pyramid document Osiride’s myth and bring forward the mythological story:

“Oh king,
you are Osiris’s friend…
may you pass the close milky way…
and may
you go to the place where Orione is…”

This formula had to accompany the dead king to Osiride’s constellation to let him become a star among the others.

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