KNIFE And KNIFE-WIELDERS in the BOOKS of AMDUAT and GATES (A Comparative Study)

Document Type : research articles


Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University


The journey of the sun-god Re, vividly depicted in the Books of Amduat and Gates, made him face many obstacles that might prevent reappearance at the beginning of every day. Among these obstacles, stand Apophis, the enemy of Re, enemies of Osiris, and the guilty dead, who are either the enemies of Re or Osiris. Dedicated procedures must be taken to overcome and punish them, as delineated in texts and scenes. These methods include annihilating through the fire, falling into fiery pits; restraining with ties, and killing by knife-yielding. This last method is the subject of this article, as the author questions, whether those targeted by the knife in these Books were the same and whether knife-yielders were only deities or perhaps also other figures. Finally, the function of those deities is explored in other religious texts.
Whereas, the purpose of this study is to compare the two books (Amduat and Gates); therefore, it was preferable to rely on the full version for each. Accordingly, scenes from the Amduatfrom the tomb of Thutmose III will be cited, and those of the Gates will be from the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, although there is also reliance on some scenes found in other tombs such as the tomb of Horemheb.


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