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Amduat · Books of Breathing · Book of Caverns · Book of the Dead · Book of the Earth · Book of Gates · Book of the Netherworld


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In Egyptian mythology, Duat (or Tuat) (also called Akert, Amenthes, or Neter-khertet) is the underworld.

This was the region through which the sun god Ra traveled from west to east during the night, and where he battled Apep. It also was the place where people's souls went after death—for judgment. The structure of Duat, and the dangers faced there by the souls of the dead, are detailed in texts such as the Book of Gates and the Book of the Dead. The Duat was located beneath the earth where Osiris presided over the dead. It was believed that the sun on its journey through the Duat, brought light and revitalization to the deceased, including Osiris, and with whom they were to arise in the morning.

The most famous scene from the discussions of Duat is the Weighing of the Heart, in which the heart was weighed by Anubis, using a feather, representing Ma'at, the goddess of truth and justice. She was responsible for maintaining order in the universe after having eliminated the emptiness of chaos at the beginning of creation.

The heart was thought to be the location of the mind, will and character by the ancient Egyptians. The heart would become out of balance because of failure to follow Ma'at and any hearts heavier or lighter than her feather were rejected and eaten by the goddess Ammit (also known as the Devourer of Souls). Those souls that would be allowed to travel toward the paradise of Aaru had to have hearts that weighed exactly the same as Ma'at's feather.

A section of the Egyptian Book of the Dead written on papyrus showing the Weighing of the Heart in Duat where Anubis can be seen on the far right, the scales are shown with the feather balance, and Ammit awaits hearts that she must devour - the presence of Osiris at the gateway to the paradise of Aaru dates the papyrus to a late tradition of the myth.

Gods and goddesses in Duat are:

"How the upper side of this sky exists is in uniform darkness, the southern, northern, western and eastern limits of which are unknown, these having been fixed in the Waters, in inertness. There is no light of the Ram there: he does not appear there – (a place) whose south, north, west and east is unknown by the gods or akhs There is no brightness there."

And as for every place void of sky and void of land, that is the entire Duat.

The Amduat ("That which is in the underworld") lists the inhabitants of the underworld.

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Simple English

Duat also spelled Tuat is the Egyptian idea of the underworld(also called Akert, Amenthes, or Neter-khertet). To the Egyptians the underworld was divided into sections filled with dangers that the Egyptian Soul had to pass through. This is the same realm that Ra was believed to pass into each night and battle Apep. The Egyptian Underworld is described in many funerary texts found in tombs of mummies believed to help guide them through death.

In Duat is where the famous Weighing of the Heart is displayed. Where the soul shown as a heart is weighed on the scales of Anubis against the feather of Ma'at.

The Egyptian idea of the underworld influenced many other ideas of life after death in other cultures. Ammit was believed to eat the souls of people whose heart did not weigh the exact weight of Ma'at's feather. After this it was thought people either were digested eternally or were placed into a pit of liquid fire that shot from snakes mouths.


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