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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


Atenism · Curse of the Pharaohs

Ancient Egypt

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.

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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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Duat. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.