Ancient Egyptian Weight of the Heart

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Tutankhamun

The Ancient Egyptians believed that they must follow certain events in order to be able to make it into the afterlife.  These different events would take place before different Egyptian gods and judges.

Events

One thing that would happen would be that the person that died would be asked if they had broken laws or committed any kinds of sins.  The dead would decide if they were innocent or guilty.

If the people were innocent, they would have a voice of truth and they would be transported to the Weighing of the Heart.

Weighing of the Heart

The most important ceremony was the Weighing of the Heart.  This had to happen in order for a person to be able to go to the afterlife.

The person would have their heart weighed to see if it was heavy or if it was light.  If someone’s heart was heavy, they would never make it to the afterlife and they would be stuck in the Underworld forever, or they would just disappear.

If a heart was light, the person would be able to go to the Land of Two Fields which was a place full of joy and happiness.  This was a place where the people would meet their loved ones that had died before them.

Ammut

The goddess Ammut is part of the weighing of the heart.  She is one of the goddesses that is very feared because she had the head of a crocodile and would eat someone if they did something wrong when judgement was happening.

Ammut is also part lion and part hippo.  These are the three animals that were the animals that were most feared and respected by the Ancient Egyptians.

Maat

Maat was another goddess that was there during judgement.  She was the goddess of law and justice.  She would also be there to make the seasons and starts to line up so that people would tell the truth.

When a person would go to get their heart weighed, it would be weighed by the Feather of Truth on a scale.

Anubis

Anubis was the god of Thoth and he would be the one that would weigh the heart.  If the heart was as light as the feather, the person would be able to move to the afterlife.  If the persons heart was heavier than the feather, they would be sent to the Underworld or Ammut would eat them.

If a person’s heart was light, it meant that he or she had done many good deeds and no sin.  This meant the person was pure of heart.

Heart

The heart was considered the most important body part according to the Ancient Egyptians.  They felt that the heart was the most important because it was the only part of the body that knew what a person was feeling and thinking and the good or bad deeds that they had done.

The heart was so important that Ancient Egyptians would not remove the heart when someone died, and it was the only organ that would stay in the body.  When a person became a mummy, they still had their heart in their body.

If the heart was removed, a person could not go into the afterlife.  Even when the heart is weighed during judgement, the heart is then returned back to the body and will never be taken again.

More Facts About Ancient Egyptian Weighing of the Heart:

  • Ancient Egyptians would do good deeds so their heart would be light.
  • When a person did not make it to the afterlife, they just disappeared and were never seen again.
  • The Egyptians were known to do good deeds because they didn’t want to disappear.
  • Egyptians wanted to meet their family and friends in the Land of Two Fields.
  • Ammut would eat a heart if it was a heavy heart.
  • Thoth was the one that would record information on the heart, if it was heavy or light.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What is the Weighing of the Heart?  The Weighing of the Heart was a ceremony that the Ancient Egyptians believed would happen in the afterlife.  The heart would be weighed by the gods to see if it was light enough to go to the afterlife.
  2. What would happen if the heart was too heavy? If the heart was heavy, it would be eaten by the goddess Ammut or the person would go to the Underworld or disappear.
  3. What was the heart weighed against? The heart was weighed against a feather.
  4. Where would the people go if they went to the afterlife? The people that went to the afterlife when to the Land of Two Fields.
  5. Why was the Land of Two Fields so important? The Land of Two Fields was so important because people had family and friends that they wanted to reunite with after they died.