Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

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engraving. It is said that those which are inscribed are found placed over the
region of the heart, while the uninscribed were laid inside the mummies; but
there is every reason to believe that both kinds were used for the same purpose,
and that they were only the cheaper substitutes for the more costly form of the
amulet. According to the rubric of c. 64 of the Ritual the supposed virtues of
this amulet justified the mummy which came from earth in the Karneter or Hades,
and enabled it to go through all the forms or transmigrations of the living.
The text engraved on them was supposed to be one of the Hermetic writings
and originally composed by the god Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes or Mercury, and
found in Sesennu or Semennu, the modern Ashmoun and ancient Hermopolis,
written in blue hieroglyphs on alabaster or a brick of glazed earth placed under
the feet of the statue of the god in the days of the king Men-kau-ra, Mencheres,
or Mycerinus of the 4th dynasty, and builder of the third pyramid of Gizeh.
This discovery was made by the prince Hartataf when he made an inspection
of the temple, and when he saw what it contained, he brought it as a treasure
to the king. The subject of the inscription is said to be a great myster}^,
which no one ought to approach if he had not been washed and purified, and
had not approached women, or eaten fish, or flesh. According to some other
legends, the original version had been found in the temple of Ami-Hannu in
the reign of Ousaphais of the 2nd dynasty, and the 5th successor of Menes.
The chapter to which the formula is attached is called "The chapter of going
forth from the day, of preventing the repulse," or " stoppage of the soul, of
allowing a man to assume all the forms," "types," or " transmigrations he
desired, and of entering the future state after his departure from light," or
"life," and "not dying a second time," that is not reappearing again through
the metempsychosis in the world1. The formula is stated to have been com-
posed by Thoth for Osiris at the dictation of the god Xeper in order to
enable Osiris to change his form or type, and it was thought to possess the
same power for the deceased. It was directed to be engraved (at the time of com-
posing the Turin Ritual) on hard or carved stone, which was to be gilded, and then
placed on the region of the heart, laid first of all in a bandage or case of
linen or papyrus steeped in oil. The text itself consists of a mystical address

1 Chabas, Voyage dhm Egyptian, pp. 43—45.
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