Amenta “Symbol of The Underworld”
One of the most unique symbols in ancient Egypt is the Amenta which represents the land of the dead and the underground also known as Duat. The symbol was originally created to represent the horizon where the sun sets and a representation of the Nile’s west bank which was the place where the ancient Egyptian buried their dead. Note: The Amenta represents an ancient Egyptian symbol of the underworld, the land of the dead, and showcases the horizon where the sun sets plus it represented the Nile’s west bank where the ancient Egyptians buried their dead. When it originated, the Amenta was a symbol of the horizon and the place where the sun sets. This use associated the Amenta with the powers of the sun. Later, the Amenta evolved and became known as a representation of the land of the dead, the underworld, and the western sandbank of the Nile, which was where the Egyptians buried their dead. In this way, the Amenta became a symbol of Duat, the realm where the dead dwelt. The role of the sun in Ancient Egypt might have influenced the evolution of the Amenta. The sunset represented the death of the celestial body until its rebirth the next day. In this sense, this symbol associated with the horizon and sunsets became part of the symbology of death. Due to the funerary purpose of the western region of the Nile, the Amenta became associated with the dead. West was where the sun went to die every day and even early burials took notice of this, placing the deceased with their heads facing westward. Most cemeteries from the Predynastic to the Hellenistic period were built on the west bank of the Nile. In this sense, the Amenta symbol was also associated with desert land beyond the fertile Nile valley. This place was the beginning of the journey to the afterlife, and the Amenta’s connections with this burial place made it a symbol of the underworld.
Place of the dead
The rest of the dead journeyed through the various parts of the Duat to be judged, but not to be unified with the sun god like the dead king. If the deceased was successfully able to pass various demons and challenges, then he or she would reach the Judgment of the dead. In this ritual, the deceased’s first task was to correctly address each of the forty-two Assessors of Maat by name, while reciting the sins they did not commit during their lifetime. After confirming that they were sinless, the heart of the deceased was weighed by Anubis against the feather of Maat, which represents truth and justice. Any heart that is heavier than the feather failed the test, and was rejected and eaten by Ammit, the devourer of souls, as these people were denied existence after death in the Duat. The souls that were lighter than the feather would pass this most important test, and would be allowed to travel toward Aaru, the “Field of Rushes”, an ideal version of the world they knew of, in which they would plough, sow, and harvest abundant crops.