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The Tomb of Amunherkhepshef

The Egyptian prince was the son of Ramesses VI and Queen Nubkhesbed. Amunherkhepshef lived during the twentieth dynasty and buried in the reused sarcophagus of Twosret in the Valley of Kings. The Valley is the resting place constructed for Pharaohs and powerful nobels. It stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite of Thebes and contains 63 tombs, of which the most notable is the tomb of Tutankhamun.

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Day and nighttime forms of the sky goddess, Nut, from the ceiling of Ramesses VI’s tomb. Nut was a mother goddess, giving birth to the sun each morning while swallowing the stars, swallowing the sun each evening while giving birth to the moon and stars. She was also the mother of Osiris, according to Heliopolitan theology.

Photo: Daniel Nadler

Books of Day and Night, Tomb of Ramesses VI

The Books of Day and Night narrate the journey of the sun. The Book of Night is similar to the Amduat, Book of Gates, and Book of Caverns because each book is about the sun’s journey at night. The Book of Day, however, is unique in that it is the only book that tells of the sun’s journey during the day. The Book of Day is represented twice on the ceilings of the tomb of Ramesses VI, and it is only in this tomb where a complete version can be found. In this version of the sun’s journey, the sun is reborn every morning from the goddess Nut, then travels across the sky to be swallowed by Nut in the evening. During the night hours, the sun travels through Nut’s body and is reborn again each morning.