We continue our 2018-2019 lecture season on Thursday, October 18, at 7.30 pm with a talk by Erin Ingram on Heart Scarabs and Morality. We look forward to seeing you there! You can view the Event Poster here.
Erin Ingram (University of Toronto)
Thursday, October 18 at 7.30 pm
Sidney Smith Hall
100 St. George Street
Around the time of the 13th Dynasty, the ancient Egyptians added a very important amulet to their funerary assemblage—the heart scarab. This particular amulet was usually inscribed with spell 30B from the Book of the Dead, which ensured that the deceased’s heart would not testify against them during the Weighing of the Heart Ceremony. During this ceremony the deceased’s heart was weighed against the feather of maat. If the heart did not balance with maat, it meant that the deceased had not led a just life and their heart would be consumed by the demoness Ammit. Thus, the heart scarab helped to ensure a successful weighing. During the 18th and 19th Dynasties, there appear several individuals who possessed multiple heart scarabs. What does this tell us? Were these individuals paranoid about tomb robbers? Were they flaunting their wealth? Or, were they morally inept? This paper will explore several possible reasons behind this practice, with a focus on morality, by examining the available material evidence and what Egyptologists know about the lives of the individuals in question.
Erin Ingram is a 4th-year PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, researching heart scarabs. She received her BA from Wilfrid Laurier University in Near Eastern & Classical Archaeology, and her MA from the University of Toronto in Egyptology. She worked for six summers at the Canadian Museum of History as an archaeological assistant where she also took part in the Sechelt Archaeological Research Project.