The Imydwat (Subtitles in short form: " The writing of the hidden chamber " ) is the oldest ancient Egyptian literature plant of the genus Beyond Books. It originated as a summary under the Imydwat title "The Book of what is in the Duat ". The editors of the older templates used Amduat dating back well into the Old Kingdom. Jan Assmann therefore assigns the subject of Amduat to the sun sanctuaries.

Alexandra von Lieven refers in this context to the used only in Imydwat " stick figure drawings " which are attested in similar design very good for the 6th Dynasty and were replaced at the beginning of the New Kingdom because of the damaged originals in the further course of remakes. In addition, the cryptography of Imydwat based as opposed to the other underworld books on memphitischer theology. The Imydwat also served in the New Kingdom as an editorial template for all subsequently created the Books, which were based on the contents of the Amduat.

The Imydwat originally served exclusively for the deceased kings ( pharaohs ) as hereafter guidance in their graves. It is therefore assigned the beginning of the New Kingdom there mainly, occasionally also in tombs of high-ranking officials. Only later did the Imydwat found in tombs of priests frequent use. The writings were addressed to the " likenesses of the sun god Re" and not the "simple Egyptians".


Discoveries in the New Kingdom

The Beyond book "What is in the Duat " is attested for the first time in the grave KV20 Thutmose I and preserved in the royal tombs of the New Kingdom as partially complete representation in the short and long version. The grave of Thutmosis III KV34. ( 1504-1450 BC) in the Valley of the Kings also shows a complete presentation as well as the grave of Amenhotep II ( KV35 ). Only in the grave of Thutmosis III. is due to an inscription, a direct reference to the king of the contents clearly:

"The book is in heaven and on earth useful for someone who already knows on earth: .. Thutmose III, Blessed is one who knows it "

In the grave of Seti I ( KV17 ) are some color pictures of the night hours of the Imydwat. Further representations were found by: Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun, Ay II, Ramesses II, Merenptah, Seti II, Siptah, Ramses V and Ramses IX .. Horemheb and Ramses I refrained because of the Amarna period in their graves. on the attachment of the Imydwat.


In twelve sections, which correspond to the twelve hours of the night, the nocturnal journey of the sun god Re through the underworld in a skiff is described, involving a total of 908 divine beings which participate alone with 124 names being named at sunset. The distance traveled by Re during the crossing of the Duat is specified with almost 39,000 km, which is near to the actual circumference of the earth. It remains unclear how those distances above were determined by the Egyptians, and whether a case concerning the land survey served as the basis, which was considered a great achievement of the Egyptians.

On the night drive pushes Re at different obstacles to overcome which he and his helpers. Main enemy is Apophis, who appears in the seventh hour and is defeated by the elder wizard, which is probably is Seth. The judgment of the dead in the Hall of Complete truth is not the center of attention in Imydwat. The contents of the Imydwat is not actually continuous text, but a series of twelve images that for one night hour show the hours deities and are accompanied by detailed annotations.

The Imydwat also contains within itself excerpts from earlier eras, which date back to the time of the Pyramid Texts. Due to the discoveries it has been scientifically proven and assigned to the New Kingdom, although the time of origin is probably to be dated at least from the Middle Kingdom. The Imydwat covers the following topics:

"To know the essence of the underworld; the secret essence; the gates and ways in which the great God converts; to know what is being done, what is in the hours and their gods; to know the course of hours and their gods; to know their Verklärungssprüche for Re; to know what he says to them; to know the ends to thrive and exterminated. "

Hours of the night


The Imydwat is an integral part of the New Kingdom of decorating a royal tomb, and only sporadically occupied for residential customers. In the meantime, it is the third - written on papyrus - also placed with private persons in the grave. On sarcophagi it is attested to at least the 30th Dynasty. While it was usually completely written down in the 18th Dynasty, only a few hours are represented pars pro toto later usually.