Friday Miscellany: Harwa

HarwaHarwa whose magnificent Funerary Complex in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes housed the remains of a body-clearing operation created during an epidemic that ravaged Thebes in the third century AD is an enigmatic character in the history of ancient Egypt. He lived in the late eighth and early of the seventy century BC during the XXV Dynasty, when the Nile Valley was ruled by pharaohs from Nubia – an area in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. He held the office of Grand Steward of the Divine Adorers and was responsible for managing the state’s resources throughout  southern Egypt.

Eight statues of Harwa are housed in museums throughout the world portraying him in various poses. Harwa was not only an officer of great power but served as the real governor – on behalf of the pharaohs. An ushabti (funerary statuette) in limestone discovered in the tomb portrays Harwa with the scourge and the scepter, the insignia of Egyptian kingship.

Harwa and AnubisIn the lower picture, Anubis, the Egyptian God of the dead responsible for preservation of the body and soul in the afterlife, escorts Harwa to the scales of Ma’at, where his heart will be weighed against a feather to prove if he has lived a pure and holy life and is worthy of rebirth or not. and the soul was cast into darkness. If the scales balance, Harwa passes the test and will be welcomed by Osiris into the afterlife. BTW, savvy Egyptians who were concerned about the test could recite a spell from the Book of the Dead and substitute a heart scarab amulet instead of being betrayed by their own heavy hearts.

For more info, Harwa and his funerary monument have their own webpage  HERE.

Next week, Nikki Andrews visits An Author’s Desk & The Plague that almost Destroyed an Empire.

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