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The amulet of the Tet

The amulet of the Tet

This amulet probably represents the tree trunk in which the goddess
Isis concealed the dead body of her husband, and the four cross-bars
indicate the four cardinal points; it became a symbol of the highest
religious importance to the Egyptians, and the setting up of the Tet at
Busiris, which symbolized the reconstituting of the body of Osiris, was one
of the most solemn of all the ceremonies performed in connexion with the
worship of Osiris. The Tet represents neither the mason's table nor a
Nilometer, as some have thought, It is always associated with the CLVth
Chapter of the Book of the Dead, which reads:

"Rise up thou, O Osiris! Thou hast thy backbone, O Still-Heart! Thou
hast the fastenings of thy neck and back, O Still-Heart! Place thou
thyself upon The mummy of Ani the scribe, lying on a bier, attended by Isis,
Nephthys, Anubis, the four children of Horus, the ushabti figure, his
soul, the TET, etc.

"thy base, I put water beneath thee, and I bring unto thee a Tet of
gold that thou mayest rejoice therein."

Like the buckle, the Tet had to be dipped in the water in which ankham
flowers had been steeped, and laid upon the neck of the deceased, to
whom it gave the power to reconstitute the body and to become a perfect
KHU (i.e., spirit) in the underworld. On coffins the right hand of the
deceased grasps the buckle, and the left the Tet; both are made of wood,
notwithstanding the fact that the rubric to the Chapter of the Te
orders the Tet to be made of gold.




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