Volume II Plate 82 - Books of the Sky ~ In the tomb of Ramesses VII, a large astronomical ceiling was found that features a double scene of the goddess Nut stretching across the heavens. It's original size as engraved in the rock burial chamber was 13 feet wide by 28 feet long. Similar scenes were found in the tombs of Seti I and Ramesses IV.

Generally speaking, the books emphasize cosmography and the topography of the sky. Nut was the patron of the sky, and the firmament. She was usually pictured as a naked woman painted with stars bending over the world, her hands and feet touching the four cardinal points. Nut protects the world from the darkness outside it and all the demonic creatures that dwell in that darkness. The sun god (Ra, Khephri, and others depending on the myth), would travel along her body each day, and at night would enter the underworld.

The Decans, illustrated as standing figures around the perimeter of this illustration, were groups of stars from the night sky and were used as a calendar by the ancient Egyptians. Each decan would rise above the dawn horizon for ten days every year. There were 36 decans (36 X 10 = 360 days), plus 5 added days to make up to 365 days.

Framed 35 1/2 inches x 28 inches ~ $2,300