Ammut, whose name means ‘Devourer of the Dead’, is a Goddess of the netherworld depicted with the head of a crocodile, the front legs of a lion or leopard and the rear of a hippopotamus. Ammut is generally known for her role at the famous judgment scene (Book of the Dead spell 125), in which the heart is weighed against Ma’et, where Ammut sits on all fours waiting to consume the heart which has not been purified. In spell 168, however, she is said to keep the soul sound in the netherworld insofar as she has received offerings from one while alive. Her hippopotamus hindquarters may allude to the childbirth associations of hippopotamus Goddesses such as Taweret and Ipy. Spell 863 of the Coffin Texts, the purpose of which seems to be to secure nourishment for the deceased through an identification with the vulture Goddess Nekhbet, opens with what seems to be a pun on Ammut’s name, addressing Nekhbet with the affirmation “The dead are swallowed for you [emmut].” The spell goes on to identify the deceased with Nekhbet, whose nourishment is unfailingly provided through this absorption of the dead insofar as they are not subjects of resurrection.

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