(Click on the image to enlarge)
Poor old Lord Carnarvon. As if he hasn't been through enough.
George Herbert, Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, was the wealthy patron of Howard Carter's excavations in the Valley of the Kings that famously led to the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Unfortunately, less than five months later, Lord Carnarvon was dead. He had fallen victim to a mosquito bite that he had cut while shaving and became infected.
As the world's newspapers were breathlessly reporting on the 'curse of the pharaohs', Herbert - according to ancient Egyptian beliefs - would have found himself trying to pass judgement before Osiris, Lord of the Underworld.
The last and most important test Herbert would have faced on his journey to the Afterlife was the Weighing of the Heart. This is where he denies that he is guilty of any wrongdoing via 42 Negative Confessions, and the weight of his deeds, borne by his heart, is balanced against the feather of truth.
If one's heart is pure then they are declared ‘true of voice’ and go on to a glorious fate in the afterlife. Here however, Lord Carnarvon's heart is found to weigh more than the feather of truth, which does not bode well for his soul. It seems he breeched one of the Negative Confessions, probably the one dealing with stealing from the dead.
This wonderfully detailed scene was created by Gordon Napier (Dashinvaine on Deviantart).
By her master's side is Susie, Carnarvon's dog. The story goes that at the moment of his death, the lights flickered out in Cairo, and Susie, back home in England, howled and also dropped down dead. The 'curse of the pharaohs' was born.
Above Carnarvon's head the hieroglyphs within two cartouches spell out his name phonetically, while the aggrieved Tutankhamun testifies against the defendant. Note the small statuette in Carnarvon's pocket, symbol of his guilt. On the right, Osiris, enthroned, presides over the judgement.
The god Thoth, in his form of sacred baboon, sits on top of the balance beam and prepares to write down the result.
To help decide Carnarvon's fate is Anubis. He was the god of mummification and “Guardian of the Scales”. It was his job to ensure that the weighing was fair. Lurking by the scales is the goddess Ammit, licking her lips as if waiting for a treat; ready to devour Carnarvon's heavy heart. As Dashinvaine says, 'Ammit's looking forward to a full English breakfast.'
It's worth reading the comments thread under the original artwork: http://dashinvaine.deviantart.com/art/The-Trial-of-Lord-Carnarvon-445827079