Perhaps the most famous scene of weighing from antiquity is "The Weighing of the Heart" from the Book of the Dead. Our guide is John H. Taylor, a curator at the British Museum in the Ancient Egypt collection, Funerary Archaeology. The weighing of the heart was an important test to determine if you'd lived virtuously enough to deserve a good afterlife. As the earliest depiction of psychostasia, or weighing of the soul, I call this sequence "The First Last Judgment."

It was a real treat to talk with John Taylor. I have wondered whether fiction films accurately depict the Ancient Egyptian culture, and here I ask him to read some of the characters aloud. John explains what we know and what we don't know about the language. And speaking of fiction films, the BM staff remarked that the following week some of the production of The Mummy were coming to the museum.

I have started putting my annotated references on the website, if you would like to learn more about psychostasia.