When an Egyptian who was not a member of the royal family died, his soul had to travel through a series of rigorous tests to arrive in paradise, called the Field of Reeds.
The climax of the journey occurred when the soul was brought before Osiris, the supreme judge of the afterlife.
While Osiris watched from his throne, the soul’s heart was weighed on a giant scale against a symbol of truth and justice.
If the heart was evil, the soul was condemned to a horrible fate.
If the heart was pure, then the soul could joyfully enter paradise.