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Ma'at was an ancient Egyptian deity, personifying the concepts of truth, order, justice, law and balance. She was often depicted as a young woman, holding a scepter in one hand and ankh in the other, crowned with an ostrich feather. Ma'at was considered to be the goddess who held the world together, prevented it from returning to chaos.

The word Ma'at also referred to the state of orderly existence, which the Pharaoh was expected to uphold.

After death, hearts were left within the mummified remains so that the soul, which Egyptians believed to reside in the heart, could be weighed in the Duat against the feather of Ma'at. If the heart was equal or lighter than the feather, the soul could pass on to the Field of Reeds. If the heart was found heavier than the feather, Ammit would devour it and the soul was condemned to remain in the Duat.