Book of the Dead



Book of the Dead

3rd Intermediate Period, 21st and 22nd dynasties (1069 - 715 BC)
Papyrus and ink
36 x 120 cm
From Egypt
MEV 3239

A set of religious spells ordered by chapter designed for use by the deceased as a guide to the Afterlife. Derived from the old Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom and the subsequent enlargements of the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom, these magic spells are grouped together in different books and to begin with were only destined to be used by the dead pharaohs, but were later used by everyone to take advantage of their magical properties. The most used is the one called the 'Book of Coming Forth by Day' (in other words, being reborn in the Afterlife). This piece is written in hieratic, and is decorated with illustrations that supplement and explain the texts presented in vertical columns.

1 History of the Museum
2 Archaelogy
3 Lapidary