I have just been alerted to the launching of a new exhibit at the British Museum, "Journey Through the Afterlife: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead." The exhibit, as the British Museum website explains, will show not only examples of the Book of the Dead never before seen, but also funerary figures, statues and coffins illustrating "the the many stages of the journey from death to the afterlife, including the day of burial, protection in the tomb, judgement, and entering the hereafter," all with the aim of discovering "the important mythical and spiritual ideas of ancient Egyptian life and death."
Following is the full text description from the British Museum Website:
Journey Through the Afterlife:You can find out more about the exhibit--which runs from November 4 until March 6-- on the British Museum homepage by clicking here, can watch a short video introduction to the exhibition by clicking here, and can read more about it in today's Guardian by clicking here.
The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Follow the ancient Egyptians’ journey from death to the afterlife in this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition focusing on the Book of the Dead.
The ‘Book’ was not a single text but a compilation of spells designed to guide the deceased through the dangers of the underworld, ultimately ensuring eternal life.
Many of the examples of the Book of the Dead in the exhibition have never been seen before, and many are from the British Museum’s unparalleled collection. These beautifully illustrated spells on papyrus and linen were used for over 1,000 years, and the oldest examples are over 3,500 years old.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these fascinating and fragile objects on display.
In addition to the unique works on papyrus and linen, superbly crafted funerary figurines (shabtis), amulets, jewellery, statues and coffins illustrate the many stages of the journey from death to the afterlife, including the day of burial, protection in the tomb, judgement, and entering the hereafter.
Digital media and recent research will be used to interactively interpret the Book of the Dead and complete scrolls will be reassembled and presented in their original form for the first time.
Journey with the Book of the Dead to discover the important mythical and spiritual ideas of ancient Egyptian life and death.
Image: Depiction of the weighing of the heart ritual from the papyrus of Ani, c1275 BC. © The Trustees of the British Museum; from The Gaurdian