By: April Carson
Researchers in New Zealand and the United States have managed to mend a 2300-year-old scroll of the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead that was damaged. The parchment's contents included spells and hymns for a person named Petosiris on his journey to the afterlife.
The Book of the Dead has a long and illustrious history. It began when the cult of local gods became more complicated in the Nile Valley during ancient times.
According to Herodotus, even before the unification of Ancient Egypt into a single kingdom, a collection of funeral rituals (the "Pyramid Texts") was created and inscribed on the walls of royal pyramid burial chambers during the reigns of pharaohs 5th-6th dynasty (about 2355 BC). The beginning of the New Kingdom saw these texts for the first time, during the reign of Pharaoh Unis at the end of the Old Kingdom.
The surviving papyri contain a number of compilations of paragraphs from the Book of the Dead. Religious and magical writings are among them. The last stage in the ceremony was intended to protect the soul of the deceased, which would journey through seven elements with seven gates.
The most lengthy Book of the Dead is the Greenfield Papyrus at 37 meters. Several incantations and scenes were painted on tombs, sarcophagi, and mummy burial shrouds as part of this ritual.
One of the most well-known examples is the Hunefer papyrus, which was discovered in a scribe's tomb at Thebes. It comes from the 19th Dynasty (circa 1285 BC). It depicts Anubis leading the soul of the deceased to judgment, as seen in several other ancient Egyptian artwork.
Experts discovered two matching pieces from the Book of the Dead
The Getty Research Institute's historians discovered a picture of one of the burial shroud fragments from an ancient Egyptian mummy, which was inscribed with hieroglyphs from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They discovered it in Christchurch's Archaeological Museum's online database.
The researchers quickly recognized that their institute's sample fit the New Zealand puzzle.
According to Egyptologist Alison Griffith of the University of Canterbury, there is a slight gap between the two pieces, but the overall picture, spell, and text make sense. Both pieces are written in hieratic script and hieroglyphs depicting events and spells from the Book of the Dead.
The author remarked that it was very difficult to write anything on such a surface, and that only a really steady hand would do.
The book of J plates from the New Kingdom, which were perhaps painted at a different time for another context, show the soul of a deceased person being weighed on a balance against a feather or scale that is supported by an ibis.
The soul was then judged to be light or heavy based on whether it exceeded or fell short of its weight. Several sections of The Book of the Dead are found in versions of the text documented on the Turin royal papyrus.
Although the name of the person for whom the Book of the Dead was produced has been discovered by archaeologists, the entire text of the object has not yet been recovered. To do so, additional sections of the manuscript must be located. These fragments are now scattered across the world and are held in both public and private collections.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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