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Ancient Egyptian ‘Books of the Dead’ played an important part of the journey from death to the afterlife. They contained magical texts, ‘spells’ and illustrations, and were often written on papyrus. This section of the Book of the Dead of Hunefer (c.1280 BC) shows two priests carrying out the Opening of the Mouth ritual. The centrepiece of the upper scene is the mummy of the scribe Hunefer, supported by the god Anubis. Hunefer’s wife and daughter are shown mourning. The white building to the right represents the tomb, complete with a portal doorway and small pyramid. Both of these features can be seen in real Theban tombs from around the time of Hunefer. To the left is an image of a stela (an inscribed upright pillar) and at the right of the lower scene is a table bearing the various implements needed for the ceremony. On the left is depicted a calf being led to its death by ritual sacrifice, alongside its distressed mother.
The papyrus of the 19th Dynasty Book of the Dead of Hunefer is housed in the British Museum where it can be seen on display in the ancient Egyptian galleries.
An environmentally friendly choice for history lovers.
H37 x W0.2 x L49cm