The British Museum has just opened a never before scene exhibition revealing The Book of the Dead- which in fact 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 own expansive 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.
In addition to the 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. The exhibition runs through March 6th, 2011.
The British Museum
Great Russell St, City of London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom – 020 7323 8000
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