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The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Overview

The Book of the Dead is the name now given to a collection of religious and magical texts known to the ancient Egyptians as The Chapters of Coming-forth by Day. Their principal aim was to secure for the deceased a satisfactory afterlife and to give him the power to leave his tomb when necessary. Copies of The Book of the Dead written on papyrus rolls were placed in the tombs of important Egyptians, each roll containing a selection of chapters. Many examples have survived from antiquity, dating mostly from c. 1500 BCE-250 BCE. In this volume, the text translated by the late Dr. R.O. Faulkner is that found in the papyrus prepared for the scribe Ani which is one of the greatest treasures in the British Museum. The vignettes are taken from the many finely illustrated copies which are preserved in the collections of the British Museum.

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Editorial Reviews

Popular Archaeology
Through this edition of the most popular and long-lasting funerary documents of Egypt emerges much of the character of her people. Through it also the student at home and likewise the tourist visiting the Theban tombs should be greatly enlightened, even if much of the religion of Egypt remains tantalizingly obscure.
Booknews
From an archaeological perspective, and drawing on new excavations, Kemp (Egyptology, Cambridge) explores ways in which Egypt of about 3000-1000 BC prefigures our own culture. He discusses what he sees as major shaping forces of the civilization, such as political myth and ideology, bureaucracy, the quest for food and work, charismatic rule, the political and economic constraints on daily life, and the interplay between change and stability through the centuries. Contains many plans of buildings and towns, and redrawings of carvings. The Book of the dead is the name now given to a collection of religious and magical texts known to the ancient Egyptians as The Chapters of coming-forth by day. Their principal aim was to secure for the deceased a satisfactory afterlife and to give him the power to leave his tomb when necessary. In this volume, the text translated by the late R.O. Faulkner is that found in the papyrus prepared for the scribe Ani, which now resides in the British Museum. With 60 color and 85 b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292704251
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1990
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Dr. R.O. Faulkner, for many years the assistant of the great Egyptologist, Sir Alan Gardiner, was an expert in ancient Egyptian military and nautical matters, and was responsible for the publication of the British Museum's Catalogue of Wooden Model Boats.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Sources of the illustrations
Introduction
List of Spells
The Spells
Introductory Hymn to the Sun-God Re
Introductory Hymn to Osiris
Glossary
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(5)

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(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    Absolutely Beautiful!!!

    I found this item at my local Barnes&Noble bookstore. It is absolutely stunning. As if the beauty of Egypt isn't enough to captivate you, this wonderful cover featuring a lovely design is actually like a piece of jewelry you can feel. I was immediately taken by the outside but was awe-inspired by the inside. It is truly breathtaking. I would have thought a book of this style and considerable beauty would be three times as much. It is the actual book of the dead spells with vivid drawings and descriptions. This would make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone else. I would highly recommend this item to anyone who loves or just wants to know more about Egypt.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006

    great gift!

    I bought this as a birthday present for my fiance's birthday and he loved it! It really is quite interesting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2006

    All hail thy great Re-Hotep who will thou serve us!!!!!!!!

    I picked this book thinking it to be a reference book. As I started to read it, i realized it was the actual scrolls of the dead. It is VERY interesting, BEAUTIFULLY written, and ILLUSTRATED!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A very basic introduction with only the English translation.

    Those with more than a slight interest in Egyptology will be very disappointed in this translation of the Book of the Dead. The book contains ONLY the English translation in prose without any references to the original hieroglyphs. There are some nice photographs of the ancient text but the captions are not very informative. One would need to be able to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs fluently in order to make sense of these photographs. Ancient artefacts such as the Book of the Dead cannot be translated in full with 100% certainty, yet this book does not indicate where in the translation ambiguities or missing portions occur. The book is also quite small (about 9"x7") with small text. All in all, this set - both book and scarab - is quite beautiful but is best suited for those who have a mild interest in Egyptology and are looking for a basic introduction to the Book of the Dead.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 16, 2009

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    Posted April 10, 2011

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