Three thousand years after it was buried in the tomb of an Egyptian high priest, the papyrus Book of the Dead, a sort of guidebook to the next world, was unrolled in 1960 at the British Museum. It proved to be twenty-two feet long and, except for some wear at the beginning, in excellent condition.
Not an end. Just an interruption which involved appeasing gods and preserving the body to ensure entering into the afterlife. The funerary text was also konwn by the name “spells for coming forth by day.” These spells were believed to give the dead knowledge and certain powers to reach the next world, meet the challenges and enjoy eternal life.
( see link at end) …A papyrus from the Book of the Dead in the Egyptian Archive of the British Museum tells the story of the scribe Hunefer in the waiting room of the afterlife: of how his fate hangs in the balance as his heart is weighed against a feather upon the scales of Maat, the scales of eternal justice, by the jackal-headed god Anubis.
Hunefer’s heart resides, during this transitional period of judgment, inside the small pot on the scale tray to the left; on the scale tray to the right, we see the feather of Maat, or Rectitude. The emotional, intellectual and moral history of Hunefer has been distilled into the contents of the pot. There is no longer any chance of bargaining, negotiating or doing a deal. The finite game of mortal life, with all its little white lies perpetrated in the desperate attempt to keep the game going, is now over for the scribe; the game of infinity, with its very different set of rules, has begun. Read More:http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.ca/2009/10/from-egyptian-book-of-dead-weighing-of.html
( see link at end) …Each individual’s Book was different – its length, lavishness and number of spells dependent on its owner’s wealth – and the BM has the largest collection in the world, including the Book of Nodjmet. It depicts her encounter with Osiris, god of the underworld, in which she brazen-facedly declares she led a decent life on Earth and deserves eternal entry to the blissful Field of Reeds. In flowing white robes, she looks like butter wouldn’t melt, yet we know she secretly has two murders on her conscience.
Nodjmet’s all-too-human tale serves to collapse much of the distance between us and Ancient Egypt, and this is clearly an aim of the exhibition as a whole: to re-humanise the Egyptians. What with their tombs, mummies, curses and necropolises, they’ve long been stereotyped as a death-obsessed civilisation. Hieroglyphic text died out in the fourth century AD, not being decoded again until the 1820s, and the 1,500 years in between helped create the image of a remote, occult society that still persists…. that Egyptians weren’t such a morbid bunch, after all. They just had a recognisable desire to live forever. Observing the cyclical patterns of natural phenomena about them – sun, moon, vegetation, flooding of the Nile – they assumed that humans, too, would come again after death. Read More:http://parasearcher.blogspot.ca/2010/12/occult-artifacts-egyptian-book-of-dead.html