Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead

Front Cover
John H. Taylor
Harvard University Press, 2010 - History - 320 pages

The Book of the Dead is not a single text but a compilation of spells that the ancient Egyptians believed would assist them in the afterlife as they made their perilous journey toward the realm of the gods and the ultimate state of eternity. No two copies are identical. The spells are often accompanied by colored vignettes, which graphically show the imagined landscape of the Netherworld, the gods and demons whom the deceased will meet, and the critical “weighing of the heart”—the judgment that will determine whether the traveler will be admitted into the afterlife or condemned to destruction by the monstrous “Devourer.”

With contributions from leading scholars and detailed catalog entries that interpret the spells and painted scenes, this fascinating and important book affords a greater understanding of ancient Egyptian belief systems and poignantly reveals the hopes and fears of mortal man about the “world” beyond death. The whole is beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned photographs of these exceptional papyri and an array of contextual funerary objects—painted coffins, gilded masks, amulets, jewelry, tomb figurines, and mummy trappings.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ainevethe - LibraryThing

This book is an absolutely stunning pictorial romp through the Egyptian Book of the Dead. I am reading the hardcover version of this book and the detail and variety of pictures are fantastic. My only ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Strider66 - LibraryThing

Pros: lots of gorgeous coloured photos, detailed chapters, covers numerous aspects surrounding death and the afterlife Cons: no complete text translation This is a gorgeous pictorial overview of what ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

John H. Taylor is a curator at the British Museum specializing in ancient Egyptian funerary archaeology. He is the author of numerous books including Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead; Mummy: the Inside Story; Spells for Eternity and Egyptian Mummies.

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