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Ancient Egyptian papyrus in the Book of the Dead exhibition at the British Museum

Preparing pieces of papyrus ready for display in the exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Grave Goods in Ancient Egypt
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Grave Goods in Ancient Egypt

The concept of the afterlife changed in different eras of Egypt's very long history, but for the most part, it was imagined as a paradise where one lived eternally. To the Egyptians, their country was the most perfect place which had been...
Egyptian Afterlife - The Field of Reeds
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Egyptian Afterlife - The Field of Reeds

The ancient Egyptians believed that life on earth was only one part of an eternal journey which ended, not in death, but in everlasting joy. When one's body failed, the soul did not die with it but continued on toward an afterlife where one...
Spiritual Defense - Execration Rituals in Ancient Egypt
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Spiritual Defense - Execration Rituals in Ancient Egypt

Magic was an integral aspect of life in ancient Egypt. The world was created through the power of heka (magic) as Atum stood on the primordial mound of the ben-ben in the middle of the endless waters of chaos with the god Heka, who personified...
Egyptian Gods - The Complete List
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Egyptian Gods - The Complete List

The gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt were an integral part of the people's everyday lives. It is not surprising then that there were over 2,000 deities in the Egyptian pantheon. Some of these deities' names are well known: Isis, Osiris...
The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys

The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys is an ancient Egyptian text in which the two goddess-sisters call the soul of the god Osiris to rejoin the living. The poem takes the form of a call-and-response liturgy and the dual entreaties of the...
Mummification in Ancient Egypt
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Mummification in Ancient Egypt

The practice of mummifying the dead began in ancient Egypt c. 3500 BCE. The English word mummy comes from the Latin mumia which is derived from the Persian mum meaning 'wax' and refers to an embalmed corpse which was wax-like. The idea of...
Illuminated Manuscripts
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated manuscripts were hand-made books, usually on Christian scripture or practice, produced in Western Europe between c. 500-c. 1600. They are so called because of the use of gold and silver which illuminates the text and accompanying...
The Judgement of the Dead by Osiris
Imageby Trustees of the British Museum

The Judgement of the Dead by Osiris

From Thebes, Egypt 19th Dynasty, c. 1275 BCE The judgement of the dead in the presence of Osiris This is an excellent example of one of the many fine vignettes (illustrations) from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer. The scene reads...
Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Rituals
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Rituals

Ever since European archaeologists began excavating in Egypt in the 18th and 19th centuries CE, the ancient culture has been largely associated with death. Even into the mid-20th century CE reputable scholars were still writing on the death-obsessed...
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