Fragments of Book of the Dead found in Brisbane
Missing fragments from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead have been uncovered deep in the stores of the Queensland Museum.The manuscript belonged to a high-ranking Egyptian official who lived in 1420 BC. It was believed to contain magical spells to guide the dead to the afterlife. Parts of the manuscript were discovered in the late 19th Century, but archaeologists have never found it all.
World-renowned Egyptologist Dr John Taylor was viewing the museum’s Egyptian collection when a name on a papyrus fragment caught his eye. Dr Taylor is the curator of the British Museum’s mummy collection. The British Museum currently has a mummy exhibition on display at the Queensland Museum.
He was taken to the museum’s storeroom to see more and says what came next is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.” After a very short time it became apparent that we did indeed have many fragments of the Book of the Dead,” he said. Dr Taylor says the rare specimens belonged to a high priest of the Temple of Amun, around 3,400 years ago.” This is not the papyrus of just anybody, this is one of the top officials from Egypt at the peak of ancient Egypt’s prosperity,” he said.” So it is a significant find, and if we can reconstruct the whole document that’s going to tell us a lot.
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