1、The Book of the Dead
To the ancient Egyptians death marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another.
After death all ancient Egyptians believed that they must leave behind the green fertile farmlands of Egypt and the waters of the river Nile to travel to the afterlife.
They hoped that afterlife would be a perfect place that resemble the beautiful landscape of Egypt they have left behind.
It was called "the Field of Reeds."
But to reach the afterlife they had to make a dangerous and frightening journey.
Their spirit had to cross the netherworld, which was the land of dead, ruled by the god of Osiris.
Hail to you Osiris: Turn your face to the west. That you may illumine the two lands with fine gold.
Those who were asleep stand up to look at you. For to you belong eternity and everlasting.
The ancient Egyptians believed that it was very important to prepare for this journey.
How would they ward off hostile spirits and poisonous snakes?
How would they avoid burning fire and scalding water?
And why did the monstrous devourer always look so hungry?
When wealthy ancient Egyptians died, their bodies were mummified.
The mummy was placed in a tomb with special objects to protect it.
And to help the dead face the parrels of the netherworld.
One of the objects was a roll of magic spells and pictures.
This is now known as the Book of the Dead.
The mummy stayed in the tomb,
but its ba spirit in the shape of a bird could fly away form the tomb to explore the netherworld,
And try to find a way through.
In order to do this,
the spirit of the dead person would have to pass through gates that were guarded by the gods,
And avoid being caught in their nets.
They would have to battle with snakes and crocodiles,
And protect themselves against bloody-thirsty monsters.
The dead person used magic and spells from the book of the Dead,
to help them overcome these obstacles.
Oh, you with the spine would work your mouth against this magic of mine.
No crocodile which lives by magic shall take it away.
At the end of each day, the ba spirit returned to the mummy in the tomb.
The final and the most important stage in the journey of the dead was the trial in the hall of judgement.
The dead person's heart was weighted against the feather of truth.
If their heart proved too heavy, they would be condemned and eaten by the monstrous Devourer.
If their heart balanced on the scales, the dead person will be allowed to enter and to remain forever in a perfect world,
travelling across the sky with the son god Ra or tending their crops in a perfect landscape.
that resembled the green fertile banks of that beloved river Nile.
Are you prepare to make the same journey?
Can you discover how to use the spells of the Book of the Dead to help you on your way?
It's time now to go to the exhibition and meet the god Osiris and the monstrous Devourer.