Scientists successfully unroll 2,000-year-old Egyptian Book of the Dead scroll – photo

News » Science and Technology Scientists successfully unroll 2,000-year-old Egyptian Book of the Dead scroll - photo

Egyptian researchers have released photographs of the recently found Book of the Dead, written over 2,000 years ago on a scroll nearly 16 meters. The find was made in Saqqara, in the coffin of one of the tombs near the Step Pyramid of Djoser. It was announced on January 14, Egyptian Archaeologists' Day, and now images of the artifact have been added.

It was not unusual for the ancient Egyptians to bury the Book of the Dead with the deceased, but they did not call it that then. This term belongs to modern archaeologists and means a collection of funeral texts – spells and prayers. They, according to the ancient Egyptians, were supposed to help the dead in the afterlife. There was no single standard for the Book of the Dead. Its content differed in each of the known cases. None of the copies found contain all the known texts. They were selected individually for each person – this could depend on the social status of the deceased or his possible needs in the other world.

The papyrus was found rolled up in the coffin of a man named Ahmose. Pharaoh Ahmose I, who ruled in 1550-1525 BC, is known to history, but it has been established that this is not him. According to researchers, the man's name is mentioned on the papyrus about 260 times. He lived around 300 BC, at the beginning of the Ptolemaic dynasty – pharaohs descended from one of the commanders of Alexander the Great. Ahmose's tomb is located south of the step pyramid built for Djoser.

According to the researchers, the papyrus was written in black and red ink, and the quality of the inscription indicates that it was made by a professional. The scroll has already been restored and translated into Arabic. It is currently on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

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