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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Book of the Dead, an ancient Egyptian collection of spells intended to assist the journey of the deceased through the underworld.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the text and context of The Book of the Dead, also known as the Book of Coming Forth by Day, the ancient Egyptian collections of spells which were intended to help the recently deceased navigate the underworld. They flourished under the New Kingdom from C16th BC until the end of the Ptolemaic era in C1st BC, and drew on much earlier traditions from the walls of pyramids and on coffin cases. Almost 200 spells survive, though no one collection contains all of them, and one of the best known surrounds the weighing of the heart, the gods' final judgement of the deceased's life.

With

John Taylor
Curator at the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum

Kate Spence
Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology at Cambridge University and Fellow of Emmanuel College

and

Richard Parkinson
Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford and Fellow of the Queen's College

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Apr 2017 21:30

Clip

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Richard Parkinson at the University of Oxford

Kate Spence at the University of Cambridge

John Taylor at the British Museum

Book of the Dead – Wikipedia

The Dead Book Project Bonn – Universitat Bonn

 

READING LIST:

Thomas George Allen, The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day: Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in Their Own Terms (University of Chicago Press, 1974)

Jan Assmann (trans. David Lorton), Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2005)

R. O. Faulkner (trans.), The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day (Chronicle Books, 1994)

Barry Kemp, How to Read the Egyptian Book of the Dead (Granta Books, 2007)

Stephen Quirke, Going out in Daylight - prt m hrw: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead: Translation, Sources, Meaning (Golden House Publications, 2013)

John H. Taylor, Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

John H. Taylor (ed.), Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (British Museum Press, 2010)

John H. Taylor, Spells for Eternity: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (British Museum Press, 2010)

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest John Taylor
Interviewed Guest Kate Spence
Interviewed Guest Richard Parkinson
Producer Simon Tillotson

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