The Book of the Dead is the name now given to a collection of religious and magical texts known to the ancient Egyptians as The Chapters of Coming-forth by Day. Their principal aim was to secure for the deceased a satisfactory afterlife and to give him the power to leave his tomb when necessary. Copies of The Book of the Dead written on papyrus rolls were placed in the tombs of important Egyptians, each roll containing a selection of chapters. Many examples have survived from antiquity, dating mostly from c. 1500 BCE-250 BCE. In this volume, the text translated by the late Dr. R.O. Faulkner is that found in the papyrus prepared for the scribe Ani which is one of the greatest treasures in the British Museum. The vignettes are taken from the many finely illustrated copies which are preserved in the collections of the British Museum.
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