Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead
a collection of ancient Egyptian papyrus books, many with elaborate illustrations, each containing prayers, hymns, incantations, and formulas for the behavior of the souls of the dead.

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Ancient Egyptian collection of mortuary texts made up of spells and charms and placed in tombs to aid the deceased in the next world.

It was probably compiled and reedited during the 16th century BC. Later compilations included hymns to Re. Scribes produced and sold copies, often colorfully illustrated, for burial use. Of the many extant copies, none contains all of the approximately 200 known chapters.

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▪ ancient Egyptian text
      ancient Egyptian collection of mortuary texts (death rite) made up of spells or magic formulas, placed in tombs and believed to protect and aid the deceased in the hereafter. Probably compiled and reedited during the 16th century BCE, the collection included Coffin Texts dating from c. 2000 BCE, Pyramid Texts dating from c. 2400 BCE, and other writings. Later compilations included hymns to Re, the sun god. Numerous authors, compilers, and sources contributed to the work. Scribes copied the texts on rolls of papyrus, often colourfully illustrated, and sold them to individuals for burial use. Many copies of the book have been found in Egyptian tombs, but none contains all of the approximately 200 known chapters. The collection, literally titled “The Chapters of Coming-Forth-by-Day,” received its present name from Karl Richard Lepsius (Lepsius, Richard), the German Egyptologist who published the first collection of the texts in 1842.

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