CAIRO – 15 October 2020: Religious books buried with the ancient Egyptian man were usually used as a guide for the dead on his journey to the afterlife.
Recently, an ancient manuscript was discovered inside one of the ancient coffins, which was discovered in the Saqqara antiquities area, which so far reached 59 coffins.
Work is still continuing to extract the rest of the coffins. The book that was discovered is titled "Two Paths", which is an introduction from the Book of the Dead.
So, what is the story behind the Book of the Dead?"
The Book of the Dead, as previously mentioned, is placed with the dead to secure his journey in the other world.
It is a collection of religious documents and funerary texts that were used in ancient Egypt.
They were used from the beginning of the New Kingdom of the ancient Egyptian state to about 1550 BC, to about 50 BC.
In the book we find a wide range of texts that consist of a number of magic spells aimed at assisting the journey of a dead person to the afterlife. These spells were written by many priests.
There is a copy of the Book of the Dead on display in the British Museum.
In the books we find pleadings to the deities, songs and prayers. The book also contains a description of the destiny of the dead, whether it will be a heaven, or a scorching hell.
The ancient Egyptian believed in resurrection. They belongings of the deceased, including food, jewelry, and everything that he/she loved in their life was buried with them.
Magic amulets and amulets, which were called the texts of the pyramids in the era of the Old Kingdom, were inscribed on the walls of regular tombs and pyramids or on the stone or wooden coffin placed next to the mummy to be a guide for the dead on his/her journey to the other world.
These spells were guiding instructions that enable the deceased to overcome obstacles and dangers that would be encountered during his/her journey to the afterlife.
It also indicates the means that he/she uses to complete this journey successfully without being exposed to any harm.
Also, this incantation reminded the dead when the soul returned to him/her again of the names of the gods that he/she would encounter on the way.
Forgetting the name of one of the gods is not in his/her favor, especially since it is part of receiving his/her account in the hereafter, as the ancient Egyptians believed the dead will stand before a court of 40 deities to receive the final judgement.
In the era of the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom, the texts of the Book of the Dead began to be written on papyrus paper. This book was placed next to the mummy inside the coffin.
Every important ancient Egyptian was keen to assign priests to prepare a book for him, in which his name, father and mother's name and his position in the world were mentioned, in preparation for the day of his death and preparing the rites of his transfer to his cemetery.
The Book of the Dead contained several chapters, describing and referring to protecting the dead from demons, evil spirits, snakes, etc., guiding the dead during resurrection, help him to cross the sea of fire, and the difficulties that threaten him, allow him to travel between the earthly world and the other world, help him to live in the afterlife, help him get water and food, and receive gifts and sacrifices, helping him to know the places in the hereafter, and to remember the names of the gods and other important names.
The Book of the Dead also helps the deceased in locating the important doors and their names, in addition to the precise spells to open them and pass them, eventually leading him to the gods.