The Egyptian “Book of the Dead”: What is it Really?

Gregory Rihn
Many scrolls of instructions have been found in Egyptian tombs, which were intended to help the recently deceased navigate the afterlife, and to avoid or overcome the dangers found there. The most famous of these is the so-called “Book of the Dead,” or “The Book of Going Forth By Day,” which not only includes spells and evocations to be used by the newly dead, but also lists of the gods and monsters that will be encountered, and answers to the questions that will be asked by the inquisitors of the dead.

This talk will be illustrated with pages from “The Scroll of Ani,” one of the best known and best preserved examples of a Book of the Dead,” and other thematic artworks.