Of all the things that I find cool about Ancient Egypt—pyramids, pharaohs, hieroglyphics, the Bangles—I think the Book of the Dead has to be at the top of the list. I like the idea of the recently departed being entombed with a set of papyrus scrolls that tells them what to do on the way to the underworld. It’s both fascinating and spooky.
So I was quick to click on this article about the Book of the Dead. The article provides a nice summary of what it’s all about. It also mentions a new Book of the Dead exhibit that just opened at the British Museum in London.
The Book of the Dead is actually a collection of spells that recently deceased souls can use to get past a series of tests and obstacles on their way to the afterlife. These spells were very helpful. For instance, if you didn’t know the correct spell, your journey to the next world might end at the hands of a knife-wielding god with the head of a hippopotamus and the body of a lion. That would be a terrible way to go.
Anyway, I would like to learn more about the Book of the Dead. EF College Break travelers heading to London should check out the exhibit. Or, you could always just take the trip to Egypt.