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Still Waters

The First Book of Breathing: A new assessment

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Still Waters

Papyrus FMNH31324 was acquired by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago on May 24, 1894, after collector Edward E. Ayer purchased the papyrus for the museum while in Europe.

Papyrus FMNH31324, published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies (October 2020) for the first time, is the basis for a new analysis of the First Book of Breathing, an ancient Egyptian funerary text intended to enable deceased people to join the gods in the afterlife.

"In recent years, a renewed focus has emerged on the dynamic vitality witnessed in the production and transmission of Egyptian funerary literature during the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods," writes author Foy Scalf. "The so-called Books of Breathing have been central to this ongoing discussion."



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