'Book of the Dead' scroll found in Saqqara
January 20, 2021 | 0 comments
Saqqara has provided a wealth of archaeological discoveries. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Daniel Mayer
Archaeologists excavating a burial shaft have unearthed a 13ft scroll inscribed with a chapter from the book.
The papyrus, which bears the name of its owner Pwkhaef, was found in a funerary temple of Queen Nearit in Saqqara next to the pyramid of her husband, the pharaoh Teti.
Saqqara itself served as the necropolis for Memphis - the capital of ancient Egypt - and contains bodies interred over an extended period of more than 3,000 years.
The scroll is inscribed with chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead - a manuscript that the ancient Egyptians believed had the power to help guide those who had died through the afterlife.
The chapter is thought to contain a series of questions and answers - a type of 'cheat sheet' designed to help the deceased navigate their way through the spiritual realm.
A number of burial shafts unearthed outside the temple were also found to contain the remains of several individuals who were likely worshippers of the pharaoh who formed a cult after his death.
Interestingly, the burials suggest that this cult endured for centuries and that many of its followers had expressed a desire to be buried at this location.
So far, more than 50 wooden coffins have been unearthed there.
Source: Live Science
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