The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead by Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Society
Presented by Dr Beatrice Martin
Dr Martin, formerly of the University of Pretoria, started the lecture by explaining exactly what the Book of the Dead is, and how these “Spells or utterances for going out by day” can be found in the pyramid and coffin texts.
These books were mass produced in Egypt and were compiled for people upon their death so as to help the deceased with the situations that they might encounter on their journey to the afterlife, as well as in the afterlife itself.
The talk focuses on the Papyrus of Ani (from Thebes, Egypt – 19th Dynasty, around 1275 BC), a 22 meter papyrus scroll bought by Sir E.A. Wallis-Budge, in 1988. The Papyrus of Ani describes Ani’s journey to the afterlife, including among other’s, the famous scene of the weighing of his heart against Ma’at and a series of hymns to Osiris. Dr Martin’s discussion on the Egyptian afterlife was brought to life by the beautiful pictures that she showed of the Papyrus of Ani, as well as other images of the Book of the Dead.
The lecture was very interesting and very well attended.
Prof Alex Duffy handing over a thank you gift to Dr Martin
Information and Photographs courtesy of Cherene de Bruyn and Samantha Serfontein