There was no single or canonical Book of the Dead. The surviving papyri scrolls contain a varying selection of religious texts and vary considerably in their illustration. Some people seem to have commissioned their own copies of the Book of the Dead, perhaps choosing the spells they thought most vital in their own progression to the afterlife. The Book of the Dead was most commonly written in hieroglyphic or hieratic script on a papyrus scroll, and often illustrated with vignettes depicting the deceased and their journey into the afterlife.
The famous Spell 125, the ‘Weighing of the Heart’, is first known from the reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III, c.1475 BC. From this period onward the Book of the Dead was typically written on a papyrus scroll, and the text illustrated with vignettes. During the 19th dynasty in particular, the vignettes tended to be lavish, sometimes at the expense of the surrounding text.
Zahi Hawass (born May 28, 1947) is an Egyptian archaeologist, an Egyptologist, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs. He has also worked at archaeological sites in the Nile Delta, the Western Desert, and the Upper Nile Valley.
Origin: Tomb of Ani, Thebes, Egypt.
Date: Year 1250 BC.
Technique: Hand painted.
Signature: EA 10470. The British Museum.
Print run: 999 limited edition copies.
Presentation: Luxurious box in walnut root wood.