The Book of the Dead Finally Sees The Light Los Angeles
The Book of the Dead Finally Sees The Light In Los Angeles’ Getty Exhibition
The Washington Post announced a new exhibition showcasing Ancient Egypt’s “Book of the Dead”
The book was acquired by the New York book dealer Hans P. Kraus.
With his wife, Hanni, Mr. Kraus donated the lot to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 1983.
The texts, from around 1450 B.C. to 100 B.C., have been stored in a vault for forty years because they are delicate and easily harmed by light.
Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “I am glad that the Getty finally decided to disclose and exhibit what has been until now an almost forgotten part of its glorious collection of antiquities, but that contains important specimens of one of the most famous ancient Egyptian corpus in the world.”
The Book of the Dead, a customary element of Egyptian royal funerals, was a collection of about 200 ceremonial incantations and prayers along with guidelines for the deceased’s spirit to recite them in the hereafter. It was not a book in the contemporary sense.
The book gives the recently departed soul a kind of visual map to help them find their way around the duat, a maze-like netherworld of caves, hills, and flaming lakes. Every spell was designed to address a certain scenario that the deceased could come across throughout their journey.
The exhibition is held at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for the first time, where new seven representative pieces will also be displayed.