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FOUND OBJECT TRANSFORMATION RESEARCH

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD

"Book" is the closest term to describe the loose collection of texts consisting of a number of magic spells intended to assist a dead person's journey through the Duat, or underworld, and into the afterlife and written by many priests over a period of about 1000 years.

As a class we briefly examined the Mummy of Hornejitef, and it is said that passages from the book of the dead are inscribed on the coffin of the mummy. This is where my interest in the book started, and after my work in class, creating a book of spells out of a metro, I decided that for my project development I would create a similar piece,. however basing it on the book of the dead. 

The Book of the Dead was part of a tradition of funerary texts which includes the earlier Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts, which were painted onto objects, not papyrus.

At present, some 192 spells are known, though no single manuscript contains them all. They served a range of purposes. Some are intended to give the deceased mystical knowledge in the afterlife, or perhaps to identify them with the gods: for instance, Spell 17, an obscure and lengthy description of the god Atum. Others are incantations to ensure the different elements of the dead person's being were preserved and reunited, and to give the deceased control over the world around him. Still others protect the deceased from various hostile forces, or guide him through the underworld past various obstacles. Famously, two spells also deal with the judgement of the deceased in the Weighing of the Heart ritual.

There was little distinction for the Ancient Egyptians between magical and religious practice

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