The Transmission of the Book of the Dead in New Kingdom Tombs at Saqqara

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

Abstract

This open access book discusses texts and images from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, as well as other prayers and spells, found in tombs at the necropolis of Saqqara dating back to the New Kingdom (c. 1550–1077 BCE). Drawing on an extensive corpus of data, it contributes striking new insights into the role of individual agency in ancient Egyptian funerary religion.

Produced as part of the research project 'The Walking Dead at Saqqara: The Making of a Cultural Geography', kindly funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the study focuses on the transmission of funerary texts and images in Egyptian tombs in order to show how each tomb was uniquely tailored to the tastes of its owners. This contrasts with the popular image of Egyptian religion as centrally administered and directed, and essentially unchanging over millennia. In fact, choices and forms of texts and images used in tombs changed even within a single generation, while particular arrangements of material unique to Saqqara during this period demonstrate a degree of local adaptation. In bringing together this information, the book argues powerfully for the human dimension in ancient Egyptian religion, and reveals the ways in which individuals and groups were continually reshaping their tradition even as they worked within it.

The eBook editions of this book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on bloomsburycollections.com. Open access was funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO): 276-30-016.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)9781350350571
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Aug 2024

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