Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead- PDF book

Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead 

Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead



The ancient Egyptians held a complex set of beliefs about the afterlife. One ancient source which helps us to understand what they thought would happen after death is the collection of texts known today as the Book of the Dead. This exhibition brings together examples of this text, mainly in its New Kingdom period (about 1550-1069 BC) papyrus format, and associated objects which explore both ancient Egyptian beliefs and the evolution and manufacture of the text itself. Exhibition entry is free for school groups but all visiting groups must pre-book through the British Museum Ticket Desk. 

The Museum suggests that students move through the exhibition in small groups looking at and discussing objects, graphics and relevant text. On page 4 is an exhibition briefing sheet for adult helpers to help focus students’ thoughts as they move through each section of the exhibition. There are also information sheets (a beginner’s guide, in-depth notes and a glossary) which you may wish to share with adult helpers or older students before the visit. Outside the specific school slots for the exhibition, teachers and students will need to be aware that they will be visiting the space alongside the general public, so please remind students to be considerate. 

Unfortunately, due to the sensitivity of the objects to light, photography is not allowed within the exhibition.

 It is therefore suggested that students collect visual information about the Book of the Dead by undertaking relevant detailed observation sketches which can then be used to support follow-up art and design work in the classroom, by taking photographs of objects in the permanent Egyptian galleries on the Ground and Upper floors of the Museum, or by using the online resources available on the British Museum website back at school. You can also find lots of Egyptian images in the Museum shops. Alongside collecting information that will support any follow-up activities at school, students may find it useful to have a big question to consider and discuss as they go around the exhibition. 

This question could then be discussed back at school. For example: 
■ What impression of ancient Egypt do I get from the exhibition? 
■ What did the ancient Egyptians believe about the afterlife? 
■ What have I found out about ancient Egypt that I didn’t know before? 
■ What sources of evidence does the exhibition include and how useful did I find them?


Download PDF book - 20 Pages 

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