Various fragments of the ancient Egyptian manuscript known as the "Book of the Dead" have been found deep in the archives of the Queensland Museum in Brisbane (Australia). Famed Egyptologist and Dr. John Taylor located them by chance. As he was perusing the museum's Egyptian collection, a piece of papyrus caught his eye.
Being the curator of the collection of British Museum mummies and being in charge of the traveling exhibition that, currently in Brisbane, was taken to the museum's warehouses to see similar pieces. "After a while examining the remains, it became clear that what we had in our hands were fragments of the Book of the Dead”Says Taylor.
All the evidence indicates that the manuscript dates from 1420 BC. and that it belonged to a high-ranking Egyptian officer. The British investigator maintains that the pieces found in Brisbane would belong to “a high priest of the Temple of Amun", Although, in the first instance, he doubted that it was" the same man. "
At the end of the 19th century parts of the Book of the Dead were discovered, but they have never managed to find it whole, since it was divided and distributed throughout the world. It is believed that it contained magical spells to guide the dead after life, but the key is to reconstruct the document. For Taylor, this is “a find of great magnitude"And restoring the document will reveal"a lot of information”. It further clarifies that, “after more than a hundred years", we're "in a position to fully recover the manuscript”.
For his part, the executive director of the Museum of Queensland, Ian Galloway, affirms that the pieces were donated to the center by a woman a century ago and that, although they have tried to know where she got them from, the only thing they have managed to do is contact her family. He also shows his joy and surprise at the find: “We are incredibly surprised that we have had such an important item in our collection without knowing it.”.
Both Galloway and Taylor code at “incalculable”The value of the fragments found. The good condition in which they are found has promoted the praise of the museum's curators who have been in charge of the pieces all these years.
For now, the discovered remains will remain in Brisbane. The idea is that the researchers put together the original manuscript using photographs of the document in order to guarantee its integrity.
Source: ABC News
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.