Monday, January 17, 2011

Exhibition: Journey through the Afterlife

Al Ahram Weekly (David Tresilian)

As anyone who has visited its ancient Egyptian galleries will know, London's British Museum has one of the world's most important collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the famous Rosetta Stone, discovered by Napoleon Bonaparte's invading forces in Egypt in 1799 and subsequently used to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

However, not all the museum's ancient Egyptian collection is equally robust, and much of it, especially pieces made of wood, textile, or papyrus, is usually kept under wraps. Visitors to the museum this winter therefore have the otherwise rare opportunity to see some of this fragile material taken out of storage and put on show in the museum's current major exhibition, Journey through the Afterlife, the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, which explores ancient Egyptian attitudes to death and the afterlife.

The exhibition includes hundreds of fragments of papyrus, grave goods, sarcophagi and other items, most of them drawn from the British Museum's collections, and focuses on the instructions left in ancient Egyptian tombs to help the dead navigate through the afterlife, the so-called Book of the Dead.

No comments: