Saturday, November 27

Book of the Dead Click for more info

The British Museum is currently hosting an exhibition outlining what can only be described as the death process of the Ancient Egyptians. Most of the gathered information was acquired from the study of their various Books of the Dead (there's more than one? How anti-climatic), a death manual upper class Egyptians were often buried with. The book was actually a collection of both instructions (for burial etc) and spells (for various protections and benefits in the after-life) which also itself served as a talisman for they who was being buried.

I guess the biggest issue I had with the exhibition was that of scope. Although death is morbidly exciting (of sorts), there isn't really much to talk about it once you've covered the basics, and as such I felt a lot of the points being made by the various exhibits were slightly laboured. My seven year old nephew certainly lost a lot of his initial interest by the first room. He certainly enjoyed his short time in the museum a lot more, and that despite being given the opportunity to collect spells and create his own Book of the Dead (which in hindsight is pretty scary).

Of course there were some gems which had to be seen, most of them the larger caskets, sarcophaguses and mummys, and in some ways it was worth going just to see those. However as my co-attendee pointed out, the museum itself already had multiple rooms dedicated to these things.

So in conclusion I guess my advice is to spend your time checking out the rest of the museum instead - if only the Egyptian bits if you like.

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