The “Book of the Dead” is the usual name given to the ancient Egyptian funerary text called the “Spells of Coming (or Going) Forth By Day.” The Book of the Dead was intended to assist the deceased in the afterlife and comprised a collection of hymns, spells and instructions to allow the deceased to pass through obstacles in the afterlife. The Book of the Dead was most commonly writtenÂ on a papyrus scroll and placed in the coffin or burial chamber of the deceased.
The Book of the Dead was the product of a long process of evolution starting with the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom through the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. About one third of the chapters in the Book of the Dead are derived from the earlier Coffin Texts.
The Book of the Dead itself was adapted into The Book of Breathings in the Late Period, but remained popular in its own right until the Roman period.
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