10/26/2010 05:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Spotlight: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead at the British Museum

WHAT: 'Journey Through the Afterlife: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead'

WHEN: 4 November 2010 - 6 March 2011

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London, United Kingdom


This exhibition will for the first time explain the content and meaning of the famous and enigmatic Egyptian Book of the Dead - a collection of prayers, hymns, instructions and rituals which provided the dead with the special knowledge they would need to make a safe passage to the afterlife. The British Museum houses an unequalled collection of Books of the Dead on papyrus - many of them beautifully illustrated with coloured images showing the landscape of the netherworld and the gods and demons who dwelt there. The exhibition will focus on the most important papyri - many of which cannot be on permanent display for conservation reasons - to tell the story of the journey to the next world and to set in context crucial episodes such as the "weighing of the heart", by which the dead were judged. It will include the complete papyrus of Hunefer (one of the most beautifully painted of all) and the longest Book of the Dead known (37 metres), besides coffins, masks, statues, amulets, and items of funerary jewellery. The majority of the pieces will be drawn from the British Museum's own rich collection, supplemented by loans of important items from other museums worldwide.

(From: British Museum)

Exhibition Spotlight is an at-a-glance look at an exhibit we think you should check out.