Fragments of Egyptian Book of the Dead Found in Australian Museum

Posted on April 28, 2012

ABC News in Australia reports that fragments from the Book of the Dead, an ancient Egyptian funerary text, have been found in the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia. The ancient Egyptians believed that spells contained in the book would benefit the dead in the afterlife. The fragments had been in the museum for decades before being noticed by British Museum Egyptologist John Taylor during a tour of the Queensland Museum's Egyptian collection. Taylor recognized a name on a papyrus fragment. When he examined the fragments more closely, they turned out to belong to a high priest of the Temple of Amun from 3,400 years ago.

Taylor told ABC News, "What we've got in Brisbane are the missing portions of this ancient book which has been split up, divided across the world for well over a hundred years."

Over 100 pieces of the Book of the Dead were found in the museum's archives. You can see a large image of one of the pieces here. Take a look: