Published on April 22nd, 2012 | by Steven Hodson0
Extremely Rare Egyptian Book Of The Dead Fragments Discovered In Australia
One of the problems with being able to put together the time of history like the ancient world of Egypt is that some much of that history, from things like sculptures to simple papyrus pages, has been spread around the world since the artifacts first started becoming the ‘thing’ to own.
As people traveled to Egypt through the ages they would come away with pieces of its history as a personal treasure, or in some cases end up in private collections, so when John Taylor, a British Museum Egyptologist, spotted a small shred of papyrus as part of a display at the Queensland Museum’s mummy exhibition he saw something he wasn’t expecting.
On that small piece of papyrus there was the distinctive hieroglyphs of Egypt’s chief architect Amenhotep who is credited with designing and constructing the Great Temple of Amun at Karnak near Luxor. Once he realized what he had seen Taylor asked if there were any more fragments like this in the museum’s possession, which there was in the museum’s conservation lab.
“After a very short period of time it became apparent that we did indeed have many fragments of the Book of the Dead of this extremely important man,” he told The Weekend Australian newspaper.
“This is not the papyrus of just anybody, this is one of the top officials in Egypt at the peak of Egyptian prosperity,” added Taylor, describing it as a “once in a lifetime” find.
The fragments were donated to the museum by a private citizen in 1913 and are not normally on public display, but had been brought out to accompany the British Museum’s touring mummies exhibition, which Taylor was here to open.
The newest finds in Australia are to be photographed and then it will be determined where about in the complete scroll that they belong, a scroll that in its entirety could measure 20 meters long. Currently other sections of the scroll can be found at institutions around the world including the British Museum, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
image via Phys.Org