Giant Scroll of the “Book of the Dead” Was Discovered in an Ancient Egyptian Cemetery

There is no doubt, the constant archaeological discoveries have helped to define the past more and more. It is through these discoveries that we better understand the cultures that were part of history, and it is because of the countless scientific studies that we completely change our understanding of the past.

These discoveries seem to be endless. So much so that a funerary temple, belonging to Queen Nearit, was discovered in the Egyptian cemetery of Saqqara near the pyramid of her husband, Pharaoh Teti. He ruled Egypt from 2323 B.C. to 2291 B.C.

The temple is made of stone and has three clay brick warehouses on its southeast side. These were the offerings made to the queen and her husband. Archaeologists also found, near the pyramid, several tombs with the remains of people who lived in Egypt’s 18th and 19th dynasties.

These people’s burials were probably part of the worship service for Teti after her death. This cult seems to have continued for more than a millennium with people wanting to be buried near the Pharaoh’s pyramid. The team has so far discovered 50 wooden coffins. In addition to a large number and variety of objects.

Book of the Dead

One of the objects found in the tombs was a papyrus four meters long that had chapter 17 of the “Book of the Dead”. It is a manuscript that the ancient Egyptians used to help guide the dead into the afterlife.

The owner of this papyrus was Pwkhaef. Name that was written on the papyrus. The same name was found in one of the wooden coffins and four shabti statues that were intended to serve the dead in their afterlife.

Scientists are currently analyzing the text of Chapter 17. However, this chapter is known to have a series of questions and answers. It served as a kind of step by step for people to be able to navigate the afterlife.

In addition to the “Book of the Dead” piece, the team discovered a stele, which is a kind of erected stone, that belonged to a man named Khaptah. He was identified as the supervisor of the military chariot of Pharaoh and his wife, Mwtemwia.

Other findings

At the top of the stele is shown the couple honoring Osiris, the god of the underworld. And at the bottom the couple is sitting on chairs with six of their children in front of them.

Archaeologists are not sure which Pharaoh Khaptah served. But it is possible that it was Ramses II, who reigned between 1279 and 1213 BCE, not least because he was a pharaoh known for his military campaigns that expanded the empire from Egypt to Syria.

Other discoveries were also made in the tombs near the pyramid. Among them, a bronze ax, board games, statues of Osiris and several mummies. Including that of a woman who appears to have suffered from a fever that was common in the Mediterranean. It was a genetic disorder that caused recurrent fever and inflammation of the abdomen, joints and lungs.

Also found was a sanctuary to Anubis and statues of the god.