The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying: The Illustrated Guide to Ancient Egyptian Wisdom

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9780785828839: The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying: The Illustrated Guide to Ancient Egyptian Wisdom

At the heart of ancient Egypt’s civilization lay its highly complex religion, which evolved, expanded and diversified over more than 3,000 years. In addition to the astonishing cultural legacy of artifacts and burial sites that the ancient Egyptians left behind, there is also a rich body of compelling writings about the quest for immortality and humankind’s progress from birth to death and into the mysterious realm of the afterlife, which they called the Underworld. This book delves into the beliefs and practices of the Egyptian priesthood and its role in placating the gods and preserving the immortality of the dead. It reveals the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians’ fascinating and amazingly diverse belief system, with its emphasis on ritual funerary cults.

The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying traces the stages of life from conception to the life beyond the tomb. This cycle is set against the eternal backdrop of the cosmos – the gods, the movement of the sun, the symbolism of the stars, and the great battles of Horus and Seth. Particular emphasis is given to the journey of the soul and the hazardous voyage – as described in the Book of the Dead – that it makes through the Underworld in search of the eternal paradise. At the heart of the book are the key themes of creation, magic, ritual and eternity, each treated in a series of superbly illustrated explorations. The result is an illuminating hardcover work for all those who wish to move one step closer to the spirit of the ancient Egyptians.

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About the Author:

Joann Fletcher, PhD, is a freelance Egyptologist, increasingly familiar to a popular audience through her pioneering TV work as both researcher and presenter.  She acts as consultant to several museums and research organizations, including the Bioanthropology Foundation, for which she has undertaken excavation work in Egypt and examination of royal mummies in Cairo.  She has made numerous appearances on radio as well as television and is archaeology writer for The Guardian newspaper.

Review:

"This book is a testament to the extraordinary intelligence and inventiveness of one of the great religious systems of history." The Good Book Guide, 2002

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