Egypt has long been regarded as a mysterious place with ruins and artifacts from antiquity just waiting to be uncovered. An Egyptian archaeologist recently discovered a 16-meter papyrus scroll containing passages from the Book of the Dead at Saqqara, making it one of the most important discoveries in recent memory.
The Waziri Papyrus, named after Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, was completely restored and translated in Tahrir’s Egyptian Museum. The manuscript, composed of multiple papyri with various spells incorporated in each one, is thought to have originated in Egypt during the New Kingdom period. The ancient Egyptians are thought to have known about 200 spells.
The Book of the Dead contains instructions on conducting funerals and guiding a person through the underworld to the afterlife. One well-known spell was connected to the “Weighing of the Heart” ceremony, in which the deceased person’s heart was measured against Maat, the goddess of justice and truth (symbolized by an ostrich feather). If the heart was deemed heavier than Maat’s feather, it indicated that the soul would be consumed by Ammit, the “Devourer of Souls” monster, rather than continuing on its path to the afterlife.
With the aid of this amazing find, we may better comprehend what life was like in ancient Egypt and learn more about their ideas on the afterlife. It also demonstrates how much more about this intriguing old society still has to be discovered, which will undoubtedly keep historians and archaeologists busy for years.