In addition to their astonishing legacy of artifacts and burial sites, the ancient Egyptians also produced a rich body of writing about the quest for immortality. The Egyptian Book of Living and Dying traces humankind's progress from birth to death to the mysterious realm of the afterlife, with this mortal cycle 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. In particular, the Book of the Dead emphasizes the hazardous voyage of the soul as it makes its way through the Underworld in search of the eternal paradise. This illuminating work will help bring readers one step closer to the spirit of the ancient Egyptians.
Joann Fletcher, Ph.D., lectures at the University of York and is Egyptologist for Harrogate Museums and Arts. Archaeology writer for The Guardian, she has received acclaim for her TV documentaries. Previous publications include Ancient Egypt (Watkins, 1999) and Egypt's Sun King (Watkins, 2000).