Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

Seite: XVII
Zitierlink: i
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/alnwick1880/0018
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PREFACE.

xvii

Papyri consisting of Rituals or Books of the Dead were also
often deposited in the tombs either on the wraps of the mum-
mies or even in the pedestals or bodies of small wooden figures
in shape of Osiris; other figures in shape of the god Ptah-So-
charis-Osiris were used for holding portions of mummies or other
small objects deposited with the dead, and these figures are much
more common in Egyptian collections than those which held the
papyri deposited with the dead. These Rituals contain directions
relative to amulets and formulas to be said by the deceased in
the future state, sometimes accompanied by external explanations
of the meaning and purport of certain deities and objects. His-
torical and other papyri were not deposited with the mummies
but in jars or cavities and until the Greek period do not enter
into the class of sepulchral documents, then indeed the Poems
of Homer and grammatical treatises have been found in the hands
of mummies or on the bodies.

A sepulchral practice prevailed from the earliest period of
inscribing the outer wraps of mummies with portions of the so-
called Ritual, and the mummy of one of the monarchs, Enentef
of the 11th dynasty, has portions of the Ritual in hieratic. This
mode of transmitting the Ritual was, however, varied by the con-
temporaneous coffins of the period having a portion of the Ritual
inscribed in hieratic on their inner sides. Under the 26th dynasty
the custom seems to have revived, and copious excerpts of the later
Ritual are found on the linen bandages of mummies from that
period. Later this book was superseded by a far inferior work
called the ' Sai en sinsin,' and the papyri and inscriptions give only
extracts from this later work.

But as Egypt fell under the power of the Greeks and Romans
her arts followed those of the conquerors, and this irruption of
foreign art by no means improved the Egyptian. Then indeed the
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