The following video is brought to you courtesy of the American Eye YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.
6. Book of the Dead
The ancient egyptian book of the dead was a collection of papyrus scrolls that which contained numerous spells that would allow the soul to navigate its way to the afterlife successfully. Many have heard of the title, it should really be translated to the Egyptian book of Life and many would consider it to be like an Ancient Egyptian Bible in a sense. For them, the afterlife was like a continuation of life on earth and your soul would be sent to the Hall of Truth, where it would cross over to a paradise to regain all that had been lost in the previous life. But before you could make it to this holy paradise, you had to know how to address certain gods of the underworld such as Osiris. The soul was weighed with a scale by using the person’s heart against the feather of truth. If the souls w ere heavier than the feather, they would be devoured by a creature known as the ammit. If it was lighter, Anubis or osiris would guide them into the underworld. During the New Kingdom, the book of the dead was only available to the upper class and royalty. Many of been intrigued with the spells which are dedicated to how one should act while meeting characters from Egyptian mythology. Even if you don’t find the stories to be too mysterious, the artwork itself is enough to make you question the scribe’s sanity.
5. Statue of Khafre
Khafre was a pharoh during the 4th dynasty of ancient egypt making this a pretty old statue; about 5,570 years old to be a little more precise. It’s being kept in the Egyptian museum in Cairo and is made from an extremely hard, dark stone that was quarried 400 miles away from his tomb. The statue was carved for the kings tomb that was located near the great sphinx. He’s portrayed as the ideal masculine leader with a beard, cobra like head dress, muscular upper body and a kilt– not a skirt! In fact this guy was such a cool leader he even got his own great pyramid. The middle sized pyramid of Giza was dedicated to khafre, so anything relating to this king is of great value. Many are still amazed that ancient Egyptians had the proper tools to make such a detailed carving from such a hard rock. Some compare it to making a wooden sculpture with a plastic knife.
The narmer palette is carved out of a single piece of siltstone which was most commonly used for ceremonial tablets during the first dynastic period of egypt. It’s about 2 feet tall and shaped like a shield. It depicts the first dynasty ruler named Narmer who’s attacking his enemies in the lower kingdom, and uniting egypt. Some people originally thought that it was meant to be used as a shield but this would be proven false since there was writing on both sides. It tells the story of his conquests and how he was able to please the gods by doing so. Being the first king of the first dynasty, really helps make this piece extremely valuable and old. It likely dates back to sometime between 3200 BC to 3000 BC
3. Libyan Desert Glass
Around 28 million years ago, a huge comet struck desert sands in Libya and heated up the ground particles to 2000 degrees celsius. This impact was hot enough to turn the sand into a yellow glass. Reminisce of the comet and the Libyan desert glass are only found in the Sahara desert from this rare event and are found within a 6000 square kilometer area, that you see in this map. The ancient Egyptians adored this naturally formed glass and felt like it had magical powers to it. Here in this photo we see one of Tutankhamun’s remarkably preserved brooch with a libyan glass scarab beetle as the centerpiece. It was also seen as a valuable material to make tools from, and has similar properties to obsidian, which is a volcanic glass used for weapons by the Aztecs
2. The Pyramids Vessel
Archaeologists discovered a rare funerary boat near the Abusir Pyramids, located just south of Cairo. Since the Nile gave ancient Egypt many of their resources, boats played a vital role for transportation and fishing to the people. With Egyptians taking their burial ceremonies quite seriously, there’s no doubt that’d they want to bring one with them to the afterlife. The discovery of the 4500 year old ship most likely belonged to an upper class citizen since wood wasn’t always that easy to come by in the desert at this time. The archaeologists were clearing an ancient mastaba, or tombs, and found parts of 60 foot ship lying in the bed of stones. This could be key in further understanding the Egyptians ship building techniques as well as funerary traditions.