Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Sarcophagus of Seti I

     I just finished reading a new book describing the sarcophagus of the Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I. The sarcophagus is an extremely beautiful object. I saw it a number of years ago and was very pleased to see this book published.

     This slim volume (96 pages) is filled with with plenty of photographs and a succinct and well written description of Seti's sarcophagus, how it was discovered and how it got to Sir John Soane's home. The majority of the book is dedicated to a description of the illustrations of the ancient Egyptian "Book of Gates" that are carved on the exterior and interior of the sarcophagus. This religious text describes the journey of the sun god Ra through the underground caverns he must cross during the night to be reborn in the eastern sky at dawn. The author, John H. Taylor, has described the carvings in detail and explained the meaning of the text in sufficient detail to enlighten those of us who are interested in Egyptian funerary writings (the "Book of the Dead", the "Book of Gates", etc.) without doing a full translation of the somewhat obscure texts themselves.

     To me, this book was absolutely fascinating and a great addition to my library, but some readers may find the description of the inscriptions to be a bit more detail than they need.

(Sorry about the white background, I am not sure why this is happening........)