Exhibition at the British Museum Brings Ancient Book of the Dead to Life

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LONDON (AP).- As self-help manuals go, the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead has certainly stood the test of time. For centuries, the 3,500-year-old guidebook offered Egyptians a step-by-step guide to the journey from this life to the next. It remains famous, if poorly understood — a spooky collection of arcane symbols, crocodile-jawed monsters and jackal-headed gods. A major new exhibition at the British Museum hopes to shed new light on the book, which was not a single volume, but a series of spells and illustrations inked onto papyrus scrolls and designed to help the dead make the perilous journey to the afterlife. The show seeks to dispel the modern notion — partly created by all the tombs, mummies and funeral masks — that ancient Egyptians were obsessed with death. “They were not obsessed with death,