Monday, 23 April 2012

Rare Egyptian scrolls found in Australian collection

A British historian claims to have unearthed a trove of Egyptian Book of the Dead fragments by a top ancient official after chancing upon a scrap on show in an Australian museum.

John Taylor, an Egyptologist from the British Museum, said his discovery began with a shred of papyrus on display at Queensland Museum's new mummies exhibition bearing the distinctive hieroglyphs of Amenhotep.

The 15th century figure, son of Hapu, was Egypt's chief architect and is among those credited with designing and constructing the Great Temple of Amun at Karnak, near Luxor -- one of modern Egypt's most visited landmarks.

The fragments were donated to the museum by a private citizen in 1913 and are not normally on public display, but had been brought out to accompany the British Museum's touring mummies exhibition, which Taylor was here to open.

He said there were pieces of Amenhotep's scroll scattered across global institutions including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, British Museum and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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