Egyptian hieroglyphics and images ensured the well-being of the dead in the world beyond. Every breathtaking picture reproduced here--in a remarkable-looking volume bound in real papyrus--comes from Thebes, and represents one version of the great national funeral work copied by scribes from about 900 b.c. to 600 b.c. The early history of the Book of the Dead remains shrouded in the mists of remote antiquity, but its origin was considered divine--often attributed to the god Osiris. These evocative and glowing paintings show the sun god Ra on the Night Boat, towed on the waters under the earth; a delicate blue-and-white image, originally drawn on plaster, of Nebamun hunting in the marshes; and, from the tomb of the pharaoh Ramses VI, a grand ceiling mural decorated with astronomical scenes.