The instructions to live after death in ancient Egypt were complicated. Written on papyrus, a copy of the Book of the Dead, which for 1,500 years served as the definitive guide to the afterlife, could span more than 30 feet.
After all, there was a lot of ground to cover: How to avoid demons on the way to the netherworld. The right names to address the gatekeeper as you drew near to the gates. Protection from crocodiles, snakes and scorpions. And defense against a closer threat: Your own heart spilling secrets and betraying you during your judgment by Osiris, the god of death.
Beginning this fall and through the spring of 2018, visitors can explore the Book of the Deadat a special exhibit at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. The exhibit showcases how religious beliefs shaped the lives and material culture in Egypt over a period of more than a thousand years, from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 100.