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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The script characterizing most scrolls of the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead is called by scholars Totenbuch-Kursive or “Book of the Dead cursive” and it is characterized by an accentuated level of cursiveness in comparison to monumental hieroglyphs. This script also presents similarities with hieratic, as the latter can be seen as a cursive variant of monumental hieroglyphs. The Book of the Dead cursive occurs on a number of sources, the most popular of which are papyri and linen; however, when tomb walls and coffins are decorated with spells of funerary magic, the latter are written in cursive forms as well. In general, it seems that the Totenbuch-Kursive was employed also for non-Book of the Dead sources, mainly for texts of religious, magical, medico-magical, and ritual texts from the Middle Kingdom on; in that sense, we are dealing with a linear script that is not specific of the Book of the Dead genre of texts only.

Keywords: Book of the Dead, cursive, papyrus, papyri, Totenbuch-Kursive, coffin, funerary, hieratic

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