The Book of the Living - The Mummy (1999)


Sr Member
After watching this incredible video from asavage I had to start a thread about the Book of the Living from The Mummy!

From past research the hieroglyphs used in the films are typically lifted from something and taken out of context, so it’s a good bet that this is case with the books too. Looking at the pages, there are a lot of columns of re-used hieroglyphs and the reading direction changes between some of the columns – which also happens on the canopic jars from the films (the hieroglyphs there come from Tutankhamun’s canopic chest).

For example, this section is very common on the pages, however its reading direction changes twice in the column (the hieroglyphs face the way you should read them), which never happens in real hieroglyphic inscriptions, so it’s likely just a mishmash of sections of hieroglyphs copied and pasted into a column:

The first section translates to
wnn – wenen – [one who] continually exists

The second section translates to:
snb – seneb – healthy
ri – Re? – A strange spelling of Ra/Re the sun god?

The third section translates to:
ddw – Djedu – Busiris (location (cult centre for Osirs))
d – de – hand
irt.t – iretet – [female] eye

So ignoring the change in direction that gives us something like: [one who] continually exists healthy [like] Re, Djedu, hand, eye. It started off well and trails off into random words.

ps. Thanks to LukaFilm for the heads up about the Tested video!
haha.. so cool. Its funny how they just use random symbols and write gibberish.
That's probably what I would have done, hahaha...
Slightly off-topic, but that's something I wrote about in my (very soon to be published) article on The Fifth Element; if you use real hieroglyphs it's fine for them not to make sense but still gives an authentic feeling, most of the audience wont notice the difference and even many/a lot/most Egyptologists need to sit down with a dictionary to work out what hieroglyphs say. But if you use fake symbols and invent your own hieroglyphs they look weird and obvious.
Would be very interested in reading the article when it comes. Your help with "The Mummy" Karloff edition that time was fascinating.
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Would be very interested in reading the article when it comes. Your help with "The Mummy" Karloff edition that time was fastcinating.
I'll definitely make a post about it when the journal is out. There's going to be a whole special issue based on a conference last year about the use of Egypt in Sci-Fi films - including an article from the Egyptologist who worked on the Stargate and the '99 Mummy films!
Thanks. To be clear I meant with translating and research. Might be useful for someone.
Having dabbled already, and seen the mess it's in, I still wish you luck!

I'm curious of they took some bits of real BotD or coffin texts, and just squashed that together into these repeating pages.

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