2,000 years ago, Ancient Egyptian scribes covered the surfaces of two papyrus rolls, together measuring nearly 20 feet, with a mysterious text that describes Egypt’s Faiyum region as a center of prosperity and religious ritual. An oasis in the desert to the West of the Nile, Faiyum was home to Lake Moeris, a popular habitat for crocodiles, and as a result the Faiyum region became a religious center for the worship of the Egyptian crocodile god Sobek. Temples of Sobek often were home to sacred crocodiles, which were mummified after they died.
For the first time in over 150 years, the two sections of The Book of the Faiyum (owned by the Walters Art Museum and the Morgan Library & Museum), which have been separated since the papyrus was divided and sold in the 19th century, are reunited and on view (with 80 other works of ancient Egyptian art including statues, reliefs, coffins and jewelry) at the Walters Art Museum, until January 5, 2014.
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