Complete document about 392 cm and now preserved as five sheets with some pieces remaining loose. Discovered as a folded document in a cemetery excavated by the University of Liverpool in 1905. Forgotten about until 1974 when it was unrolled by Professor Walter Fairman. One sheet 99 cm long was displayed in 1976; joined by another sheet 99 cm long in 2008. The rest of the document (about 202 cm in length) has been in storage since 1905 and never been on public display. The papyrus has never been published and there remains no complete translation of the text. New conservation work will take place in Summer 2016 to place it on public display as a complete document for the first time.
The papyrus is inscribed for a man named Djedhor, the son of Tapes. It’s inscribed in black and red pigment with text in both hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts. The black pigment used on papyrus is invariably carbon, and haematite is usually used for red. The red (rubric) is used to highlight the start of different spells. Vignettes in black pigment are beside each spell and run across the top length. The papyrus was unrolled in the summer term of 1974 by Liverpool University’s Professor of Egyptology, Herbert Walter Fairman (1907-1982), who wrote "In spite of the desperately damaged state of the first 12 or 15 inches, the remainder was unrolled without great difficulty and proves to be a copy of the Saite Recension of the Book of the Dead about 15 foot in length. It has admirable vignettes and is not without interest."
Djed-hor’s Book of the Dead was discovered with some other finds brought back to England in 1905 from a site called Hissayeh (Nag el-Hisaya) in Upper Egypt. In a fieldwork report to the museum, dated 5th March 1905, Professor John Garstang of Liverpool University records that “Few tombs of the Ptolemaic character proved to have escaped plunder and in one of them Mr Jones found attached to a mummy a hieroglyphic papyrus ...The papyrus is a nice roll in good condition. The text is well written and the illustrations in pen and ink apparently without colour. It seems to be The Book of the Dead but I have not dealt with it yet. Another was found two days ago, unfortunately flat, and difficult to preserve".
The papyrus is probably from after the end of the Pharaonic Period, at the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period, shortly after the invasion of Alexander the Great about 332 BC. It’s the same style as the Book of the Dead of Nesmin, Detroit Institute of Arts (no. 1988.10.13) and Brüssel, Musèes Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (no. E8388/E) published in Wilfried Seipel, ‘Ägypten Götter, Gräber und die Kunst. 4000 Jahre Jenseits-glaube’ (1989) p. 182.