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Images: Death and the Afterlife

Clifford Pickover shares a set of images from his new book, Death and the Afterlife, to accompany his appearance on the 10/21/15 show.

1) The Garden of Death (watercolor and gouache) by Hugo Simberg, 1896.

2) The Story of Orpheus: Cerberus (1875) by British artist Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898).

3) The Egyptian Book of the Dead-- The ancient Egyptian ritual of "opening of the mouth" described in the Book of the Dead is performed so that the deceased can eat and drink in the afterlife. In this c. 1300 BCE papyrus, the jackal-headed god Anubis is shown supporting the mummy of the scribe Hunefer while three priests carry out the ritual.

4) This illustration by famous Japanese painter and printmaker Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797–1861) shows an enormous ghost reciting a poem outside the study of the poet Minamoto no Tsunenobu (1016–1097).

5) The Ladder of Divine Ascent, a twelfth-century painting at St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The monks are tempted and pulled down by demons, while angels encourage them to continue their ascent to the top of the thirty-rung ladder, where Jesus is waiting for them. At the bottom of the painting, the gaping mouth of the Devil is visible.