- "A book actually...one of the most famous books in history is buried out there: the Book of Amun-Ra. It contains within it all the secret incantations of the Old Kingdom."
- ―Evelyn Carnahan describing the Book of Amun-Ra.[src]
The Book of Amun-Ra was an Ancient Egyptian book made of pure gold.
Known colloquially as "the Book of the Living” or "the Golden Book", the Book of Amun-Ra contained ancient spells and incantations that could take life away from mortals. To keep it safe from interference from unworthy men, the ancient Egyptians kept the Book inside a statue of Horus at Hamunaptra, where it was declared forbidden to use. The Book of Amun-Ra was fashioned so that only one with a "key" might open it: indeed, the Book had a small puzzle-box-like object that, when opened, acted as the key with which to open the Book.
The Book of Amun-Ra (or the Book of the Living) was sought out by Evelyn Carnahan in 1926, as Evelyn had set up an expedition to find it, an expedition which included Richard O'Connell, Jonathan Carnahan, and Gad Hassan. While the expedition was at Hamunaptra, the Book of Amun-Ra was never found, but its counterpart, the Book of the Dead, was, and the Book of the Dead was used to resurrect by mistake the ancient cursed mummy Imhotep, who arose and brought back the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
While in Cairo, the expeditions that had reached Hamunaptra had remained in hiding from the mummy, which had eventually found them and brought forth the Ten Plagues. Soon after, Evelyn and her friends headed to the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, where they learned from a stone tablet put on display that the Golden Book of Amun-Ra was the device that could be used to kill the mummy, but was mistakenly said to be buried beneath the statue of Anubis. Upon reading the stone tablet more clearly, the group learned that the Book of Amun-Ra was actually placed under the statue of Horus.
The Book of Amun-Ra was found about three days after the Book of the Dead was recovered. The Book of Amun-Ra was found under a statue of Horus, which, like the Book of the Dead, was kept in a compartment that needed to be pried open. As O'Connell and Jonathan had found the compartment which contained the Book of Amun-Ra, the area was besieged by re-animated mummies, which burst from the ground and shoved O'Connell and Jonathan aside, prying open the compartment themselves. As the mummies pried open the compartment, a torrent of salt acid came bursting from the stone, immolating the corpses, and making the retrieval of the Book of Amun-Ra easier.
Within a short time, Jonathan ran to the sacrificial chamber of Hamunaptra, where the regenerated mummy Imhotep was about to make a sacrifice out of Evelyn so as to bring back his own love to life. Jonathan interrupted the ritual by shouting out to Evelyn that he had found the Book, which registered to Imhotep at once as Jonathan read an inscription on the cover of the Book which summoned several mummified soldiers that arose to attack O'Connell, Evelyn and Jonathan. Jonathan was disbelieving that he could control the soldiers, but was quickly convinced otherwise when he was told by Evelyn that he could control them simply by finishing the inscription on the cover. Jonathan did this and quickly ordered them to cease attacking; soon after this, Jonathan ordered the soldiers to kill off Anck-Su-Namun, another mummy who had risen to life and had tried to kill Evelyn. The Book was soon after used when Evelyn and Jonathan had managed to take the key that opened it from Imhotep's robes. Opening the Book of Amun-Ra, Evelyn read an inscription that summoned up a spirit that took away the immortality of Imhotep, leaving him as mortal any other man. As he furiously stepped forward to try and kill O'Connell for this, he ran directly into a blade that O'Connell held, and was impaled.
Hamunaptra soon came crashing down when another man, a Hungarian named Beni Gabor, had mistakenly pulled a lever that had brought the whole of the necropolis down. Jonathan, who had been holding the Golden Book, was running from the debris that fell as the buildings collapsed, dropping the Book of Amun-Ra into a moat by mistake. Evelyn was shocked and dismayed at this, but hurried along with her friends, running away and leaving the Book behind.
Nine years later, the Book of Amun-Ra was found in the ruins of Hamunaptra by a group of cultists that worshipped Imhotep as a leader. The cultists knew that the Book of Amun-Ra had sealed the end of Imhotep the last time, and knew that it could be used once more to kill him, so the Book of Amun-Ra was thrown away into a pit of burnt, living scarabs within the dig site in Hamunaptra.
- "And the fact that they say that it's made out of gold makes no never-mind to you?"
- ―Richard O'Connell to Evelyn Carnahan regarding the Book[src]
The Book of Amun-Ra was an ancient volume that was held in great reverence for the ancient Egyptians, and so was kept stowed away from any interference in the necropolis Hamanaptra. Made of pure gold with brass hinges, the Book of Amun-Ra could only be opened by the use of a puzzle-box-like object that would fit directly onto an emblem on the cover. The Book of Amun-Ra was used by Evelyn and Jonathan to summon and control the mummified soldiers and also to take away the immortality of Imhotep. Its counterpart, the Book of the Dead, was opened using the same puzzle box and contained the reverse incantations to the Book of Amun-Ra.