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AN EGYPTIAN PAPYRUS MANUSCRIPT FRAGMENT
THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD, CIRCA 1000 B.C.

Inscribed with 15 vertical columns of black hieroglyphs, with a few in red, written in cursive hieroglyphic script, inscribed for a man named Amenemope (imn-m-ipt), reading in part: ". . . firm is the heart of Amenemope . . . says Atum. . . "; ". . . my place . . . the weary/inert ones(?) of/for. . ."; ". . . that which is more effective (or transfigured) than. . . I come forth/ascend. . ."; ". . . the underworld(?). . ."; ". . . I have come, (O) great ones, to the one who is above/chief. . ."; ". . . lamentation(?). . . the sacred bark of the lord . . ."; ". . . the day-bark beside Re-[Har?]akhty. . . I [li]ve on. . ."; ". . . [the First Pylon:] Osiris in the Field of Re[eds]. . ."; ". . . the temple. . ."; ". . . who drives away the raging/stormy one, who rescues. . ."; ". . . the name of its doorkeeper. . ."; ". . . of(?) [the Second Pylon:] Lady of Heaven, Mistress of the Two Lands. . . "

235 x 150 mm.

Lot Essay

One of the most interesting things about this papyrus is that it is written in retrograde; that is, the lines are read in the opposite order from that in which they appear, a scribal feature found predominantly with religious texts (see J. P. Allen, Middle Egyptian [Cambridge-NY: CUP, 2001], pp. 4, 317). This is further proven by the observation that the apparent first complete line of the fragment (judging by the orientation of the hieroglyphs) contains the rubricized (red ink) listing of the second pylon of Book of the Dead Chapter 146, while the apparently subsequent lines contain material from the first pylon. There are only traces of the red ink presumably giving the "first pylon" heading, but the content ("Osiris in the Field of Reeds," "who drives away. . .") confirm that we have the first pylon text.

In accordance with the foregoing remarks, part of the present fragment can be identified as part of Book of the Dead 146; see E. A. W. Budge, The Book of the Dead (reprint, NY: Citadel Press, 1994), p. 409, with hieroglyphic text; for other parallel texts, see T. G. Allen, Egyptian Book of the Dead Documents, p. 244.

For background on the Book of the Dead and related texts, see E. Hornung, The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife (Ithaca-London: Cornell, 1999).

One of the words in the papyrus fragment is nSny + seated god determinative. This word means "turbulent one" or "raging one" and is often associated with the god Set or Seth; it typically has a Set-animal determinative, as do cognate words from the same root (rage, storm, etc., as verbs and nouns). The use of the seated god in this case raises the question of the avoidance or replacement of the Set-animal.

Not illustrated.

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