The Abbott Papyrus

Ancient Egyptian Technology: Advances & Inventions

Pin Ancient Egypt’s iconic Giza pyramids required an intricate knowledge of mathematics, particularly geometry. Anyone who doubts this need only to look at the collapsed pyramid at Meidum for an insight into what happens to a monumental construction project when the mathematics goes horribly wrong.

Mathematics was used in recording state inventories and commercial transactions. The ancient Egyptians even developed their own decimal system. Their numbers were based on units of 10, such as 1, 10 and 100. So, to signify 3 units, they would write the number “1” three times.


The Egyptians were keen observations of the night sky. Their religion and was shaped by the sky, the heavenly bodies and the elements. Egyptians studied the celestial movement of the stars and constructed circular mud-brick walls to create artificial horizons to mark the position of the sun at sunrise.

They also employed plumb-bobs to annotate the summer and winter solstices. They applied their knowledge of astronomy to create a detailed lunar calendar based on their observations of the star Sirius and the phases of the moon. This understanding of the heavens produced the knowledge to develop a calendar still in use today, based on 12 months, 365 days and 24-hour days.


The ancient Egyptians produced some of the earliest developments in the field of medicine. They devised a range of medicines and cures for both human and animal ailments, together with a keen knowledge of anatomy. This knowledge was put to use in the mummification process to preserve their dead.

One of the world’s earliest known medical texts was written in ancient Egypt. It represents an early insight into neuroscience as it describes and attempts to analyze the brain.

Medical cures, however, remained elusive and some of their medicinal practices were fraught with peril for their patients. Their cure for eye infections involved using a mixture of human brains and honey, while a cooked mouse was recommended to cure coughs. The ancient Egyptians also practised piercing to fend off infections and applied cow dung to treat wounds. These practices contributed to ancient Egyptian patients developing tetanus.

The ancient Egyptians also had a deep-seated belief in the power of magic. Many of their medical cures were accompanied by spells intended to ward off the evil spirits that they believed were making patients ill.


With much of Egypt being arid, wind-swept desert, agriculture was critical to the survival of the kingdom. Heavily dependent on a narrow strip of wondrously fertile soil enriched by the annual inundation of the Nile floods the ancient Egyptians developed a series of technologies to maximize their agricultural output.

Irrigation Networks

Over thousands of years, the ancient Egyptians created a vast network of irrigation canals and channels. They employed simple yet effective hydraulic engineering techniques based on scientific principles. This network allowed the pharaohs to greatly expand the area of land under cultivation. Later when Rome annexed Egypt as a province Egypt became the breadbasket of Rome for centuries.

Egyptologists have found evidence indicates that early irrigation systems were in use as early as the twelfth dynasty in ancient Egypt. The kingdom’s engineers used the lake in the Faiyum Oasis as their reservoir for storing surplus water.

The Ox-Drawn Plow

Every planting season for the ancient Egyptians was a race to get the fields planted so they could be harvested before the next cycle of flooding. Any technology, which speeded up the tilling of the land, multiplied the amount of land that could be cultivated in a given season.

The first ox-drawn ploughs appeared in ancient Egypt around 2500 B.C. This agricultural innovation blended skilled metallurgy and blacksmithing to shape a basic plough together with advances in animal husbandry.

Using an ox to pull a plough speeded up the ploughing process paving the way for annual crops of wheat beans, carrots, lettuce, spinach, melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, radishes, turnips, onions, leeks, garlic, lentils, and chickpeas.


Ancient Egypt was amongst the early cultures to develop a systematic form of writing. Hieroglyphics remain some of the world’s oldest artifacts and the Egyptians used them to keep depict major events through inscriptions carved on colossal public buildings, temple complexes, obelisks and tombs.

In their highly developed administration, elaborate records were routinely kept to help officials exert control over the kingdom. Formal letters were frequently exchanged with neighbouring kingdoms and sacred texts outlining religious invocations were created. The iconic Book of the Dead was one of a series of sacred texts containing the magic spells ancient Egyptians believed would help guide a departed soul through the perils of the underworld.


Papyrus grew in profusion along the banks of the Nile River and in its marshes. The ancient Egyptians learned how to manufacture it, creating the first form of durable paper-like material for writing in the Western world.

While papyrus was mass produced, it remained expensive and ancient Egyptians mainly used papyrus for writing down state documents and religious texts. Egypt sold its papyrus to ancient trading partners such as Ancient Greece.

Together with papyrus, the ancient Egyptians developed a form of black ink. They also developed a range of bright vibrant coloured inks and dyes. The colour of these inks retained a brilliance and lustre, which lasted down the centuries and are still clearly readable today, thousands of years later.


One sign of an advanced civilization is the development of a calendar system. The ancient Egyptians developed their calendar more than 5,000 years ago. It initially comprised a the 12-month lunar cycle separated into three, four-month seasons that coincide with the annual cycle of Nile River floods.

However, the ancient Egyptians noticed these floods could occur over a spread of 80 days towards the end of June. They observed the floods coincided with the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, so they revised their calendar basing it on the cycle of this star’s appearance. This is one of the first recorded instances of a society applying astronomy to refine the accuracy of a calendar to track the days of the year. We still use a version of the ancient Egyptian calendar model today.


Ancient Egyptians were also one of the early civilisations to divide the day into parts using different devices to track time, the ancient equivalent of the clock. Earl forms of timepieces comprised were shadow clocks, sundials, obelisks and merkhets.

Time was determined by tracking the position of the sun, while the night was tracked using the rise and setting of the stars.

Some evidence has survived that primitive water clocks were used in ancient Egypt. These “clocks” used bowl-shaped vessels with a small hole drilled in their base. They were floated on top of a larger water container and were allowed to gradually fill up. The rising water level represented the passing hours. The priesthood predominantly used these devices to measure time inside their temples and to time sacred religious rites.

Construction And Engineering Technologies

Across ancient Egypt arose vast temple complexes, sprawling palaces, awe-inspiring pyramids and colossal tombs. Ancient Egypt was a highly conservative society. They evolved processes and procedures for their epic construction programs that combined advanced mathematics, engineering, and astronomy and material science knowledge.

Many questions remain unanswered today as to how the Egyptian constructed their amazing building. However, some explanations can be found in inscriptions in ancient Egyptian monument inscriptions, tomb paintings and texts.

Unquestionably, the ancient Egyptians enjoyed extraordinary insights into technology and applied science.

Organized Labor

One of the keys to the success of ancient Egypt’s monumental construction projects was their mastery of logistics and organization on a stupendous scale for their time. The Egyptians were one of the first societies to invent and deploy a highly efficient system of organized labour. Employed on a massive scale, villages to house workers and artisans were constructed together with the bakeries, granaries and markets required to sustain the labour force needed to construct these immense stone and mud- brick structures sometimes for decades during the downtime created by the annual Nile floods.

Tools, Levers And Simple Machines

Quarrying, transporting and erecting so much monumental stonework required a range of simple machines to streamline the process and augment human exertion. The lever, the counterweight crane and the ramp were examples of simple construction machines employed by the ancient Egyptians. Many of the methods and principles devised then are still widely used in modern construction projects.

Construction tools were essentially simple and many examples have been found in tombs, in ancient quarries and construction sites. Materials used for the most commonly used tools here stone, copper and bronze. Quarrying, stone working and construction tools include stones, pick-hammers, mallets and chisels. Larger tools were created to move bricks, stone blocks and statues.

Architectural tools consisted of flat levels and various types of plumb lines for gauging vertical angles. Common measuring instruments included squares, ropes and rules.

Ancient Mortar

Archaeological remains of port structures found east of Alexandria’s Portus Magnus show foundations comprised of large blocks of limestone and mortar detritus anchored in a formwork of planks and piles. Each pile was squared off and included notches on both sides to hold the pile planks.

What Technology Was Used In Building The Pyramids?

The technologies used during the construction of the Great Pyramid still mystifies Egyptologists and engineers to this present day. Researchers get glimpses into their methods and technologies thanks to the administrative accounts recalling aspects of a construction project. Following the failure of the collapsed pyramid at Meidum, care was taken to ensure each step was executed according to the original blueprint devised by Imhotep, the Pharaoh Djoser’s vizier. Later in the Old Kingdom, Weni, the Egyptian Governor of the South, had an inscription carved detailing how he travelled to Elephantine to source the granite blocks used to create a false door for a pyramid. He describes how he instructed five canals for towboats to be excavated to enable supplies to be transported for further construction.

Surviving accounts such as Weni’s illustrate the immense effort and concentration of resources required to construct ancient Egypt’s colossal monuments. Numerous inscriptions exist detailing the supplies needed to sustain the workforce as well as the materials required to erect these vast structures. Similarly, we copious documents have come down to us outlining the difficulties involved in constructing the Giza pyramids together with their sprawling temple complexes. Unfortunately, these accounts shed little light on the technology employed to build these imposing structured.

The most popular and enduring theory as to how the ancient Egyptians build the pyramids at Giza involves the use of a system of ramps. These ramps were built as each pyramid was raised.

One modification to the ramp theory involved speculation that ramps were used on the inside of the pyramid, rather than their exterior. External ramps may have been used during the early stages of construction but then were moved inside. Quarried stones were transferred inside the pyramid via the entrance and transported up the ramps to their final position. This explanation accounts for the shafts discovered inside the pyramid. However, this theory fails to factor in the massive weight of the stone blocks or how the hordes of workers busy on the ramp could move the blocks up the steep angles inside the pyramid.

Another theory suggests the ancient Egyptians used hydraulic water power. Engineers have established the water tables of the Giza plateau are relatively high and were even higher during the construction phase of the Great Pyramid. Hydraulic water pressure could have been exploited via a pumping system to assist in raising the stone blocks up a ramp and into position. Egyptologists are still vigorously debating the purpose theses internal shafts within the Great Pyramid played.

Some ascribe a spiritual purpose in assisting the deceased king’s soul to ascend to the heavens while others see them as simply a remnant of construction. Unfortunately, there are no definitive archaeological evidence or texts to indicate one function or another.

Hydraulic pumps had been used previously on construction projects and the ancient Egyptians were well acquainted with the principal of a pump. The Middle Kingdom pharaoh King Senusret (c. 1971-1926 BCE) drained the Fayyum district lake during his reign by using a system of pumps and of canals.

Ship Design

The Nile River was a natural transportation artery. Trade featured prominently in ancient cultures and Egypt was an active exporter and importer of goods. Having access to seagoing ships as well as ships capable of navigating the Nile was critical for Egypt’s cultural and economic health.

The ancient Egyptians applied their knowledge of elementary aerodynamics to design ships that could catch the wind and push their vessels efficiently through the water. They were the first in incorporate stem-mounted rudders on their ships during their construction process. They also developed a method of employing rope trusses to strengthen the integrity of the beams of their ship and used several forms of sails that could be adjusted to sail their ships against the wind by taking advantage of side winds.

Initially, the ancient Egyptians built small boats using bundles of papyrus reeds lashed together, but later successfully constructed larger vessels capable of journeying into the Mediterranean Sea from cedar wood.

Glass Blowing

Artifacts discovered in tombs and during archaeological excavations point to ancient Egyptians having advanced glass-working expertise. They were crafting brightly coloured glass beads as early as 1500 BC during the New Kingdom. Highly prized as trade goods, Egyptian glass gave their traders an advantage in their trading voyages.

Reflecting On The Past

The ancient Egyptians created or adapted a wide range of technologies, ranging from ink and papyrus to ramps used to build the pyramids at Giza. In almost every facet of society, their community was enriched by the use of some form of technology many applied on an almost industrial scale.

Header image courtesy: The original uploader was Twthmoses at English Wikipedia. [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Interesting Facts about Ancient Egypt

Digging into Ancient Kemet can be fun, but it can also cause a paradigm shift, here are some interesting facts you will learn along your journey.

  • Ancient Egyptian Papyri inspired most religious texts
  • Still one of the sunniest places in the world. summer is March through November.
  • Women had equal rights and sometimes served as “King”. (a title for male or female ruler. “Queen originates from the the “kings whore”)
  • Incest was rare outside of royalty and mythology until after european invasion (family words have been interpreted loosely)
  • Ancient Egyptians were mostly vegan with minimum teeth cavities.
  • Most Pyramids were not “tombs”.
  • Pyramids were built by well paid skilled Kemetic builders, architects, and mathematicians. Not Slaves.
  • They practiced polygyny and pre-nuptials and no homosexuality until after european invasion.
  • The Great Pyramid has 8 sides, not 4, no hieroglyphics, and no mummy.
  • Ancient Egyptian were not polytheists. they believe in a “one, omnipresent, everything is god” concept. Their personifications and animorphocations of nature got mistranslated to gods
  • They Travelled the globe by air and sea.
  • The lost Egyptian city of Heracleion was found 320 feet underwater.
  • They had very high hygiene standards relative to their time.
  • Ancient Kemetians depicted themselves as medium and dark brown skin with black coils hair.
  • They had electricity, possibly wirelessly
  • Much of what we are just now discovering with modern technology in physics and astronomy, somehow they already knew.

The list could keep going. Here is where we give you some primary evidence. It’s not always the best place to start. but it is often requested.

This is not an exhaustive list yet. and papyri are constantly being found, bought, names, sold, lost and destroyed. But this list will continue to grow.

The Elephantine Papyri consist of 175 documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Syene (Aswan), which yielded hundreds of papyri in Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and Coptic, spanning a period of 2000 years.

Here are some of the other popular Ancient Kemetic Papyri, written hieroglyphs (MDU NTR), hieratic, demotic or in Greek. We will be delving more into these in posts to come. Be sure you’re subscribed if you’re not already.

Let’s get into it. This list is by no means exhaustive, but the vision for this list is that it will grow as new ancient papri are continuously being uncovered. The plan is to also continuously be providing more updated and useful reference links.

Other Architectural Elements.

The royal tomb itself is cut into the mountain. A tunnel 44.9 meters (147 feet) under the mountain and 150 meters (492 feet) long leads to a granite-lined vault. An alabaster shrine, surrounded by basalt, filled the burial chamber, and probably contained the king's mummy in a wooden sarcophagus. A garden surrounded the causeway that led up to the central edifice. The designer planted 53 tamarisk trees and a large sycamore fig in the garden. Twelve statues of Mentuhotep dressed as Osiris, the king of the dead, faced the east. At some point the statues were decapitated though it is not known why. The English Egyptologist Howard Carter, who later discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, excavated the Secondary Tomb after a horse stumbled over it. The tomb thus gained the name Bab el-Hosan ("Gate of the Horse"). There Carter found a forecourt and open trench enclosed with mud brick leading to a tunnel. A statue of Mentuhotep wrapped in linen as if it were a mummy lay in a chamber at the end of the tunnel. The Bab el-Hosan probably represented the same kind of secondary royal burial known as early as the First Dynasty. These secondary or subsidiary burials formed a part of the early complexes in Abydos and in Old Kingdom Pyramid complexes.

Language, Date, Place of Origin


The third line of each entry in the catalog provides an indication of the language in which the text is written. The following languages are represented:

For Egyptian texts, an additional specification indicates the script used: Coptic, Demotic, Hieratic, or Hieroglyphic (here meaning the cursive hieroglyphic script used on papyrus),

  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Parthian
  • Persian
  • Syriac

For bilingual texts, both languages are given, separated by a comma, e.g.: Greek, Latin. When several languages are thus listed, the order in which they appear is not significant. Question marks indicate uncertainty about the identification of the language (or script), and occasionally several possibilities are suggested, e.g.: Greek?, EgyptianCoptic?” Uncertain language” means that the script is so far unrecognizable. “No language” means that the “text” in this case is non-linguistic, usually a drawing of some kind and classified generically as “Drawing” in the Genre/Description.

Next comes an indication of the date of the text, if a date can be determined or has been proposed by a scholar. Many entries in the catalog do not contain this item. In principle, dates are not given that are no more than obvious deductions based on the language of the text (e.g., any Arabic text most likely dates from the Medieval or modern periods, any Coptic text from the Byzantine, Medieval, or modern periods), or on the material of the manuscript (e.g., no paper manuscript is likely to date from before the Medieval period). When a date is given, it is always preceded by a designation of the period of Egyptian history in which it falls (sometimes only this designation of period, or a span of periods, is given), as follows:

  • Pharaonic : from the beginning of Egyptian history to 332 BCE (the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great).
  • Ptolemaic : from 332 BCE to 30 BCE (the conquest of Egypt by the Romans).
  • Roman : from 30 BCE to 300 CE (during the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian).
  • Byzantine : from 300 CE to 641 CE (the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs).
  • Medieval : from 641 CE to 1798 CE (the conquest of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte).
  • Modern : from 1798 CE to the present.

If a more precise date can by given, this follows the designation of the historical period. CE stands for “common era” (= AD) and BCE stands for “before the common era” (= BC). Centuries are indicated by lower-case Roman numerals (e.g., CE ii means “second century of the common era”). Before a century, the indications “early” and “late” mean roughly the first half and roughly the second half of a century, respectively, and “mid-” means roughly the second and third quarters of a century. Months are abbreviated Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, and the basic form for presenting a specific day is, e.g., CE 36, Aug 17. Question marks express doubts of various sorts about the accuracy of the dating these are the doubts of whomever suggested the date in the first place.

The initials of the first scholar to propose a given date are recorded in square brackets after the date, except when the date cannot reasonably be disputed (i.e., when the date is preserved unambiguously in the text itself, or when it covers so broad a span that it could hardly be wrong).

Suggested dates that have been proved wrong are omitted otherwise, significant differences of opinion are noted. Many of the opinions recorded here have not been published, but have been drawn from various records in the library’s files. The nature of these records sometimes makes it difficult to determine who was the author of the opinion in these cases a question mark indicates the uncertainty. For the 1931a acquisition, many dates were suggested in the initial inventory written in Cairo at the time the manuscripts were purchased these dates are attributed below to Michael Ivanovich Rostovtzeff (MIR), but Charles Bradford Welles (CBW) actually committed the inventory to paper and surely was involved in suggesting dates, as were scholars at the French Institute in Cairo (Welles 1964b: 1). On the other hand, CBW himself later consulted many scholars about the dating of individual manuscripts, and so dates attributed to him could well have been proposed initially by someone else. In particular, all dates first proposed in P.Yale I are attributed to CBW even though he had acknowledged collaborators on that publication. Similarly, all dates first proposed in P.Yale II are attributed to Susan A. Stephens (SAS) even though she too had acknowledged collaborators. It is also difficult to distinguish between the contributions of Arthur Surridge Hunt (ASH) and Bernard Payne Grenfell (BPG), not to mention any unnamed scholars whom they may have consulted.

The following initials occur:

  • AA = Adel Allouche
  • AB = Albert Bruckner
  • A.BEN = Amin Benaissa
  • AC = Andrew Crislip
  • AD = Adolf Deissmann
  • AES = Alan Edouard Samuel
  • AHS = Archibald Henry Sayce
  • AM = Alain Martin
  • AMH = Austin Morris Harmon
  • AS = Adam Serfass
  • ASA = Aziz Suriyal Atiya
  • ASH = Arthur Surridge Hunt
  • BAP = Birger A. Pearson
  • BB = Briant Bohleke
  • BCJ = Brice C. Jones
  • BJH = Brendan J. Haug
  • BMM = Bruce Manning Metzger
  • BN = Brent Nongbri
  • BPG = Bernard Payne Grenfell
  • CBW = Charles Bradford Welles
  • CK = Christos Kremmydas
  • CHK = Carl H. Kraeling
  • CHR = Colin H. Roberts
  • CP = Cesare Paoli
  • DHS = Deborah Hobson Samuel
  • ECB = Eric Crull Baade
  • ECU = Eugene Cruz-Uribe
  • EE = Émile Egger
  • EGT = Eric G. Turner
  • EHG = Elizabeth H. Gilliam
  • FDF = Francesco del Furia
  • GFT = Giuliana Foti Talamanca
  • GJ = Gustave Jéquier
  • GM = Georg Maldfeld
  • GMP = George M. Parássoglou
  • GMS = Gabriella Messeri Savorelli
  • HAM = Herbert Anthony Musurillo
  • HIB = Harold Idris Bell
  • HJP = Hans Jacob Polotsky
  • HMH = Harry M. Hubbell
  • JASE = J.A.S. Evans
  • JDR = John D. Ray
  • JDT = J.David Thomas
  • JFG = J.F. Gilliam
  • JFQ = Joachim Friedrich Quack
  • JG = J. Gascou
  • JH = Jesse Hoffman
  • JJ = John Jacobs
  • JOC = José O’Callaghan
  • JOT = Jan-Olof Tjäder
  • KAW = Klaas A. Worp
  • KR = Kim Ryholt
  • KWC = Kenneth W. Clark
  • LSB = Ludlow S. Bull
  • LSBM = Leslie S.B. MacCoull
  • MA = Muhammad Aziz
  • MEW = Marcia E. Weinstein
  • MIR = Michael Ivanovich Rostovtzeff
  • MM = Mark Muehlhaeusler
  • MP = Michael Peppard
  • NA = Nabia Abbott
  • NAB = Nikos A. Bees
  • NG = Nikolaos Gonis
  • NL = Naphtali Lewis
  • PM = Paul Maas
  • PP = Pierre Proulx
  • PRR = Peter R. Rodgers
  • PS = Philip Sellew
  • PV = Pascal Vernus
  • RAP = Richard A. Parker
  • RD = Ruth Duttenhoefer
  • REB = Robert E. Bennett
  • RGB = Robert G. Babcock
  • RK = Rodolphe Kasser
  • RKR = Robert K. Ritner
  • RM = Robert Marichal
  • ROF = Robert O. Fink
  • RSB = Roger S. Bagnall
  • SAS = Susan A. Stephens
  • SLE = Stephen Lewis Emmel
  • SPV = Sven P. Vleeming
  • TCP = Theodore C. Petersen
  • TCS = Theodore C. Skeat
  • TDB = Tasha Dobbin-Bennett
  • TMH = Todd M. Hickey
  • WAJ = William A. Johnson
  • WF = Walter Federn
  • WHPH = William H.P. Hatch
  • WS = Wolfgang Schäfer
  • WW = Wolfgang Wegner
  • ZMP = Zola Marie Packman

Place of origin

Next comes an indication of the place of origin of the text, if this can be determined or reasonably proposed. The spellings and coordinates of sites are drawn largely from John Baines and Jaromír Málek, Atlas of Ancient Egypt (New York: Facts on File Publications, 1980).

The following ancient places are attested:

  • Akanthon Polis (Memphite nome)
  • Alexandria (31 12’N 29 53’E)
  • Ankyronon Polis (28 48’N 30 55’E, modern el-Hiba)
  • Antaeopolite nome (around 26 54’N 31 31’E)
  • Antinoopolis
  • Aphrodito (26 50’N 31 25’E, modern Kom Ishqaw)
  • Apollinopolis Magna (24 59’N 32 52’E, modern Edfu)
  • Apollonopolites Heptakomias
  • Apollonos Polis (26 56’N 31 20’E, modern Kom Isfaht)
  • Arsinoite nome (around 29 19’N 30 50’E)
  • Arsinoiton Polis
  • Athenas Kome (Arsinoite nome)
  • Bacchias (29 32’N 31 00’E, modern Kom el-Asl)
  • Bacchias Hephaistias
  • Bawit (west of Dairut, 27 34’N 30 49’E)
  • Bubastis
  • Cynopolite nome (around 28 29’N 30 51’E)
  • Djeme (25 43’N 32 36’E, modern Medinet Habu)
  • Euhemeria (29 23’N 30 32’E, modern Qasr el-Banat)
  • el-Fustat (30 00’N 31 14’E, modern Old Cairo)
  • Hawara (20 16’N 30 54’E)
  • Heracleopolite nome (around 29 05’N 30 56’E)
  • Hermopolis (27 47’N 30 48’E, modern el-Ashmunein)
  • Hermopolite nome (around 27 47’N 30 48’E)
  • Hypsele (27 09’N 31 14’E, modern Shutb)
  • Ibion Eikosipentarouron (Arsinoite nome)
  • Karanis (Arsinoite nome)
  • Kemeskouphios Ibion
  • Kerke (Arsinoite nome)
  • Kerkesoucha (in the vicinity of Karanis, 29 31’N 30 54’E)
  • Kerkesoucha Orous (in the vicinity of Tebtynis)
  • Leontos Epoikion (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Magdola (Arsinoite nome)
  • Memphis (29 51’N 31 15’E, modern Mit Rahina)
  • Mendes Delta Region (30 57’N 31 31’E, modern Tell el-Rubca)
  • Moiethymis (Memphite nome)
  • Narmouthis (Arsinoite nome)
  • Oxyrhynchite nome (around 28 32’N 30 40’E)
  • Oxyrhynchus (28 32’N 30 40’E, modern el-Bahnasa)
  • Palosis (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Philadelphia (29 27’N 31 05’E, modern Kom el-Kharaba el-Kebir)
  • Philopator-Theogenous (in the vicinity of Karanis, 29 31’N 30 54’E, and Soknopaiou Nesos, 29 32’N 30 40’E)
  • Phtochis (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Polemonos Meris (Arsinoite nome)
  • Psentepho
  • Ptolemais
  • Ptolemais Drymou (in the south-western Faiyum region)
  • Ptolemais Euergetis (29 19’N 30 50’E, modern Medinet el-Faiyum)
  • el-Qahira (30 04’N 31 15’E, modern Cairo)
  • Senekeleu (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Sepho (in the Oxyrhynchite nome, Thmoisepho toparchy, pagus 7)
  • Serypheos Topoi (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Seryphis (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Sinary (Oxyrhynchite nome)
  • Soknopaiou Nesos (29 32’N 30 40’E, modern Dimai
  • Syron Kome (Arsinoite nome)
  • Tanyaithis (Apollonopolites Heptakomias)
  • Tebtynis (29 07’N 30 45’E, modern Tell Umm el-Breigat)
  • Theadelphia (29 21’N 30 34’E, modern Batn Ihrit)
  • Thebes (25 42’N 32 38’E, modern Luxor)
  • Titkois (Hermopolite nome)
  • Antioch (Syria)
  • Dura-Europos (Syria)
  • Edessa (Syria)
  • Ossa (Syria)
  • Paliga (Syria)
  • Palmyra (Syria)
  • Qatna (Syria)
  • Ravenna (Italy) (44 25’N 12 12’E)
  • Southern Italy
  • Syracuse (Sicily) (37 04’N 15 18’E)

If a place of origin cannot be identified or proposed, one of the following modern places may be named, indicating that the manuscript in question was purchased there or otherwise associated with the place in modern times (Cairo and all non-Egyptian sites have been systematically ignored in this regard):

  • Abutig (27 02’N 31 19’E, ancient Apotheke)
  • Akhmim (26 34’N 31 45’E, ancient Panopolis)
  • el-Bahnasa (28 32’N 30 40’E, ancient Oxyrhynchus)
  • Edfu (24 59’N 32 52’E, ancient Apollinopolis Magna)
  • Faiyum region (around 29 19’N 30 50’E)
  • Luxor (25 42’N 32 38’E, ancient Thebes)
  • Medinet el-Faiyum (29 19’N 30 50’E, ancient Ptolemais Euergetis [Arsinoe])
  • el-Minya (28 06’N 30 45’E)
  • Nag Hammadi region (around 26 03’N 32 15’E)
  • Tell Umm el-Breigat (29 07’N 30 45’E, ancient Tebtunis)

Physical Description

The fourth element of each entry in the catalog provides a brief physical description of the text and the manuscript on which it is inscribed, with the manuscript described first.

If the manuscript is on a material other than papyrus, the base material is specified. If neither “Parchment,” “Paper,” “Wood,” nor “Palm” is specified, one may assume that the material is papyrus. The specification “Paper” is sometimes followed by a parenthetical indication of the thickness of the material, in millimeters (to the nearest micron) the measurement given is an average of at least three separate measurements taken with a micrometer at different spots on the manuscript.

Next come the dimensions of the manuscript. (Note: these are not given for manuscripts that require conservation such pieces require permission from the curator for use.) Because the manuscripts survive in quite various shapes as a result of deterioration, the measurements define the smallest rectangle, constructed with its sides parallel to the edges of the acrylic frame, that can contain the surviving remnant of the manuscript. The dimensions are given in millimeters (to the nearest millimeter), height by width, with these axes defined by the orientation of the manuscript when the paper label inside the frame is properly oriented for reading it. Thus height and width here are not defined by the orientation of any text inscribed on the manuscript except in so far as each manuscript was mounted such that the proper orientation of its frame according to the paper label results in the proper orientation of at least one text on the front of the manuscript.

Then comes an indication of the number of extant lines of text (or columns of text, in the case of Egyptian hieroglyphic texts). Even minute traces of ink have been counted as evidence for the existence of a line of text. Question marks indicate some uncertainty about the accuracy of the count. A heading that runs above more than one column is counted only as a part of the column over which it begins.

Last comes an indication of which margins are preserved, if any. Here “top,” “right,” “bottom,” and “left” are always determined by the proper orientation of the text for reading. Question marks indicate some uncertainty either about whether or not the relevant margin is really in evidence, or about the proper orientation of the text. In cases of serious doubt about interpreting the evidence for inscription, the indications of lines and margins are replaced by the simple indication “traces,” meaning that only indistinct traces of ink are discernible, or by “traces (?),” meaning that even their identification as ink is uncertain. Occasionally, in order to avoid possible ambiguity, it is stated that a given fragment or side is “blank.”

This line of a catalog entry is more complicated if the manuscript consists of more than one fragment (in which case separate dimensions and indications of lines and margins are given for each fragment), or if a text is inscribed on both sides of the manuscript (in which case separate indications of lines and margins are given for sides A and B), or if a text is inscribed in more than one column of lines (in which case separate indications of lines and margins are given for each column, the columns being numbered with lower case Roman numerals in the same direction in which the text was written), or if any combination of these possibilities occurs, e.g.: (1) dimensions, (A)(col. i) lines, margins, (col. ii) lines, margins, (B) lines, margins (2) dimensions, (A) lines, margins, (B)(col. i) lines margins, (col. ii) lines, margins (3) dimensions, and so on.

Several manuscripts that were once in the collection are now missing. For these manuscripts, this line of the catalog entry simply states, “Missing,” and any descriptive information known about the manuscript is recorded in the fifth line of the entry.

Amenhotep I

The second pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep I likely ascended the throne after the death of several older brothers. He may have been a child when he became king and ruled with the assistance of his mother, AhmoseNefertari. Most scholars believe that he reigned for about 20 years, although others suggest 30. According to autobiographical inscriptions in the tombs of contemporary officials, Amenhotep I led campaigns into Nubia and Libya. He also began or completed a number of building projects, including a temple at Saï in Nubia and an exquisite barque chapel for Amun at Karnak made entirely of Egyptian alabaster.

Remembered as a great ruler, he was deified after his death alongside his mother. Both were venerated for centuries, with their cult especially prominent at Deir el-Medina, the village of the artisans who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Amenhotep I’s original tomb is mentioned in the Abbott Papyrus, but its location is still unknown. Some scholars believe that it is located in Dra Abu el-Naga, while others identify it with a small tomb in the Valley of the Kings. More recently, a Polish scholar has suggested that it still lies undiscovered at Deir el-Bahari, near the memorial temple of Hatshepsut

Amenhotep I

The second pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep I likely ascended the throne after the death of several older brothers. He may have been a child when he became king and ruled with the assistance of his mother, AhmoseNefertari. Most scholars believe that he reigned for about 20 years, although others suggest 30. According to autobiographical inscriptions in the tombs of contemporary officials, Amenhotep I led campaigns into Nubia and Libya. He also began or completed a number of building projects, including a temple at Saï in Nubia and an exquisite barque chapel for Amun at Karnak made entirely of Egyptian alabaster.

Remembered as a great ruler, he was deified after his death alongside his mother. Both were venerated for centuries, with their cult especially prominent at Deir el-Medina, the village of the artisans who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Amenhotep I’s original tomb is mentioned in the Abbott Papyrus, but its location is still unknown. Some scholars believe that it is located in Dra Abu el-Naga, while others identify it with a small tomb in the Valley of the Kings. More recently, a Polish scholar has suggested that it still lies undiscovered at Deir el-Bahari, near the memorial temple of Hatshepsut


Abbott-papyrusen er en godt bevart papyrusrull med en størrelse på cirka 220 × 42,5 cm. [1] [2]

Teksten er skrevet b på rectosiden og på versosiden. Rectosiden omfatter 7 tekstkolonner med en bredde på mellom 25 og 30 cm. Versosiden omfatter bare 2 kolonner med en bredde på mellom 18 og 20 cm, her finnes navnene på samtlige mistenkte tyver nedtegnet.

Manuskriptet beskriver at Paser, borgermester over Tebens østre del, hadde mottatt rapporter om gravplyndringer av flere av de kongelige gravplassene i nekropolen omkring Teben og Kongenes dal på vestre side av Nilen. [1] [3] Paser startete en utredning i det 16. regjeringsåret av Ramses IXs regjeringstid selv om gravomrt ikke lå innen hans forvaltningsomr. Utredningen skulle påvise kompetansesvikt hos hans rival Paweraa (borgermestar over Tebens vestre del). Utredningen viste imidlertid at bare én grav var (farao Sobekemsaf II, Egypts 17. dynasti) var blitt plyndret, noe som setter Paser i en dårlig stilling oppimot Paweraa. [1] [2] [3]

Teksten er skrevet i hieratisk skrift og manuskriptet dateres til cirka 1140 f. Kr. i Ramses IXs regjeringstid. Den britiske egyptologen Thomas Eric Peet fastlegger datoen til en 4-dagers periode mellom den 18. og den 21. dagen i den 3, måneden av oversvømmelsesmåneden (Akhet).

Ramses IX

Eighth king of the 20th Dynasty, Ramses IX was the grandson of Ramses III and the nephew of Ramses VIII. It is estimated that he ruled for about 18 years, instilling a new sense of stability, and his titles have been found outside of Egypt proper, in Nubia and Dakhla Oasis.

His principal cult contributions were to the sun temple in Heliopolis he also decorated the north wall of the Seventh Pylon of the complex of Amun-Re at Karnak. Most of his activities focused on Lower Egypt, where he ruled from the Ramesside capital in the Delta, allowing the high priests of Amun in Upper Egypt to gain power.

It is from Ramses IX’s reign that records are preserved of a great scandal concerning violations of the royal tombs. These incidents took place in his Years 16 to 17, and are captured in various papyri such as the Abbott Papyrus, Papyrus BM 10054, and the Leopold II-Amherst Papyrus. The robberies led to the decision several generations later to dismantle the burials of the New Kingdom monarchs and their families, restore the mummies, and hide them in a series of caches. The original burial place of Ramses IX, a beautifully painted tomb that still retains its colors today, was KV 6 his mummy was moved several times before it was hidden in the Deir el-Bahari cache.

4,200-year-old queen's identity among remarkable new finds in Egypt

Cairo &mdash Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities has revealed details of the latest landmark discoveries to emerge from the Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo. The vast burial grounds sit in what was once Memphis, the capital of ancient Egypt. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to more than a dozen pyramids, including Egypt's oldest, the Pyramid of Djoser .

The site has yielded thousands of artefacts over decades of excavation, but among the biggest rewards for Egyptologists in this latest round of discoveries was the identity of a queen who died around 4,200 years ago.

Her tomb was discovered at a site adjacent to the pyramid of King Teti, the first pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, the era between about 2680 and 2180 BC known as the Age of the Pyramids.

A sarcophagus is displayed during the official announcement of the discovery by an Egyptian archaeological mission of a new trove of treasures at Egypt's Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, on January 17, 2021. The discovery includes the funerary temple of Queen Neit, wife of King Teti, as well as burial shafts, coffins, and mummies dating back 3,000 years to the New Kingdom. KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images

"The excavation started in 2010, when we discovered a pyramid of a queen next to the pyramid of King Teti, but we didn't find a name inside the pyramid to tell us who the pyramid belonged to," leading Egyptologist and former minister of antiquities Dr. Zahi Hawass told CBS News.

About a month ago they discovered a funerary temple, and now researchers finally have a name for the ancient female monarch: Queen Neit, the wife of King Teti. Her name was finally found, carved on a wall in the temple and also written on a fallen obelisk in the entrance to her tomb.

Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass poses during an event announcing the discovery by the archaeological mission he leads of a new trove of treasures at Egypt's Saqqara necropolis, south of Cairo, on January 17, 2021. KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty

"I'd never heard of this queen before. Therefore, we add an important piece to Egyptian history, about this queen," said Hawass, who heads the archaeological mission. He said the recent discoveries would help "rewrite" the history of ancient Egypt.

His team also discovered 52 burial shafts, each around 30 to 40 feet deep, inside of which they found have more than 50 wooden coffins dating back to the New Kingdom, around 3,000 years ago.

Unearthed adorned wooden sarcophagi are displayed during the official announcement of the discovery by an Egyptian archaeological mission of a new trove of treasures at Egypt's Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo, on January 17, 2021. KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images

"Actually, this morning we found another shaft," Hawass told CBS News on Monday. "Inside the shaft we found a large limestone sarcophagus. This is the first time we've discovered a limestone sarcophagus inside the shafts. We found another one that we're going to open a week from now."

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The team also found a papyrus about 13 feet long and three feet wide, on which Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead is written in hieroglyphics, with the name of its owner recorded on it. The Book of the Dead is an ancient manuscript that explains how to navigate through the afterlife to reach the field of the Aaru &mdash paradise, to ancient Egyptians.

The remains of a papyrus, bearing Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead, found in a burial shaft at the Saqqara necropolis in Egypt are displayed on tables in an image provided by the Ministry of Antiquities. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

Hawass said it was the first time such a large papyrus had been discovered inside a burial shaft.

Other finds from the site include numerous wooden funerary masks, a shrine dedicated to the god Anubis (Guardian of the Cemetery), statues of Anubis, and games that were buried with the dead, to keep them busy in the afterlife. One of them was a game called "Twenty," found with its owner's name still visibly written on it.

Another game, called "Senet" (cross), was found in the shafts. It's similar to chess, but if the deceased player wins, they go safely into the afterlife.

Watch the video: EGYPT 482 - TOMB ROBBERS in Ancient Egypt The ABBOTTS PAPYRUS by Egyptahotep (January 2022).