List of ancient Egyptian papyri

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Photo of ancient papyrus document, showing vertical and horizontal striations from the strips of pith of the papyrus plant. Papyrus.jpg
Photo of ancient papyrus document, showing vertical and horizontal striations from the strips of pith of the papyrus plant.

This list of ancient Egyptian papyri includes some of the better known individual papyri written in hieroglyphs, hieratic, demotic or in Greek. Excluded are papyri found abroad or containing Biblical texts which are listed in separate lists.

Papyrus Writing and painting implement

Papyrus is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge. Papyrus can also refer to a document written on sheets of such material, joined together side by side and rolled up into a scroll, an early form of a book.

Contents

The content descriptions are preceded by a letter in bold font, indicating the literary genre it belongs to. In the case of collections of texts of various kinds, the first letter refers to the most important text on the papyrus.

NameDate:
century BCE
ContentInstitutionRef #CityCountry
Wadi al-Jarf Papyri 26thO - about pyramid constructionEgyptian Museum in Cairo [1]
Dryton and Apollonia Archive PtolemaicP - family papersdispersed [2]
Abusir Papyri 25th or laterO - about Neferirkare Kakai
Moscow Mathematical Papyrus 21stS - Mathematical problems and solutions Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow Moscow Russia
Berlin Papyrus 21st or laterS - Medical and mathematical topicsP. Berlin 6619 Berlin Germany
Westcar Papyrus 20thL - Tales of Magic Ägyptisches Museum, BerlinP. Berlin 3033 Berlin Germany
Heqanakht papyri 20thP - Private Correspondence of Heqanakht Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York22.3 New York City United States
Papyrus Hermitage 1116A
Papyrus Moscow,
Papyrus Carlsberg 6
20th or laterT - Instruction of Merikare
P. Leningrad 111520th or laterL - Tale of the shipwrecked sailor P. Leningrad 1115 Moscow Russia
Prisse Papyrus 20th or laterT - Instruction addressed to Kagemni
The Maxims of Ptahhotep
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris Paris France
Papyrus Berlin 3023
Papyrus Berlin 3025
Papyrus Berlin 10499
20th or laterL - The Eloquent Peasant P. Berlin 3023
P. Berlin 3025
P. Berlin 10499
Berlin Germany
Papyrus Butler 527 20th or laterL - The Eloquent Peasant British Museum, LondonP. BM 10274 London UK
Papyrus Berlin 3024 20th or laterL - Dispute between a man and his Ba, Herdsman's TaleP. Berlin 3024 Berlin Germany
Hearst Papyrus 20th or laterS - Medical texts University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA United States
Rhind Mathematical Papyrus 19th or laterS - Mathematical problems and solutions British Museum, LondonpBM 10057, pBM 10058 London UK
Kahun Papyri 19thS - Mathematical and medical topics University College London London UK
Papyrus Berlin 302219thB (?)- Story of Sinuhe P. Berlin 3022 Berlin Germany
Ramesseum medical papyri 18thS - Medical texts
Papyrus Boulaq 18 18thO - palace administration Egypt Cairo
London Medical Papyrus 18thS - Medical texts British Museum, LondonpBM 10059 London UK
Reisner Papyrus 18thO - official records
Ipuwer Papyrus 17thT - The Admonitions of Ipuwer Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, LeidenPapyrus Leiden I 344 Leiden Netherlands
Papyrus Golenischeff 17thR - Hymn to the Red Crown
Edwin Smith Papyrus 16th or earlierS - Medical New York Academy of Medicine New York City United States
Ebers Papyrus 16thS - Medical University of Leipzig, Leipzig Germany
Turin Erotic Papyrus 16th or laterD - Animal and erotic cartoonsP. Turin 55001 Turin Italy
Millingen Papyrus (now lost)16th or laterT - Instructions of Amenemhat
Papyrus of Ani 13th or laterF - Book of the Dead Cairo Museum, CairoP. Boulaq 4 Cairo Egypt
Turin King List 13thO - Kinglist Museo Egizio, Turin Turin Italy
Papyrus Sallier II 13th or laterT - The Satire of the Trades British Museum, London London UK
Papyrus Anastasi I 13th or laterT - Satirical letter British Museum, LondonpBM 10247 London UK
Papyrus Harris I 12thO - Lists of endowments British Museum, LondonP. BM 9999. London UK
Judicial Papyrus of Turin 12thO - Report on the Harem conspiracy against Ramesses III
Papyrus Harris 500 12th or laterL - Tale of the doomed prince, The Taking of Joppa, love poems, the Harper's Song British Museum, LondonP. BM 10060 London UK
Papyrus Pushkin I12th or laterL - Moscow literary letterP. Pushkin I
Turin Papyrus 12thD - Map Museo Egizio, Turin Turin Italy
Abbott Papyrus 12thO - Investigation of crimes
Leopold II and Amherst Papyrus 12thO - Investigation of crimes Musée d'arts, Brussels Brussels Belgium
Mayer Papyri 12thO - Investigation of crimes
Chester Beatty Medical Papyrus 12thS - Medical texts British Museum, London London UK
Papyrus British Museum 1047412thT - Instructions of Amenemopet British Museum, LondonP. BM 10474 London UK
Papyrus Lansing 12thT - Schoolbook British Museum, LondonP. BM 9994 London UK
Papyrus Chester Beatty IV12thT - The Immortality of Writers British Museum, LondonP. BM 10684 London UK
Papyrus D’Orbiney 12thL - Tale of Two Brothers British Museum, LondonP. BM 10183 London UK
Papyrus Chester Beatty II12thL - Tale of Truth and Falsehood British Museum, LondonP. BM 10682 London UK
Papyrus Chester Beatty I12thL - Love poetry
Contention between Horus and Seth
Greenfield papyrus 11thF - Book of the Dead British Museum, LondonBM EA 10554 London UK
Papyrus Moscow 12011th or laterL - Story of Wenamun P. Moscow 120
Papyrus Hood 10thW - Onomasticon of Amenope British Museum, LondonP. BM EA 10202 London UK
Papyrus Berlin 304808thP - Marriage contractP. Berlin 3048 Berlin Germany
Papyrus Rylands 906thP - The petition of Pediese John Rylands Library, ManchesterP. Rylands 9 Manchester UK
Brooklyn Papyrus 04th or laterS - Medical texts Brooklyn Museum Brooklyn United States
Papyrus Bremner–Rhind04thR - The Songs of Isis and Nephthys. British Museum, LondonP. BM 10188 London UK
British Museum Papyrus 1050804th or laterT - Instruction of Ankhsheshonq British Museum, LondonP. BM 10508 London UK
Papyrus Berlin 300804th or laterR - The Lamentations of Isis and NephthysP.Berlin 3008 Berlin Germany
Cairo Museum Papyrus No. 3064604th or laterL - Setne I Cairo MuseumCairo Museum Papyrus No. 30646 Cairo Egypt
Cairo Museum Papyrus No. 3069204th or laterL - Setne ICairo MuseumCairo Museum Papyrus No. 30692 Cairo Egypt
Vienna Demotic Papyrus 616504th or laterL - Story-cycle of King PetubastisVienna Demotic Papyrus 6165 Vienna Austria
Leiden Demotic Papyrus I 38404th or laterR - The Myth of the Eye of the SunLeiden Demotic Papyrus I 384
Papyrus Milbank04th or laterF - Book of the Dead Oriental Institute E10486 Chicago United States of America
Milan Papyrus 03rd or laterL - Poetry in Greek University of Milan P.Mil.Vogl. VIII 309 Milan Italy
Carlsberg Papyri 02nd and laterS - Medical texts University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Denmark
Insinger Papyrus 02nd or laterT - Instruction of Papyrus Insinger Leiden Netherlands
British Museum Papyrus 604.01st or laterL - Setne II British Museum, LondonP. BM 604. London UK

Related Research Articles

Ancient Egyptian mathematics is the mathematics that was developed and used in Ancient Egypt c. 3000 to c. 300 BC, from the Old Kingdom of Egypt until roughly the beginning of Hellenistic Egypt. The ancient Egyptians utilized a numeral system for counting and solving written mathematical problems, often involving multiplication and fractions. Evidence for Egyptian mathematics is limited to a scarce amount of surviving sources written on papyri. From these texts it is known that ancient Egyptians understood concepts of geometry, such as determining the surface area and volume of three-dimensional shapes useful for architectural engineering, and algebra, such as the false position method and quadratic equations.

Demotic (Egyptian) ancient Egyptian script

Demotic is the ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, and the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian and preceding Coptic. The term was first used by the Greek historian Herodotus to distinguish it from hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts. By convention, the word "Demotic" is capitalized in order to distinguish it from demotic Greek.

The Greek Magical Papyri is the name given by scholars to a body of papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt, written mostly in ancient Greek, which each contain a number of magical spells, formulae, hymns, and rituals. The materials in the papyri date from the 100s BC to the 400s AD. The manuscripts came to light through the antiquities trade, from the 1700s onward. One of the best known of these texts is the Mithras Liturgy.

University of Michigan Papyrology Collection

The Papyrology Collection of the University of Michigan Library is an internationally respected collection of ancient papyrus and a center for research on ancient culture, language, and history. With over 7,000 items and more than 10,000 individual fragments, the Collection is by far the largest collection of papyrus in the country, and offers a glimpse into the everyday life and language of the ancient world. Of keen interest to historians, linguists, classicists, philosophers, archaeologists, as well as others, the collection includes biblical fragments, religious writings, public and private documents, private letters, and writings on astronomy, astrology, mathematics, and magic. The papyri span nearly two millennia of history, dating from about 1000 BC to AD 1000, with the majority dating from the third century BC to the seventh century AD.

Heqanakht papyri

The Heqanakht papyri or Heqanakht letters are a group of papyri dating to the early Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt that were found in the tomb complex of Vizier Ipi. Their find was located in the burial chamber of a servant named Meseh, which was to the right side of the courtyard of Ipi's burial complex. It is believed that the papyri were accidentally mixed into debris used to form a ramp to push the coffin of Meseh into the chamber. The papyri contain letters and accounts written by Heqanakht, a ka-priest of Ipi. Heqankht himself was obliged to stay in the Theban area, and thus wrote letters to his family, probably located somewhere near the capital of Egypt at that time, near the Faiyum. These letters and accounts were somehow lost and thus preserved. The significance of the papers is that they give rare and valuable information about lives of ordinary members of the lower upper class of Egypt during this period.

Dirk D. Obbink is an American-born papyrologist and Classicist. He is the Lecturer in Papyrology and Greek Literature in the Faculty of Classics at Oxford University and was the head of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project. Obbink is also Fellow and Tutor in the University of Oxford.

The Lahun Mathematical Papyri is an ancient Egyptian mathematical text. It forms part of the Kahun Papyri, which was discovered at El-Lahun by Flinders Petrie during excavations of a workers' town near the pyramid of the 12th dynasty pharaoh Sesostris II. The Kahun Papyri are a collection of texts including administrative texts, medical texts, veterinarian texts and six fragments devoted to mathematics.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 13 is a fragment of a letter to a King of Macedon, written in Greek. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The fragment is dated to the second or third century. It is housed at Columbia University. The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 48 is a letter asking for the emancipation of a slave, written in the Greek language on 16 October 86. The document was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. It is housed in the Vaughan Library at Harrow School. The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 59 is a letter announcing the appointment of a delegate to the praefect's court in Alexandria, written in Greek. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The document was written on 11 February 292. Currently it is housed in the British Library (753). The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 60 is a letter addressed to the council of Oxyrhynchus, written by the strategus Hermias, in Greek. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The document was written on 17 August 323. Currently it is housed in the Library of the Trinity College in Dublin. The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 67 contains three letters about a dispute concerning property, written in Greek. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The document was written on 28 March 338. Currently it is housed in the British Museum (754) in London. The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 156 is a letter, written in Greek and discovered in Oxyrhynchus. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. The document was written in the 6th century. Currently it is housed in the Egyptian Museum (10035) in Cairo.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 157 is a letter, written in Greek and discovered in Oxyrhynchus. The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. The document was written in the 6th century. Currently it is housed in the Egyptian Museum (10042) in Cairo.

The 2015 Homs car bombing was a twin-explosion car bombing that killed 16 and injured many more. It occurred near a hospital in al-Zahra, an Alawites populated, government-controlled Neighborhood east of Homs' old city. The attack came five days after the government and rebels agreed on a local ceasefire in the western al-Waer suburb.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 581 is a papyrus fragment written in Ancient Greek, apparently recording the sale of a slave girl. Dating from 29 August 99 AD, P. Oxy. 581 was discovered, alongside hundreds of other papyri, by Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt while excavating an ancient landfill at Oxyrhynchus in modern Egypt. The document's contents were published by the Egypt Exploration Fund in 1898, which also secured its donation to University College, Dundee, later the University of Dundee, in 1903 – where it still resides. Measuring 6.3 x 14.7 cm and consisting of 17 lines of text, the artifact represents the conclusion of a longer record, although the beginning of the papyrus was lost before it was found. P. Oxy. 581 has received a modest amount of scholarly attention, most recently and completely in a 2009 translation by classicist Amin Benaissa of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/14/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt-antiquities.html
  2. Lewis, N: “Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt”, pp 88–103. Oxford University Press, 1986

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/07/14/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt-antiquities.html

See also

The Elephantine Papyri consist of 175 documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan, which yielded hundreds of papyri in Hieratic and Demotic Egyptian, Aramaic, Koine Greek, Latin and Coptic, spanning a period of 1000 years. The documents include letters and legal contracts from family and other archives, and are thus an invaluable source of knowledge for scholars of varied disciplines such as epistolography, law, society, religion, language and onomastics. They are a collection of ancient Jewish manuscripts dating from the 5th century BCE. They come from a Jewish community at Elephantine, then called ꜣbw. The dry soil of Upper Egypt preserved documents from the Egyptian border fortresses of Elephantine and Aswan.

Oxyrhynchus Papyri Manuscript fragments from 32BC–640AD found in an Egyptian rubbish dump

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a group of manuscripts discovered during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt at an ancient rubbish dump near Oxyrhynchus in Egypt.