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Inventory number

Cat.2031/001

  • Document
  • Writing Recto

General description

The so-called "Satiric-Erotic Papyrus"

Cat. 2031 = CGT 55001 is a fragmentary papyrus with peculiar content that belonged to the villagers of the ancient Egyptian town of Deir el-Medina. The document consists of two seemingly unrelated topics, although both dealing with humour and satire. On the left-hand side we have the erotic part, where young women, most probably all songstresses, are having intercourse in a variety of agile poses with men whose absurdly large phalluses emerge from under their kilts. In contrast to the beautifully depicted women, most of the men are shown as balding, some with large bellies and one dwarf-like person. The sexual acts are accompanied by texts written in hieratic which are a dialogue between the men and the women.



The right side of the papyrus shows a topsy-turvy representation of a world where animals act like humans. Some animals wear clothes, are fighting with weapons like a bow and arrow, or make music. The roles of predator and prey are reversed, mice and birds have the upper hand against cats, and gazelles are taking lions prisoner with long sticks and ropes. A donkey is dressed in the attire worn normally by a person of nobility. The last scene to the right depicts animals playing several musical instruments. A monkey is blowing on a double flute, a crocodile plays a string instrument, a lion is singing and playing on a lyre, and a donkey plays the harp.



Note: The papyrus is currently not on display due to its restoration!

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

---

Provenance

Thebes/Deir el-Medina (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

Joining object(s) (log into TPOP)

Image(s)

Image

  • Text 1

Contributor

Juan José Archidona Ramírez (JJAR)

Script

hieratic

Text type

Satirical, Erotic

Keywords

animals, workmen, instruments, women

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

---

Drawing

Yes

Drawing description

On the left-hand side we have the erotic part, where young women, most probably all songstresses, are having intercourse in a variety of agile poses with men whose absurdly large phalluses emerge from under their kilts. In contrast to the beautifully depicted women, most of the men are shown as balding, some with large bellies and one dwarf-like person, The sexual acts are accompanied by texts written in hieratic which are a dialogue between the men and the women. The right side of the papyrus shows a topsy-turvy representation of a world where animals act like humans. Some animals wear clothes, are fighting with weapons like a bow and arrow, or make music. The roles of predator and prey are reversed, mice and birds have the upper hand against cats, and gazelles are taking lions prisoner with long sticks and ropes. A donkey has the attire worn normally by a person of nobility. The last scene to the right depicts animals playing several musical instruments. A monkey is blowing on a double flute, a crocodile plays a string instrument, a lion is singing and playing on a lyre, and a donkey plays the harp.

Bibliographical reference

Brawanski/Fischer-Elfert, SAK 41, pp. 67-97 (OEB 188677)

Omlin, Der Papyrus 55001 (OEB 16729)

Museo Egizio