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Inventory number

Cat.1887

  • Document
  • Writing Recto
  • Writing Verso

General description

The Indictment Papyrus

The papyrus Cat.1887 bears on both sides a hieratic text dated back to the time of Ramesses V. The so-called „Indictment papyrus“ reports numerous scandals that occurred in the temple of Khnum in Elephantine during the reigns of Ramesses IV (1156-1150 BC) and Ramesses V (1150-1147 BC). The text is divided into three sections, in which at least three people are accused. Since all the crimes are connected to Elephantine, it can be assumed, that the manuscript has been originally part of the archive of the temple of Khnum. However, it is impossible to establish whether it was written for documentation purposes only or as an actual accusation to be made against a visir or another public official.

This document was most likely drafted as a complaint by the priest Qakhepesh, who accuses another priest, Penanukis, of immense bribery, sexual misdeeds, causing an abortion, intimidation, utmost brutality (which included burning a house and the blinding of two women and cutting off someone’s ear), theft of temple property, and disrespect for the sacred as well manipulation of the oracle. Qakhepesh also accuses a barge-captain of having stolen, over a period of almost ten years, 5,000 sacks of grain which were destined for. However, the allegations mentioned in the text are not directed against an individual or a group of individuals, but against an institution.

Besides the specific crimes, the state officials’ greed’s are described, even at the cost of dishonesty. The text notes the corruptibility and ineffectiveness of the temple administration of the Temple of Khnum on Elephantine.

Unfortunatly, the document does not contain any information as to whether the text or the circumstances that led to its drafting changed something in the Khnum domain of Elephantine, that far from the administrative center (Thebes), eventually favored theft and corruption.

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses IV (Heqamaatre Setepenamun)

Provenance

Thebes/Deir el-Medina (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

Joining object(s) (log into TPOP)

Image(s)

Image

  • Text 1

Editor

Eleonora Mander (EM)

Script

hieratic

Text type

Administrative text

Keywords

charge, debauch, indictment, scandal

Place name

Thebes (niw.t), Bigah (snm.t)

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses IV (Heqamaatre Setepenamun)

Drawing

No

Drawing description

---

Bibliographical reference

RAD, pp. 73–77a (OEB 139987);

Peet, JEA 10/2, pp. 116–127 (OEB 146847);

Spiegelberg, ZÄS 29, pp. 73–84 (OEB 150835);

Ward, SAK 9, pp. 359–373 (OEB 23731).

Image

  • Text 1

Editor

Eleonora Mander (EM)

Script

hieratic

Text type

Administrative text

Keywords

boat, treasury, scandal, indictment, granary

Place name

Elephantine (Abw), Deir el-Medina (s.t mAa.t)

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses III/Ramesses IV

Drawing

No

Drawing description

---

Bibliographical reference

RAD, pp. 78-82a (OEB 139987);

Peet, JEA 10/2, pp. 116-127 (OEB 146847);

Spiegelberg, ZÄS 29, pp. 73-84 (OEB 150835).

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