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Inventory number

Cat.1875

  • Object
  • Writing Recto

General description

The Harem Conspiracy Papyrus/Judical Papyrus

Cat. 1875 is a judicial papyrus that recounts a trial that (possibly) took place against a group of conspirators for having attempted to kill Pharaoh Ramesses III. The instigator was queen Tiye who, together with other women from the Pharaoh’s harem and several people in high positions in the government, tried to place Tiye's son Pentaweret on the throne instead of the appointed heir. Although the death of Ramesses III is not explicitly mentioned in the papyrus, the assassination seemed to have been successful as a recent examination of the mummy of Ramesses III proved that a deep cut in the throat was the cause of his death. However, the appointed heir still managed to ascend the throne instead of Pentaweret. He assumed the name Ramesses IV and the culprits were arrested and put on trial. The papyrus describes the crime that each individual conspirator was charged with and the punishment that they received. The death sentence was imposed on most of those plotting against the Pharaoh, but they were not directly killed by the followers of Ramesses IV. Instead, the accused were allowed to take their own life, or as is written on the papyrus: “They (the judges) found him (the accused) guilty, they left him where he was and he committed suicide”.

Provenance

Thebes (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino

Acquisition Date: 1824

List file

Image

  • Text 1

Hieroglyphs

  • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs

Translation

English translation in preparation

for the French translation log in or see Ramses Online (ID 161)

Editor

Anne-Claude Honnay (ACH, Ramses Online)

Contributor

Juan José Archidona Ramírez (JJAR)

Script

hieratic

Text type

Juridical text

Keywords

crime, women, suicide, conspiracy, rebellion, court case, punishment, harem

Place name

Court of examination (s.t-smtr)

Epoch

New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)

Dynasty

Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)

Pharaoh

Ramesses III/Ramesses IV

Drawing

No

Drawing description

---

Bibliographical reference

KRI V 350–360 (OEB 13544)

Museo Egizio