Three Hundred Years of Death: The Egyptian Funerary Industry in the Ptolemaic Period 9004406794, 9789004406797

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Three Hundred Years of Death: The Egyptian Funerary Industry in the Ptolemaic Period
 9004406794, 9789004406797

Table of contents :
‎Contents
‎Preface and Acknowledgments
‎Tables, Figures and Plates
‎Illustration Credits
‎Abbreviations
‎Outline of Egyptian Chronology
‎Introduction
‎1. Setting the Scene
‎2. Previous Scholarship on the Subject
‎3. Scope and Organisation of the Book
‎4. Notes on the Conventions and Abbreviations Used
‎Part 1. The Organisation of the Necropolis and Its Funerary Priests
‎Chapter 1. The Theban Necropolis
‎1. The Overseer of the Necropolis
‎2. The Lesonis
‎3. The Steward
‎4. Choachytes
‎5. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Choachytes
‎6. Embalmers
‎7. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Embalmers
‎8. Other Funerary Priests
‎Chapter 2. The Edfu Necropolis
‎1. The Overseer of the Necropolis and the Lesonis
‎2. Choachytes and Lector-Priests
‎3. Territorial Jurisdiction of Edfu Necropolis Workers
‎Chapter 3. The Memphite necropolis
‎1. The Overseer of the necropolis
‎2. God’s Seal-Bearers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes
‎3. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Memphite Funerary Priests
‎Chapter 4. The Hawara Necropolis
‎1. The Overseer of the God’s Seal-Bearers and Embalmers
‎2. God’s Seal-Bearers (and) Embalmers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes
‎3. Other Funerary Priests
‎4. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Hawara Funerary Priests
‎5. The Organisation of the Hawara Necropolis
‎Chapter 5. The Necropolises in Middle Egypt
‎1. The Head of the Necropolis
‎2. Lector-Priests and Embalmers
‎3. Man of the Necropolis
‎4. Seal-Bearer Who Attends the God
‎5. God’s Seal-Bearers
‎6. Necrotaphoi
‎7. Territorial Jurisdiction of the Funerary Priests in Middle Egypt
‎Chapter 6. Female Funerary priests
‎1. Choachytes
‎2. Embalmers
‎Chapter 7. Services, Income and Taxation of Funerary Priests
‎1. Definition of the Services Performed by Funerary Priests
‎2. Different Types of Revenues
‎3. Income of Lector-Priests and Embalmers
‎4. Personal and Professional Taxation, Contributions and Exemptions
‎5. Other Economic Activities of the Funerary Priests
‎Chapter 8. Priestly Associations
‎1. Association of Theban Choachytes
‎2. Association of Theban Lector Priests
‎3. Association of Memphite Mortuary Priests
‎4. Associations of Mortuary Priests in the Fayum
‎5. Associations of Mortuary Priests in Middle Egypt
‎Chapter 9. The Funerary Priests and Their Social Context
‎1. Place of Residence of the Funerary Priests
‎2. The Funerary Priests and Their Families
‎Part 2. Death, Mummification and Burial
‎Chapter 10. Death
‎1. The Mourning Period
‎2. Arranging for the Services of Funerary Priests
‎3. Transport of the Deceased to the Necropolis
‎Chapter 11. Mummification
‎1. The Embalming Place: the pr-nfr and the wꜥb.t
‎2. Arranging for the Mummification of the Deceased
‎3. The Mummification Process: Stages, Rituals and Materials
‎4. Funerary Priests Involved in the Mummification Process
‎Chapter 12. Burial
‎1. Role of the Funerary Priests Following the Mummification Process
‎2. Funeral and Burial
‎3. The Lexicology of the Entombment
‎4. Delayed Burial
‎5. Mortuary Cult
‎Chapter 13. Funerary Expenses
‎1. Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment: Production, Acquisition and Provision
‎2. Provision of Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment
‎3. Burial Taxes
‎4. Cost and Payment of the ‘Mummification and Burial’
‎Chapter 14. The Deceased
‎1. The Living and the Dead
‎2. Epithets of the Dead
‎3. Social Status and Ethnic Background of the Deceased
‎Part 3. Necropolises, Tombs and Burials
‎Chapter 15. Necropolises
‎1. Location of Burial Grounds
‎2. Funerary Landscape: Topographical Textual Notes
‎3. God’s Acre: Possession, Taxation and Acquisition of Plots and Tombs
‎Chapter 16. Tombs
‎1. The Lexicography of Tombs’ Typology
‎2. Tombs’ Typology: Textual and Archaeological Evidence
‎3. Building a New Tomb
‎4. Using an Existing Tomb
‎5. Collective Tombs
‎Chapter 17. Burials
‎1. Select Survey of Inhumations’ Typology
‎Part 4. Discussion and Conclusion
‎Chapter 18. Discussion and Conclusion
‎1. The Organisation of the Necropolis and Its Funerary Priests
‎2. Death, Mummification and Burial
‎3. Necropolises, Tombs and Burials
‎Appendix 1. Palaeographical and Orthographical Analysis of the Root ḳs
‎Appendix 2. P. Florence 3667 (111BC)
‎Appendix 3. Tables
‎Bibliography
‎List of the Main Primary Sources Analysed (Arranged by Necropolis and Category)
‎Bibliographical Details of the Primary Sources Cited (Arranged Alphabetically and by Museums’ Inventory Number)
‎List of Personal Names
‎List of Toponyms Mentioned
‎Select Index of Words
‎Plates

Citation preview

Three Hundred Years of Death

Culture and History of the Ancient Near East Founding Editor M.H.E. Weippert

Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Stökl

Editors Eckart Frahm W. Randall Garr B. Halpern Theo P.J. van den Hout Leslie Anne Warden Irene J. Winter

volume 110

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/chan

Three Hundred Years of Death The Egyptian Funerary Industry in the Ptolemaic Period

By

Maria Cannata

LEIDEN | BOSTON

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Cannata, Maria, author. Title: Three hundred years of death : the Egyptian funerary industry in the Ptolemaic period / Maria Cannata. Other titles: Culture and history of the ancient Near East ; v. 110. Description: Boston : Brill, 2020. | Series: Culture and history of the ancient Near East, 1566-2055 ; volume 110 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020002365 (print) | LCCN 2020002366 (ebook) | ISBN 9789004406797 (hardback) | ISBN 9789004406803 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Ptolemaic dynasty, 305-30 B.C. | Funeral rites and ceremonies–Egypt. Classification: LCC BL2450.F8 C36 2020 (print) | LCC BL2450.F8 (ebook) | DDC 393/.30932–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020002365 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020002366

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill‑typeface. ISSN 1566-2055 ISBN 978-90-04-40679-7 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-40680-3 (e-book) Copyright 2020 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi, Brill Sense, Hotei Publishing, mentis Verlag, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh and Wilhelm Fink Verlag. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill NV provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910, Danvers, MA 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

To all who continued to believe in me



Contents Preface and Acknowledgments xi List of Tables, Figures and Plates xiii Illustration Credits xix Abbreviations xxi Outline of Egyptian Chronology xxiii Introduction 1 1 Setting the Scene 1 2 Previous Scholarship on the Subject 6 3 Scope and Organisation of the Book 8 4 Notes on the Conventions and Abbreviations Used

13

Part 1 The Organisation of the Necropolis and Its Funerary Priests 1

The Theban Necropolis 17 1 The Overseer of the Necropolis 17 2 The Lesonis 23 3 The Steward 25 4 Choachytes 25 5 Territorial Jurisdiction of the Choachytes 31 6 Embalmers 36 7 Territorial Jurisdiction of the Embalmers 43 8 Other Funerary Priests 47

2

The Edfu Necropolis 50 1 The Overseer of the Necropolis and the Lesonis 50 2 Choachytes and Lector-Priests 51 3 Territorial Jurisdiction of Edfu Necropolis Workers 51

3

The Memphite Necropolis 53 1 The Overseer of the Necropolis 53 2 God’s Seal-Bearers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes 54 3 Territorial Jurisdiction of the Memphite Funerary Priests 60

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4

The Hawara Necropolis 63 1 The Overseer of the God’s Seal-Bearers and Embalmers 63 2 God’s Seal-Bearers (and) Embalmers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes 66 3 Other Funerary Priests 69 4 Territorial Jurisdiction of the Hawara Funerary Priests 72 5 The Organisation of the Hawara Necropolis 76

5

The Necropolises in Middle Egypt 91 1 The Head of the Necropolis 92 2 Lector-Priests and Embalmers 92 3 Man of the Necropolis 94 4 Seal-Bearer Who Attends the God 97 5 God’s Seal-Bearers 98 6 Necrotaphoi 99 7 Territorial Jurisdiction of the Funerary Priests in Middle Egypt 103

6

Female Funerary Priests 105 1 Choachytes 106 2 Embalmers 118

7

Services, Income and Taxation of Funerary Priests 122 1 Definition of the Services Performed by Funerary Priests 2 Different Types of Revenues 126 3 Income of Lector-Priests and Embalmers 138 4 Personal and Professional Taxation, Contributions and Exemptions 147 5 Other Economic Activities of the Funerary Priests 151

8

Priestly Associations 159 1 Association of Theban Choachytes 159 2 Association of Theban Lector Priests 166 3 Association of Memphite Mortuary Priests 167 4 Associations of Mortuary Priests in the Fayum 167 5 Associations of Mortuary Priests in Middle Egypt 168

9

The Funerary Priests and Their Social Context 171 1 Place of Residence of the Funerary Priests 171 2 The Funerary Priests and Their Families 182

124

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contents

Part 2 Death, Mummification and Burial 10

Death 189 1 The Mourning Period 192 2 Arranging for the Services of Funerary Priests 200 3 Transport of the Deceased to the Necropolis 201

11

Mummification 209 1 The Embalming Place: the pr-nfr and the wꜥb.t 209 2 Arranging for the Mummification of the Deceased 217 3 The Mummification Process: Stages, Rituals and Materials 223 4 Funerary Priests Involved in the Mummification Process 244

12

Burial 249 1 Role of the Funerary Priests Following the Mummification Process 249 2 Funeral and Burial 250 3 The Lexicology of the Entombment 254 4 Delayed Burial 264 5 Mortuary Cult 272

13

Funerary Expenses 278 1 Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment: Production, Acquisition and Provision 279 2 Provision of Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment 292 3 Burial Taxes 295 4 Cost and Payment of the ‘Mummification and Burial’ 305

14

The Deceased 312 1 The Living and the Dead 312 2 Epithets of the Dead 315 3 Social Status and Ethnic Background of the Deceased

325

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contents

Part 3 Necropolises, Tombs and Burials 15

Necropolises 335 1 Location of Burial Grounds 335 2 Funerary Landscape: Topographical Textual Notes 350 3 God’s Acre: Possession, Taxation and Acquisition of Plots and Tombs 358

16

Tombs 373 1 The Lexicography of Tombs’ Typology 376 2 Tombs’ Typology: Textual and Archaeological Evidence 3 Building a New Tomb 421 4 Using an Existing Tomb 434 5 Collective Tombs 453

17

Burials 459 1 Select Survey of Inhumations’ Typology

381

459

Part 4 Discussion and Conclusion 18

Discussion and Conclusion 485 1 The Organisation of the Necropolis and Its Funerary Priests 2 Death, Mummification and Burial 499 3 Necropolises, Tombs and Burials 514

486

Appendix 1: Palaeographical and Orthographical Analysis of the Root ḳs 521 Appendix 2: P. Florence 3667 (111BC) 539 Appendix 3: Tables 544 Bibliography 626 List of the Main Primary Sources Analysed (Arranged by Necropolis and Category) 682 Bibliographical Details of the Primary Sources Cited (Arranged Alphabetically and by Museums’ Inventory Number) 693 List of Personal Names 719 List of Toponyms Mentioned 746 Select Index of Words 764 Plates 771

Preface and Acknowledgments This work is based on my doctoral thesis titled The Realia of Egyptian Burial Practices in the Ptolemaic Period (332–330BC) submitted to the University of Oxford in 2008. Bumps and humps along the road to completion have delayed its publication until now, although I have already published small sections of this study in journals and conference proceedings, while parts of it have been used by others in academic publications (with and without due acknowledgment). As always, when a manuscript remains unpublished for a long period of time, there is an urge to reconsider everything anew. Indeed, although the core of this study remains the same, I have rewritten it in its entirety, changed its organisation and updated it with more recent research. However, to avoid delaying its publication indefinitely, I have left the section on the archaeological analysis almost unchanged, apart from some additions and minor revisions. While working on this manuscript many friends and colleagues have provided me with help and assistance, and it is my privilege to acknowledge my obligation and gratitude to them all. Prof. John Baines, whose help and support has never wavered during the last few years, and who kindly read through the Introduction and made a number of suggestions that I have incorporated here. Prof. John Tait and Prof. Willy Clarysse, my doctoral thesis’ examiners, made a number of helpful comments and suggestions, particularly with regards to the organisation of the original work, which I have followed in this publication. Prof. Willy Clarysse also kindly read through Table 8 and Appendix 2, and made a number of helpful comments and suggestions, as well as providing additional references. Prof. Günter Vittmann, who kindly took the time to answer a number of questions I had on some of the texts discussed here, and very generously provided me with copies of articles and book chapters to which I had no access, as well as photographs of some of the papyri discussed. Similarly, Dr. Martin Stadler for generously providing me with copies of some of his work to which I had no access while working in China, and for sharing information about a stela from Edfu. Prof. Richard Jasnow for providing me with a photograph of a burial-tax receipt recorded in a Demotic ostracon in the Smithsonian Institute, and for giving me permission to include it in this work. Dr. Dorothea Arnold for granting me permission to study and publish the fieldnotes and photographs produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s excavations in the Asasif under the direction of Herbert Winlock and Ambrose Lansing. Dr. Catharine H. Roehrig for kindly confirming permission and for helping me to obtain high resolution scans of this material. Dr. Marsha Hill for generously providing me with additional photographs from Lansing’s

xii

preface and acknowledgments

unpublished records. Dr. Janice Kamrin for her incredible help with the acquisition of additional photographs from these MET’s unpublished excavation reports, and for all her efforts in trying to answer my questions regarding various aspects of these excavations. Dr. Andreas Effland for kindly sharing with me information from his research and work at Edfu. Dr. Mark Depauw for allowing me access to his database of textual material from Akhmim. My thanks are also due to Dr. Katelyn Chin, Acquisitions Editor at Brill, for her incredible help during the preparation of this monograph, as well as to the Series Editors and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. Last but not least, I would like to express my gratitute to my friends Dr. Francisco BoschPuche, whose help in obtaining research material, as well as his encouragement and moral support, have been very important in the completion of this publication; and equally Christina Adams for generously allowing me access to her doctoral thesis, for our many highly enjoyable and profitable conversations on funerary practices and related topics, and for her encouragement and moral support, which have also been very important to me and my work.

Tables, Figures and Plates Tables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Timeline of the events described in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC) 89 Comparative list of the revenues discussed 136 Fines prescribed for association members in relation to funerary matters 170 Stages of the ideal mummification and burial on the basis of the documentary sources listed 241 Attestations of the mummification process’ length in textual sources 243 Temporal variation in the use of the term ‘to bury’ 255 Monthly death incidence according to the data from burial tax receipts 304 Commodities’ comparative price chart 308 Professional titles of people titled ḥry 318 Professional titles of people titled ḥsy 319 Professional titles of people titled ḥry and ḥsy 320 Period of tombs’ use life 345 Land transfer-tax receipts with amounts paid 360 Land transfer-tax receipts with size of building plots and amount paid 360 Tomb transfer-tax receipts with amounts paid 361 Tombs and annexes 382 Chapels 382 Other funerary structures 382 Comparative list of funerary equipment found in tombs 445 Theban collective tombs grouped by profession 455 Collective tombs grouped by origo 455 Theban individuals identified by origo 456 Memphite tombs organised according to mater familias 457 Geographical and temporal variation in the mortuary priests’ titles 487

Tables in Appendix 3 A.1 A.2 A.3 A.4

List of published burial-tax receipts 544 Titles used in the heading of the choachytes’ legal deeds 550 Use of the title choachyte to identify properties’ neighbours 552 Use of the title choachyte within the body of contracts in Demotic

553

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tables, figures and plates

A.5 A.6 A.7

Use of the title choachyte in other Demotic documents 554 Use of title choachyte in both headings and body of contracts in Greek 555 Late period choachytes’ documents in abnormal hieratic and early Demotic 556 Lector-priests’ titles in the heading of Demotic contracts 563 Lector-priests’ titles in the body of Demotic contracts 564 Additional lector-priests’ titles in the heading of Demotic contracts 566 Additional lector-priests’ titles in the body of Demotic contracts 566 Embalmers in Demotic documents 567 Doctors in Demotic documents 567 Embalmers’ titles in Greek contracts from the Theban area 568 Titles borne by the contracting parties and by the endowments’ original owners at Memphis 569 Theban women in legal documents 571 Theban Women identified as choachytes 572 Women in the Memphite legal documents 573 Women embalmers in Demotic documents from Thebes and Memphis 574 Choachytes’ landed properties in the Theban area 574 Loan documents in the choachytes’ archives 575 Lector-priests’ economic activities relating to immovable properties in the Theban area 576 Loan documents in the Theban lector-priests’ archives 577 List of loans recorded in the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers’ archives 578 List of sales recorded in the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers’ archives 580 Choachytes in the House of the Cow in the northern district of Thebes 581 Choachytes’ properties on the west bank 586 Lector-priests’ properties in the House of the Cow in the northern district of Thebes 589 Lector-priests’ properties in Pamenis and Hermonthis 590 Marriage documents in the Theban choachytes’ archives 591 Marriage documents in the Memphite funerary priests’ archives 592 Marriage documents in the Hawara funerary priests’ archives 593 Marriage documents in the archives of mortuary priests from Siut 594 Theban tax / money (of the) overseer of the necropolis variant formulae 595 Receipts of payment of farmed-out necropolis-tax at Edfu 596 Edfu burial tax variant formulae 598 The epithets ḥry and ḥsy 599

A.8 A.9 A.10 A.11 A.12 A.13 A.14 A.15 A.16 A.17 A.18 A.19 A.20 A.21 A.22 A.23 A.24 A.25 A.26 A.27 A.28 A.29 A.30 A.31 A.32 A.33 A.34 A.35 A.36 A.37

tables, figures and plates A.38 A.39 A.40

xv

The epithets ḥry.t and ḥsy.t 611 List of titled individuals and the tombs in which they rested 614 Summary of archaeological evidence on body treatment and inhumation typology 624

Figures 1 2 3

4

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17

Map of Egypt (after Bowman 1996, Fig. 1) xxv ‘Pledging granddad’s mummy on a loan’ (modified from Blackman and Bell 1988) 123 P. Ashmolean accounts. The boxes delineate the various portion of this document and their numbering (Images © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; reconstruction after Clarysse 2009) 146 The El-Hibeh coffins in the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim belonging to Mutirdis [RPM/PM 1953] (left) and Djebastetiuefankh [RPM/PM 1954] (right) 228 Range of professions attested in the Theban documents analysed 326 Range of professions attested in the Memphite documents analysed 327 Range of professions attested in the Hawara documents analysed 328 Range of professions attested in the Middle Egypt documents analysed 329 Combined range of professions attested in the different parts of the country analysed 330 Schematic reconstruction of the s.t-tomb sold in P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours 356 Schematic reconstruction of the mꜣꜥ-chapel sold in P. Wien ÄS 6052 (239BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours 356 Schematic reconstruction of the plot of land in the Theban necropolis bought by a choachyte with P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) to build a s.t-tomb 357 Schematic reconstruction of the s.t-tomb sold in P. BM EA 10226 (185BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours 357 Schematic reconstruction of the structures and building plots located inside the tomb of Osorkon I as attested from P. Turin 2123 (512BC) and P. Louvre E 7128 (510BC) (Thebes) 371 Schematic reconstruction of the properties neighbouring the s.t-tomb sold in P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC) (Thebes) 384 Schematic reconstruction of the s.t-tomb leased in P. Philadelphia XXIV (227BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours 390 Schematic reconstruction of the ḥ.t-tomb complex leased in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) (Memphis) and its neighbours 391

xvi 18

19

20 21

tables, figures and plates Schematic reconstruction of the ḥ.t-tombs (and) i҆p-structures sold in P. Carlsberg 38a–b (217BC) and P. Carlsberg 39a–b (183BC) (Hawara) and the neighbouring properties 396 Comparison between a schematic reconstruction of the tomb complex described in P. Leiden I 373 b–c (204–203BC) and the plan of the tomb of Bocchoris (the latter after El-Naggar 1986, Fig. 1) (Memphis) 400 Schematic reconstruction of the ḳꜣ-tomb described in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) (Memphis) and its neighbours 401 Schematic reconstruction of the ḳꜣ-tombs listed in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) (Memphis) and its neighbours 401

Plates 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16

General map of Memphis and some of the necropolises on the west bank 773 Map of Saqqara 774 Map of the Giza plateau showing the location of the various necropolis areas discussed 775 Sphinx temenos and location of rock-cut tombs 776 Abusir pyramids field 777 Plan of some of the tombs discovered at Tûra el-Asmant 778 Map of the Fayum 779 Map of the Hawara necropolis produced by Petrie 780 Topographical survey map produced by the Leuven Katholieke Universiteit 781 Plan of the el-Kom el-Ahmar Sawaris area investigated by the German mission 782 Plan of the necropolis showing the division in zones by the German mission and the phases of expansion of the cemetery 783 Map of Theban necropolis 784 Sketch map of the limit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art excavations on the Asasif 785 View of the south-east end of the Asasif showing the areas excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Carter and Carnarvon and by the Austrian missions. The Ptolemaic structures excavated by Winlock and Lansing are marked over the Ramesside temple 786 Tomb B4: view from northeast with the burial chambers at the back 787 Tomb B11: view from the front, with an entrance step, or slope, in the foreground 787

tables, figures and plates 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

25 26 27 28 29 29a 30 31 32 33 34 34a 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

xvii

Tomb B11: view from southeast looking toward the entrance of the tomb; the bins and the pots within are visible on either side of the entrance pit 788 Examples of the type of vessels found buried under the floors of these structures 788 Pots in position beneath floor level in the north chamber in tomb B19 789 Vaulted tombs located within brick enclosure 789 Tombs B5–B12, south view 790 View of tomb B30 looking towards the south 790 Map of the Labyrinth produced by Lepsius 791 Mud brick superstructures identified by the excavator as a birabi. The central one appears to be in the shape of a truncated pyramid, while that to the right resembles a tower 791 Burials in the upper stratum in square 1715 792 Squares 1714, 1715 and 1716 excavated to the west of the ‘dry-moat’ 793 Burial № 4 before and after removal of the mat covering and stones 794 Photographs of some of the inhumations found at Tûra el-Asmant. The bad state of preservation is clearly discernible on some of them 794 Later partition walls inside the tomb of Ankhhor (TT414) 795 Later partition walls inside the tomb of Ankhhor (TT414) 795 Tomb in the foreground described by excavators as the large Ptolemaic tomb 796 Burial emplacement built using bricks for the walls and inscribed stone fragments for the base 796 Burial emplacement built using offering tables, stone slabs and architectural fragments 797 Ptolemaic burial in position inside a crypt 797 Plan of the area around the funerary temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu 798 Sketch of tombs’ construction methods 798 Remains of a family tomb (left) 799 Remains of an individual tomb with intact vault 799 Remains of an individual tomb with collapsed vault 800 Remains of an individual tomb with vault removed and burial still in place 800 Remains of a simpler type of individual tomb visible to the right 801 Tomb B45 (26th Dynasty), view east. Man standing in vaulted passage leading to burial chamber at left pyramidal tomb 801 Cultic emplacement in the forecourt of TT411 802 P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301BC) 803 Upper burial chambers inside tomb O17 804

xviii 44 45 46 47

48 49 50 51 52 53

54 55 56 57 58 59 60

tables, figures and plates Lower burial chambers inside tomb O17 804 Tomb B4: body lying in the north burial chamber 805 Tomb B4: female body lying in the south burial chamber 805 Human remains in situ in tomb B17, with the coffin still visible along the short side of the tomb and the partial remains laying across it and over the other on the ground 806 Sketch of five of the six bodies found in the tomb showing the letters assigned to them by the excavator 806 Bodies found inside one of the brick tombs, possibly B39 807 View from the south-east of the burials 1–11 807 Sketch showing the position of the eleven inhumations found northeast of tomb B40 808 Map of Edfu and its cemeteries 809 Photograph of the coffin and mummy taken immediately after their removal from the tomb. (Garstang Museum of Archaeology, Liverpool University) 810 Burial 207: coffin lid (left) and skeleton inside coffin (right) showing no evidence for wrapping 811 Burials 335 and 336 in wooden coffins 812 Burials 345 and 346 in terracotta coffins 812 Multiple burials 288, 289 and 314 with the wrapped bodies placed directly in the sand 813 Father and child lying next to each other 813 Adult and sub-adult mummies lying together inside the sarcophagus to the right 814 Another adult and sub-adult lying together in the same sarcophagus. Inset: detail of the decoration applied to the cartonnage over the adult body 814

Illustration Credits My thanks are also due to the following individuals and Institutions for granting me permission to reproduce the images and artwork included in this volume (in alphabetical order): Dr Chris Bebbington and Dr. Charlotte Sargent, Curatorial Assistants, The Garstang Museum of Archaeology, University of Liverpool (Pl. 65); Dr Ondrej Beranek, Director of the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences (Pl. 5); Dr Francisco Bosch-Puche, Griffith Institute, University of Oxford (Pls 1, 4, 12, 18); Prof. Alan Bowman, Camden Professor of Ancient History, University of Oxford (Fig. 1); Prof. Edda Bresciani, Director of the Journal Egitto e Vicino Oriente and of the Archaeological Mission of the University of Pisa in Saqqara, and Dr Salah El Naggar (Fig. 5); Dr Euphrosyne Doxiadis, artist and writer (Pl. 7); Dr Andreas Effland, University of Hamburg and The German Archaeological Institute, Department in Cairo (Pl. 52); Dr Anna Garnett, Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London (Pl. 8); Dr Robert Gietz, Advertising and Sales Management, Deputy Head of Publishing at Harrassowitz Verlag; Prof. Christiane Zivie-Coche, École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), Directeur d’études, Section des Sciences Religieuses (Pl. 3); Dr Alice Howard and Dr. David Gowers, Ashmolean Picture Library, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford (Fig. 3); Dr Janice Kamrin, Associate Curator, Egyptian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Department of Egyptian Art Archives (Pls 13, 15–17, 19–22, 24, 30–33, 40, 45–51); Prof. Karol Myśliwiec, Director of the Institute of Mediterranean Archeology at the Polish Academy of Sciences, and of the Warsaw University’s Institute of Ancient Egyptian Archaeology (Pls 25–27, 54–58); Dr Nathan Pendlebury, Image Reproduction Administrator, National Museums Liverpool (Pl. 53); Dr Robert Püringer, Printmanagement Department, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Pl. 14 background image, 29–29a); Dr Eric W. Schnittke, Archives of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Pl. 42);

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illustration credits

Dr Cédric Larcher and Dr Mazen Essam, Service des archives et collections de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (Pls 34–39); Prof. Marco Zecchi, Associate Egyptology Professor, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna; Prof. Paola Davoli, Associate Egyptology Professor Facoltà di Lettere, Filosofia, Lingue e Beni Culturali dell’Università del Salento (Lecce); Casa Editrice La Mandragora (Fig. 1); Dr Orell Witthuhn, Georg-August Universität Göttingen, Department of Egyptology and Coptology, Göttinger Miszellen (Pls 10, 11, 43, 44).

Abbreviations Documents are referred to by their inventory number because I believe this to be the clearest way to identify them. This is preferred over the numbering assigned to them in the various publications in which they were (re)edited.1 Journal abbreviations are those listed in Mathieu’s IFAO abbreviations.2 The following abbreviations are also used: CDD Dem. Glossar Gr. LÄ LRL n. n.d. O. P. PM PP r. Table A v. W. Wb

Chicago Demotic Dictionary: http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/pubs/catal og/cdd. Demotic Demotisches Glossar (Erichsen 1954) Greek Lexikon der Ägyptologie Late Ramesside Letter note no date Ostracon Papyrus Porter and Moss Prosopographia Ptolemaica recto Tables in Appendix 3 verso Witness Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache

The following editorial conventions are used in the presentation of textual sources: [] [?] ⟦⟧ (…) `´

lost in lacuna uncertain deleted by the scribe passage omitted in translation inserted above line by the scribe

1 Their publication details can be found in Oates 2001. 2 Mathieu 2017.

xxii ˹˺ ˹?˺ {} ⟨⟩

abbreviations uncertain reading uncertain wrongly repeated by the scribe wrongly omitted by the scribe

Outline of Egyptian Chronology Egyptian chronology is still characterised by a certain degree of uncertainty, particularly for the predynastic and early dynastic period, since it is only from 690BC that we have precise dates for individual regnal years.1 Predynastic Period Badarian Period Naqada I (Amratian) Period Naqada II (Gerzean) Period Naqada III Period

c. 4400–3000 BC c. 4400–4000 c. 4000–3500 c. 3500–3200 c. 3200–3000

Early Dynastic Period First Dynasty Second Dynasty

c. 3000–2686 BC c. 3000–2890 2890–2686

Old Kingdom Third Dynasty Fourth Dynasty Fifth Dynasty Sixth Dynasty Seventh and Eighth Dynasties

2686–2160 BC 2686–2613 2613–2494 2494–2345 2345–2181 2181–2160

First Intermediate Period Ninth and Tenth Dynasties Early Eleventh Dynasty

2160–2055 BC 2160–2025 2125–2055

Middle Kingdom Later Eleventh Dynasty Twelfth Dynasty Thirteenth Dynasty Fourteenth Dynasty

2055–1650 BC 2055–1985 1985–1773 1773–after 1650 1773–1650

1 The following chronological outline is based on the one provided in Shaw 2003, 480–489. For an overview of the evidence on which chronologies of ancient Egypt are based and the existing problems in establishing a chronology of Egyptian history see Hornung et al. 2006.

xxiv

outline of egyptian chronology

Second Intermediate Period Fifteenth Dynasty Sixteenth Dynasty Seventeenth Dynasty

1650–1550 BC 1650–1550 1650–1580 c. 1580–1550

New Kingdom Eighteenth Dynasty Nineteenth Dynasty Twentieth Dynasty

1550–1069 BC 1550–1295 1295–1186 1186–1069

Third Intermediate Period Twenty-First Dynasty Twenty-Second Dynasty Twenty-Third Dynasty Twenty-Fourth Dynasty Twenty-Fifth Dynasty

1069–664 BC 1069–945 945–715 818–715 727–715 747–656

Late Period Twenty-Sixth Dynasty (Saite Period) Twenty-Seventh Dynasty (First Persian Period) Twenty-Eighth Dynasty Twenty-Ninth Dynasty Thirtieth Dynasty Second Persian Period

664–332 BC 664–525 525–404 404–399 399–380 380–343 343–332

Ptolemaic Period Macedonian Dynasty Ptolemaic Dynasty

332–30 BC 332–305 305–30

Roman Period

30 BC–AD 395

outline of egyptian chronology

figure 1

Map of Egypt After Bowman 1996, Fig. 1

xxv

Introduction No one who studies the original documents of any religion can fail to be amazed at the power of the dead. There are peoples whose existence is almost wholly dominated by rites connected with them. Elias Canetti1

∵ 1

Setting the Scene

The quotation above is something of a truism in the case of the ancient Egyptian people, whose funerary beliefs and traditions have been, and continue to be, the focus of much academic literature. Their Pharaonic funerary remains— textual, archaeological and artefactual—have been analysed from a variety of perspectives using a range of approaches, and have shaped much of our understanding of their culture. Textual sources show that in ancient Egypt death was accepted as a necessary part of creation, since the underlying idea was that life could only exist, be renewed and regained through death, hence their belief in the survival of the dead after their physical death. Concepts of what happens after death, and therefore the ritual responses to it, are, to some extent, influenced by the ideas that a specific society holds on the nature of man. Christian beliefs, for example, are dualistic, with the person consisting of a corruptible body and an eternal soul, and it is around the fate after death of these two concepts that Christian eschatology is based. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians’ conception of the human being was monistic, whereby any survival after death depended on the preservation of the individual as a whole.2 A person was understood as a composite of different physical and non-physical elements, the most important of which were the physical body (ḫt), subject to decay, the ka (kꜣ) and the ba (bꜣ).3 1 Canetti 1973, 305. 2 Taylor 2001, 16; Smith 2009, 3. 3 The remaining elements were: the corpse (ẖꜥt) or mummy (sꜥḥ), which are the terms used to describe the body in death; the heart (i҆b or ḥꜣ.ṱ), which was considered the seat of man’s intellect and morals, whose preservation was necessary for the person’s survival as a thinking

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_002

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The ka came into existence at the birth of an individual and had the character of a person’s double, hence its depiction as a copy of the person, although it had no physicality. The ka existed during the person’s lifetime, but assumed a more prominent role after death. Indeed, it was associated with the life force of an individual, and it was through the presentation of the offerings to his/her ka that the deceased could receive nourishment in the afterlife. The ba-spirit of the deceased was, likewise, a non-physical element, though it was believed to possess many human characteristics such as the ability to eat, drink, speak and move in and out of the tomb. It was regarded as being closely linked to the body, but also separable from it, and as having the power to become corporeal and incorporeal at will. The body represented a kind of ‘anchor’ for the ba to which it had to return each night in order to be reunited with it. This nightly reunion of the ba to the corpse in the burial chamber enabled the cyclical resurrection, or rejuvenation, of the deceased.4 The preservation of the physical, corruptible body was of the utmost importance since it served as a kind of ‘anchor’ for the other elements, particularly the ka and the ba. This was effected through the process of mummification, which was supervised by the overseer of the mysteries assisted in his tasks by a God’s seal-bearer and a Lector-priest, while the actual operations were probably carried out by the embalmers. The embalming consisted both of the actual operations performed on the corpse to create a mummy, and of the ceremonies and rituals that transformed it into an eternal being capable of reuniting with its ba.5 The deceased that had undergone all of the funerary preparations became an akh (ꜣḫ), a concept that embodies the Egyptian notion of blessed dead. In order to ensure the survival of the transfigured dead in the afterlife it was necessary to provide him/her with offerings through the mortuary cult. Pharaonic funerary literature shows that the recipient of the offering cult was the ka of the deceased, rather than the physical body. The ka travelled from the body in the burial chamber to the chapel where the offerings were presented to it in the formal ritual context of the tomb chapel.6 Ideally, it would be the eldest being (only those judged to have a good heart would be allowed into the afterlife, and this concept is most visually expressed in scenes of a heart being weighed on a scale against the feather of truth (maat)); the name (rn) was also believed to be part of a person’s very essence, for a man’s name to be destroyed or forgotten meant the person’s total annihilation; and the shadow (šwt), also considered an essential part of the living person although it is most often mentioned in connection with the dead and depicted as a black silhouette of the deceased (Taylor 2001, 15–24). 4 Taylor 2001, 19–21, 23, 31–32. 5 Taylor 2001, 23, 76. 6 Taylor 2001, 19, 174.

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son of the deceased that served as the main cult officiant, which mythological archetype was represented by the myth of Osiris with Horus performing the funerary rituals for his deceased father. Indeed, providing for the entire burial of deceased parents was, traditionally, the responsibility of their children, as witnessed by Pharaonic funerary inscriptions.7 Already in the Pharaonic Period the fulfilment of this duty was also a prerequisite to inheriting the parents’ property, as shown by a passage in P. Cairo CG 58092/P. Boulaq X (Ramesside Period) concerning an argument over inheritance. The text on the recto makes an allusion to a ‘Law of Pharaoh’ which states ‘let the possessions (of the deceased) be given to him who buries’ (recto lines 10–11). Textual sources show that this law applied to anyone who fulfilled the duty of burying a dead person, not just to the offspring of the deceased.8 However, funerary priests could also perform the mortuary cult in place of the deceased’s son. In the Pharaonic Period these were the hem-ka priests (ḥm-kꜣ), literally, the servants of the ka, who were, as their title implies, responsible for the presentation of the offerings to the ka of the dead person.9 Alternatively, a private mortuary cult could also be performed by the priesthood of a local temple, as indicated by the contractual arrangements stipulated between the provincial governor Djefahapy and the high priest of the god Wepwawet at Asyut. The contracts were inscribed on the tomb walls and established that the endowments of Djefahapy would provide funds for the cult of the god Wepwawet, while its priests would perform and maintain the mortuary cult of the dead governor.10 During the Late and the Ptolemaic periods funerary priests were called water-pourer, or choachyte in Greek. Their occupation, as their Egyptian title implies, was that of pouring water, or rather libations, for the deceased in their care. These were professional funerary priests that fulfilled the role of the ‘eldest son’ whose duty, traditionally, was that of taking care of the funerary ‘needs’ of his deceased parents. Their services could be contracted for by the relatives of a deceased person. In this respect, they can be considered as the successors of the ka-servants of earlier periods of Egyptian history.11 Indeed, the evidence from the Tomb robberies papyri12 indicates that already in the Ramesside Period (New Kingdom) there were professional water-pourers who were attached to the tombs or the shrines

7 8 9 10 11 12

Taylor 2001, 171, 175. Janssen and Pestman 1968, 139–140, 167; Taylor 2001, 171, 175; Lippert 2013, 4, 9. Taylor 2001, 175; see, however, Allam (1985) for an analysis of the actual range of competences of people thus titled. Taylor 2001, 176. Donker Van Heel 1992, 19; Taylor 2001, 177. Peet 1930 and 1915.

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of important private individuals, such as the deified Amenhotep son of Hapu,13 a First Prophet of Amun,14 as well as to the shrines of kings.15 Until the Late Period such mortuary cult would often be supported by an endowment, frequently in the form of a parcel of land, which profits served to provide all the items presented to the deceased and for the payment of the cult officiant(s). The latter were paid through a process known as the ‘reversion of offerings,’ whereby they would be given the foodstuffs presented to the deceased.16 In the Ptolemaic Period the funerary priests were paid in kind and money, although the custom of setting up endowments for the express purpose of paying for a person’s mortuary cult appears to have been discontinued.17 Naturally, the elaborateness of the cult proceedings depended on the socioeconomic status of the deceased, with non-royal mortuary cults having a simpler organisation with a smaller number of priests.18 In fact, textual sources indicate that, in the vast majority of cases, throughout Egyptian history, the preparation of the corpse for burial and the subsequent performance of the mortuary cult were carried out by the surviving relatives of the deceased. O. BM EA 5634 (Ramesside Period) from Deir el-Medina, for example, records the absence from work of one of the workers on account of the fact that he had to ‘wrap up’ (ḥr wt) his brother. This, together with the fact that a number of the mummies of the Deir el-Medina workers were poorly mummified, indicates that they were ‘embalmed’ at home rather than by professional embalmers. This, in turn, suggests that even among such ‘status group’ there were people unable to afford the expense of a professional mummification.19 With respect to the performance of the mortuary cult textual sources show that this too was the responsibility of the surviving relatives. The text inscribed on the Qau bowl (6th–11th dynasties), for example, addressed by a son to his deceased mother, shows that the former was responsible for making libations for her. In the ‘letter’ he first mentions an injury done against him by another person and then threatens to stop libating for his mother if she does not intervene against the wrong done to him.20 Similarly, some of the ostraca from Deir el13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

P. BM EA 10053 r. 6.1, 6.5; P. BM EA 10068 v. 1.6 (Donker Van Heel 1992, 25 and Tables III and IV). P. BM EA 10053 r. 3.4, 4.7 (Donker Van Heel 1992, 25 and Tables III and IV). P. BM EA 10054 v. 1.7–8; P. Leopold II, 2.3; P. Amherst 3.4; Abbott Dockets B, 13; P. BM EA 10052, 4.26–27 (Donker Van Heel 1992, 25 and Tables III and IV). Taylor 2001, 95, 174–175. See further Chapter 1 § 4. Taylor 2001, 176. Donker Van Heel 1992, 27; Cooney 2007, 261–262 note 6; Taylor 2001, 77. Gardiner and Sethe 1928, 3–5 and Pl. III–IIIA; Donker Van Heel 1992, 20.

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Medina recording workers’ absences, as well as the reasons for their inactivity, show that it was the surviving family members that would be making libations for their dead relatives.21 Likewise, the oath recorded in O. Uppsala 611 (117– 116BC), concerning property stolen from inside a tomb, indicates this was also the case during the Ptolemaic Period, since the plaintiff is to swear that in the tomb there was property with which he made offerings for his father.22 Although individuals that performed the mortuary cult of the deceased during the later periods of Egyptian history are often identified as funerary priests, they were, in reality, no more than ‘lay priests’ alongside another religious class, that of the pastophoroi. A clear distinction between the latter group and temple priests is made in the regulations of the Gnomon of the Idios Logos, which stipulates that the former group could hold only private posts, but not priestly positions.23 In documents of the Ptolemaic period, the professional title of pastophoros corresponds to the Demotic title door-keeper (i҆ryꜥꜣ).24 During the Pharaonic Period the latter appear to have had a rather low status, since in P. Harris I/P. BM EA 9999, a list of temple endowments by Ramses III, they are recorded after, for example, ‘pigeon-keepers.’ However, from the Saite Period onwards pastophoroi appear to enjoy a much higher rank, as shown by the fact that P. Rylands Dem. 9 (513BC) distinguishes between three groups of temple related positions: wꜥb-priests, pastophoroi and ‘people who enter/belong to a temple.’ The same text also indicates that the nature of the income received by the pastophoroi was regarded as being different from that of prophets and priests, which is in keeping with the regulations of the Gnomon of the Idios Logos stipulating that the former group may not hold priestly positions, only private ones. Indeed, from the Saite Period pastophoroi are attested as, for example, dream-interpreters as well as funerary attendants. In turn, the latter group are identified in some Demotic documents by the occupational title of choachyte designating their main activity.25 The appointments of both pastophoroi and choachytes are described in Demotic as ‘private appointments’ (sḥn), which are distinguished from priestly posts identified as ‘offices’ (i҆ꜣw.t).26 P. BM EA 10120 B (517 BC) indicates that already in the Persian Period the Theban choachytes were considered a subgroup of the

21 22 23 24 25 26

Donker Van Heel 1992, 24. Kaplony-Heckel 1963, 316; see also Chapter 18. Muhs in press, 1. See further Chapter 1 § 4. Muhs in press, 5–7; for a current edition of P. Rylands Dem. 9 (513BC) see Vittmann 1998. Muhs in press, 14.

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pastophoroi, and their posts sḥn-appointments.27 Interestingly, in the Ramesside period a number of the individuals identified as water-pourers appear to have been engaged in other rather varied professions such as that of baker or of carpenter,28 as was the case with the pastophoroi of the Late and Ptolemaic periods.29 Finally, one of the aspects that this study of the Ptolemaic documentary sources has highlighted is that, despite the diverse range of titles attested throughout the country, which are linked to both temporospatial changes and hierarchical differences (for example lector-priests vs. embalmers),30 the ‘services’ they performed for the deceased can be reduced to two main tasks: the mummification of the corpse to enable its transfiguration into a blessed being, and the performance of the mortuary cult to ensure its eternal survival in the afterlife. These remained essentially the same as those performed by the priests of the Pharaonic Period as, indeed, stayed their core funerary beliefs.

2

Previous Scholarship on the Subject

By comparison with earlier times, the funerary practices of the later periods, particularly those of the Ptolemaic Period, have received less attention. Traditionally, the study of the funerary industry in Egypt during this period has been based mainly on Greek textual sources from selected areas, and especially on the accounts of classical authors, as well as on select documentary sources from this and the following Roman Period. Alongside publications that (succinctly) discuss the functioning of the funerary industry in particular areas of the country,31 previous scholarship on the topic has focused on a number of specific aspects, which can be grouped into the following categories:

27 28 29 30 31

Muhs in press, 7–8. Donker Van Heel 1992, 25. See further Chapter 7 § 5. See further Chapter 11 § 4. For example Bataille 1952; Devauchelle 1987; Thompson 1988; Vleeming 1995; Pasek 2007; Uytterhoeven 2009. Due to space constraints only a general overview of the main publications on the topic is included here (listed in order of publication). I have not presented a survey of the religious and literary texts, since the main focus of my work is on documentary evidence. References to them and to publications of textual and/or archaeological material relating to the sacred animal necropolis are given in the sections where they are discussed.

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– (re)edition of individual texts or corpora (including ostraca),32 – study of the composition of particular archives, especially those from Thebes,33 – role and identity of the funerary attendants,34 – economic role and position of the Egyptian priesthood,35 – economic and social position of women,36 – succession laws and inheritance,37 – interaction between ethnic groups,38 – analysis of the funerary archaeological record of specific areas,39 – mummification materials and procedures, and human remains,40 – general studies on Egyptian funerary practices. The preceding list shows how, despite the vast number of publications of documents and archives, as well as of the role and identity of funerary workers in the Ptolemaic Period, previous research has tended to concentrated on particular areas of the country, or on specific aspects of the Ptolemaic funerary practices. However, it is also true that a study of the textual and archaeological record of this period presents many difficulties, since numerous Demotic documents are available only in old editions or are unpublished, as are the early excavations of Ptolemaic funerary remains. Notwithstanding these challenges, and building on previous work, I have undertaken a comparative analysis of the data available from the different parts of the country in order to

32

33 34

35 36 37 38 39 40

See for example Wilcken 1927, 1935–1953; Andrews 1990; Pestman 1981, 1992, 1993; Muhs 2003, 2005; Martin 2009; Vleeming 1994; Pestman and Vleeming 1994; Clarysse and Thompson 2006a–b; Pasek 2007; Armoni 2013. See for example Otto 1905, 1908; Reich 1936; Glanville 1950; el-Amir 1960, 1969; Quaegebeur 1978–1979, 1978; Seidl 1962, 1969 on the Hawara archive. Revillout 1879, 1880; Wilcken 1927, 1935–1953; Sauneron 1952; Quaegebeur 1989, 1987, 1985; Pestman 1981, 1992, 1993; Derda 1991; see also the relevant entries in the Lexikon der Ägyptologie by various authors. See for example Clarysse 1979; Quaegebeur 1979; Johnson 1986; Muhs 2003, 2005; Sauneron 2000. For example Johnson 1998; O’Brien 1999. For example Pestman 1969 and Pestman 1987. See for example Clarysse 1995. See for example Strudwick 2003. For studies on mummification see for example Shore 1992, Janot 2000, and Charron 2004. On analyses of human remains see David 1979 and Gray 1966, while for studies of specific aspects of the embalming process see for example Derry 1942. For an examination of the materials used, see for example Iskander et al. 1964 and 1973; and Lucas 1914, 1914a, 1931, 1932 and 1932a; Riggs 2014 for a discussion on the extended significance of wrapping and wrappings.

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chart and understand diachronic variations in the surviving textual record, and to produce a fuller picture of the workings of the funerary industry at this time.

3

Scope and Organisation of the Book

The central theme of the present work is the Egyptian funerary industry of the Ptolemaic Period, more specifically the organisation of the necropolises and that of its funerary workers, as well as the role of the latter in the practical aspects of the embalming, funeral, burial, and mortuary cult of the deceased. The scope of this work is to gather together the evidence available on this topic, to provide a detailed survey of the numerous sources for the practice and administration of mortuary rituals and their practitioners in Egypt during the Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BCE), and to synthesize it so as to make it more accessible to the wider readership. In order to delimit what would otherwise be a boundless subject matter, it has been necessary to set specific thematic, textual, linguistic, temporal, and geographical limits. Thematically the analysis is restricted to the human funerary industry. In fact, even though it appears that the same individuals could be involved in the mummification of both humans and sacred animals, the vast majority of surviving textual sources relate to the former. Therefore, although I use some textual and archaeological sources relating to, or originating from, the sacred animal necropolises, the main focus of my work is on human funerary practices. In terms of textual genre, I have chosen to concentrate almost exclusively on documentary evidence, as opposed to literary and religious sources, because, by its nature the former is less susceptible to the ‘biases’ that influence other types of textual data. This is not to deny the great value of religious and literary sources, and indeed I have drawn upon some of them in this work. However, this study focuses on the practical aspects of the funerary industry— such as Who were the individuals exercising control over the necropolis? What happened during the different stages of death, mummification, and burial? Who were the individuals responsible for these various stages? On this topic, it is the documents—the legal deeds, the receipts and the letters exchanged between individuals with professional links to the funerary sphere—that provide the bulk of the information. In addition, unlike literary and religious sources, the documentary evidence has not been the focus of research to the same extent as the former. Since the funerary industry was one of the most conservative aspects of Egyptian culture, it is the documentary sources in Demotic that form

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the core of the textual analysis, although the relevant Greek material has also been drawn upon and included in this study. The temporal focus of this work is the Ptolemaic Period, principally because the vast majority of the pertinent textual sources date from this time. However, documentary sources from the preceding and following periods have also been used as comparative material, though by no means with an extensive coverage, in an attempt to follow the development of funerary practices from the Late Period through to the Roman Period. Geographically, the focal point is the chora since in this region the funerary sphere remained largely free from Greek influence, which is clearly present in Alexandria, as is shown for example by the more widespread use of cremation as opposed to inhumation, as well as by the typology of some of the burial structures. Over 350 documents from around the country attest, either directly or indirectly, to the activity of mortuary priests and provide evidence for the organisation of the necropolises during this period. I have divided these according to the region whence they originated since this appears to largely correspond also to regional differences in the organisation of the funerary industry. By comparing data from different parts of the country it is possible to observe both geographical and diachronical variations in funerary practices, as well as possible trends of influence of one area over another. Finally, in order to arrive at a rounded picture of the funerary industry of this period, I have incorporated relevant archaeological data, particularly with regard to the typology of individual funerary structures, the processes behind the acquisition of new burial plots, and patterns of tombs’ repeated use, as well as the social, economic, religious, political and geological factors that may have influenced them. The work is divided into three main parts, each focusing on different facets of the topic. The first part examines the Organisation of the necropolis and its funerary priests. Thus the first five chapters (each dedicated to a specific necropolis or groups thereof) present, analyse and discuss the textual sources relating to the officials in control of the necropolis, the organisation and hierarchy of the various funerary workers, their competences with regard to the practical aspects of the embalming, funeral, burial, and mortuary cult of the deceased, and their territorial jurisdiction. This treatment has highlighted temporal and geographical variations, for example, in terms of the professional titles borne by the funerary priests, and the specific range of activities performed by each of them. The changes in ‘titulary’ occur gradually and over extended periods, showing that they were internal to the native industry, and not imposed from above by the new regime. A separate chapter is dedicated to the analysis of the evidence pertaining to female mortuary priests and their

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performance of this activity. Using a countrywide palaeographical and orthographical analysis of the root ḳs (= to embalm),41 I argue that, although the evidence is not conclusive, there is no indication in the primary sources that they could not, even did not, exercise this profession in the same way as their male counterparts. Another chapter is devoted to the analysis of the varied terminology used to define and identify the services performed by the priests, the income they received for them, and available evidence relating to their personal and professional taxation. The chapter concludes with a survey of any other economic activity in which they engaged, such as farming, land leasing, borrowing and lending, buying and selling immovable properties, and liturgical services. The last two chapters in this first part deal respectively with the evidence for the membership of these priests in religious associations, and with the social context in which they lived and operated, analysing aspects of residence, marriage and inheritance, as well as interactions with individuals outside their professional circle. The second part of the book is structured from the standpoint of the deceased’s Death, mummification and burial. The analysis starts with the death of an individual and the beginning of the mourning period, examining these aspects from both a textual and a pragmatic perspective. For those who could afford it, it was possible to hire the services of a funerary priest who would take care of the more practical aspects of death—the transport of the deceased to the necropolis, the mummification and the burial. However, the vast majority of the population would be responsible for organising these aspects within the family, including the ritual washing of the body, the arrangements for the transport to the necropolis, and the burial of the deceased. The following chapter is devoted to the analysis of the mummification process in terms of its length and, consequently, cost, as well as the structures traditionally associated with it, the pr-nfr and the wꜥb.t. The latter are studied from a philological point with a view to determine possible differences between them, and from a physical standpoint, whether they denote a permanent or a moveable structure; and finally with respect to their location, and hence the place where the mummification was carried out. Following a brief analysis of whether the family or a mortuary priest may have been responsible for arranging for the mummification of a deceased person, the next section is devoted to examining the mummification process itself and the associated materials and rituals. In addition, using a range of sources, I attempt to define the various stages of this process and

41

This I have argued previously using the Theban data (Cannata 2007), while here I include a full study of all the examples available from the areas under analysis.

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their individual length. The final section deals with the identity and role of the funerary priests involved in the embalming. Funeral and burial—the final act of separation between the living and the dead—are the topics covered in chapter twelve. Textual sources clearly show that not everyone was buried immediately after their mummification. This intermediate phase is examined in this section, together with the range of factors that may have affected it. A further section presents a philological analysis of the terms used in these sources to refer to the act of burying the dead, while the final section is devoted to the mortuary cult of a deceased person. Naturally, mummification materials and burial equipment would have to be acquired, and burial taxes would need to be paid, before proceeding to the interment. These materials, their provision, or rather the question of who was responsible for their provision, and the actual cost of the entire process, are discussed in chapter thirteen, which deals with the funerary expenses. The final chapter in this second part is devoted to the deceased, the different terminology used to distinguish the living from the dead, the epithets master (ḥry) and blessed (ḥsy) bestowed on some of the dead, and the social milieux of the deceased attested in the textual sources analysed. This analysis in turn provides information on the social strata that were able to afford the services of these funerary priests, and within them the number of families that on average appears to have engaged these necropolis workers each year. The third part analyses the Necropolises, tombs and burials as physical entities, with respect to the location of burial grounds, and any change apparent during this period, in the five areas under scrutiny, as well as presenting the information about their topography that can be gathered from the textual sources. A separate section is devoted to legal aspects of ownership, taxation and acquisition of burial and building plots in the necropolis, arguing that private individuals and funerary priests alike did not own the plot of land or the funerary structure, which remained the property of the temple in which domain the cemetery area was located. Rather, it was the right of use over these properties that was transferred between the funerary priests themselves and private individuals too. The second chapter in this third part is devoted to the tombs themselves, their construction as well as their repeated use over time. The first aspect is studied on the basis of a unique document detailing the expenses incurred at various stages of the building process for a variety of workers. The second aspect, traditionally termed ‘tomb reuse’ in Egyptological literature, is analysed in its complexity from social, religious, political, economic, and practical perspectives in an attempt to highlight the factors that may have prompted the practice during the Ptolemaic Period. The wide range of terminology used in the textual sources to identify the various types of funerary structures is compared and contrasted with the actual tombs’ typologies

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attested in the archaeological record, in an attempt to reconcile the two. A final section is devoted to a discussion of the precision with which the terminology is used in the identification of these structures in the textual record. The last chapter in this part presents a select survey of body treatment, as attested in the archaeological record of these five geographical areas, and its correlation with the mode of inhumation. The analysis highlights the importance of a container for the body (pottery, wooden, or cartonnage) over the use of a burial structure. Various combinations were possible, and the examination shows the multiplicity of permutations aimed at providing the body with as much protection as one’s economic means allowed. The results of the analyses presented in the individual parts of the book are synthesised in a concluding discussion of how the funerary industry and its professional staff were organised during the Ptolemaic Period. The investigation shows how deeply rooted the mortuary practices of this period are in the continuing funerary culture of the Pharaonic and Late periods, and how the industry evolved constantly through processes of internal change. Throughout this study I have incorporated relevant anthropological data in order to add more of a lived dimension to the people whose traditions and culture we are trying to understand, and to place their customs within the wider cultural context that will no longer be of us vs. them. By incorporating a range of ethnographic data it is possible to see how the Egyptians were not alone in their response to particularly difficult life-events, such as death and bereavement. In addition, the application of a theory-informed approach, using insights from other cultures across time and space, permits us to shed some light on aspects for which relevant textual and archaeological evidence is lacking. Most importantly, though, it opens up new avenues of inquiry, suggesting alternative ways in which the available data can be viewed and interpreted. Three appendices are included in the book. In the first I present a palaeographical and orthographical analysis of the root ḳs, while the second offers a translation of P. Florence 3667 (111BC), recording the expenses undertaken at the death of one of the choachytes by his family, as well as an attempted computation of the final cost. The final appendix consists of 40 tables in which the data analysed is summarised, and which are referred to in the body of text using the abbreviation A. followed by the number of the relevant table. Lists of all documents, one grouped by necropolis of provenance, and one by museum inventory numbers complete with bibliographical details, are given in two separate indexes, followed by a record of personal names and by a list of toponyms mentioned, while an index of select English words concludes the book.

introduction

4

13

Notes on the Conventions and Abbreviations Used

The survival of the textual sources is very uneven, with the vast majority originating from Thebes, as against hardly any published examples from Edfu and Middle Egypt. The first aim has therefore been to identify groups of relevant textual material so as to cover the main geographical areas. The five necropolises/areas chosen are Memphis, Hawara, Middle Egypt, Thebes, and Edfu. In order to fill in gaps in our knowledge, the documentation from Hawara is supplemented with a small number of documents from Tanis, Sobek Pes, Magdola, Oxyrhyncha, Tebtunis and Theadelphia, whenever appropriate. Because the textual evidence from Middle Egypt this area is at present limited to sources from Deir er-Rifeh, Siut, and Sharuna, these are treated together under the heading ‘Middle Egypt necropolises.’ Given that it is the analysis of the Theban sources that helps to elucidate how the funerary industry was structured in other parts of the country, this material is treated first, and it is then compared and contrasted with that from the other areas of the country. The sources originating from Edfu, limited as they are, suggest that the industry in this area was organised along the same lines as that of Thebes; the study therefore starts in Upper Egypt and then moves to Memphis, Hawara, and finally Middle Egypt. The archaeological remains reviewed are those found in these five areas, whenever necessary, or relevant, supplemented with data from other parts of the country that is also used as comparative material. Throughout this work a number of terms are used to identify the people working within the funerary sphere. In particular, although a difference exists in the specific meaning of the terms ‘funerary’ and ‘mortuary,’ here they are used as synonyms; thus, no difference is implied between ‘funerary attendants’ and ‘mortuary attendants.’ Similarly, the word priest is used loosely to refer to individuals who performed a service for the deceased, without any implication as to their status within the temple hierarchy. The status and ranking of lector-priests, choachytes, pastophoroi and others within the temple hierarchy is discussed separately within the relevant chapters. Ultimately, whatever their status within such a hierarchy, these individuals worked in the necropolis and as such they are also identified in this study as ‘necropolis workers/attendants.’

part 1 The Organisation of the Necropolis and Its Funerary Priests



chapter 1

The Theban Necropolis A range of different officers were involved in the necropolis organisation. At its head there was the Overseer of the Necropolis, accountable to the Lesonis and the Steward. The actual mortuary priests were the choachytes, the embalmers, the necrotaphoi and the entaphiastai, the latter two attested only from a very small number of documents.

1

The Overseer of the Necropolis

As mentioned above, at the head of the necropolis organisation there was the overseer of the necropolis, who was apparently drawn from among the lectorpriests, possibly because of their higher status among funerary priests.1 P. BM EA 10528 (291BC), the oldest surviving document on the subject of tax collection, indicates that appointment to this position was farmed out to interested individuals. This contract was stipulated between Pelaias, son of Thotortaios and Tawatenchemet, and Harsiesis, son of Panas and Thibis, both of whom bear the title of lector-priest of the Baboon (ẖr-ḥb n pꜣ ꜥꜥn). In this document, Pelaias, who, in his capacity as overseer of the necropolis, is responsible for the collection of funerary taxes,2 sets out his obligations towards the rest of the lector-priests in the necropolis, and states that he has informed the relevant authority about these arrangements: ‘It is your right, that which is my obligation, not to strike against you concerning the money, and against all the lector-priests who are in the necropolis of Djeme, about the 5 deben (…) concerning which I wrote to the commissioner saying “I will pay them in the name of3 the overseer of the necropolis (with respect to) the money which will be given on 1 See below Chapter 1 § 4. 2 Two different types of funerary taxes are attested for the Ptolemaic period: the ‘money of the overseer of the necropolis’ (ḥḏ mr-ḫꜣs.t), and the transfer-tax. For these taxes see Chapter 13 § 3 and Chapter 15 § 3. 3 The expression rn pꜣ mr-ḫꜣs.t is probably to be understood as meaning ‘instead of’ rather than more literally as ‘in the name of,’ since it seems possible that Pelaias was to act as representative of the overseer of the necropolis, or as a de facto overseer for reasons not specified in the document.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_003

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account of the tombs,4 at 2½ kite for one, together with the money that will be given to the overseer of the necropolis for the people whom they will bring out to the necropolis of Djeme.” All the said money being mine by reason of (lit. on account of) the 5 deben concerning which I wrote to the commissioner’ (st mtw=k r nt ꜥ.wy=y r tm sh̭ r-r=k n ḥḏ ḥnꜥ nꜣ ẖr-ḥb.w nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ tr=w n pꜣ ḥḏ 5 (…) r-hb=y r pꜣ sḥn n-i҆m=w ḏ i҆w=y r ty.t st rn pꜣ mr-ḫꜣs.t (n?) nꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w r ty.t st rn nꜣ šty.wt n ḥḏ ḳt 2½ r 1.t ḥnꜥ nꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w ty.t st n pꜣ mr-ḫꜣs.t n nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w=w r i҆n.ṱ=w n bnr r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ i҆w i҆nk nꜣ ḥḏ rn=w tr=w ẖr pꜣ ḥḏ 5 r-hb=y n-i҆m=w r pꜣ sḥn).5 lines 1–3

In the following passage Pelaias requests that the lector-priests draw up for him a document in which they renounce claim over any money they may have collected on his behalf, possibly in the absence of Pelaias, and that were to be handed over to him: ‘While, (with respect to) the money which will be given to me on account of the tombs (and) the taxes of the overseer of the necropolis, you are to draw up for me a receipt saying “we are far from it.”’6 (i҆w pꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w r ty st n=y rn nꜣ šty.w nꜣ ḥḏ.w n pꜣ mr-ḫꜣs.t mtw=tn i҆r n=y i҆w r-r=f ḏ tw=n wy.ṱ r-r=f ).7 line 3 4 The correct reading of this word was established by Depauw 2000, 70. 5 I follow Hughes and Nims (1940) in understanding the following text as containing a series of clauses in extraposition since this gives a better understanding of the document’s contents. The present agreement does not provide any evidence for the suggestion that the overseer in charge was Harsiesis, son of Panas (PP III 6929; Vleeming 1995, 253 note 58; Vleeming 1994a, 360; Depauw 2000, 73). Given that the office appears to have been held for a determinate period of time (Vleeming 1994a, 361), the holding of such a position by a person in 301 BC (P. Philadelphia XXX) would not necessarily imply that the same individual was still in service in 291 BC (P. BM EA 10528). Similarly, there is no evidence for the suggestion that this man was a lesonis or head of the temple (Depauw 2000, 73). In P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301BC) this man is identified as the Overseer of the Necropolis. 6 This requirement for a receipt is not immediately evident from those burial-tax receipts where a scribe acknowledges receipt of the money exacted at the request of the overseer of the necropolis: O. BM EA 5782 (3rd cent. BC), O. BM EA 5787 (260BC), O. BM EA 5730 (260BC), O. BM EA 5744 (259 BC), O. BM EA 5729 (252 BC), O. Bodleian Eg. Inscr. 371 (259 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1858 E (264 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1859 E (267 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1865 E (266 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1882 E + 37.1857 E (260 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1864 E (260 BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1863 E (259 BC), O. TT32 (264 BC), O. BM EA 5779 (277–276 BC), and O. Berlin 9699 (254–253 BC). However, they do show that other necropolis workers could collect these taxes, presumably in the absence of the overseer himself, since the burial tax receipts show a number of clerks collecting these duties at the request of the overseer named (see Table A.1). 7 The scribe appears to have confused between two types of clauses since instead of extrapo-

the theban necropolis

19

The following statement by Pelaias indicates that a part of the taxes paid was destined for the temple, which, should the overseer fail to correspond, may have been requested from the lector-priests themselves: ‘(as for) the money8 concerning which they will come against the lectorpriests9 in the name of the domain of Amun, which is in the district of Thebes, I am to give it to it10 (scil. the temple domain)’ (· pꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w r i҆y r nꜣ ẖr.w-ḥb n-i҆m=f rn ḥtp i҆mn nt n pꜣ tš nw.t mtw=y ty.t s ẖr-r=f ). lines 3–4

Thus Pelaias is responsible towards the temple for the exaction and payment of a specific tax, while in the next clause he explains how he is to be repaid for the money he has given to the temple: ‘The money which I will give to it (scil. the temple domain) you are to repay it to me from the money which they will cause him to pay’ (nꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=y r ty.t st ẖr-r=f mtw=tn ty.t st n=y ẖn nꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w r ty.t ty=f st).11 line 4

8

9

10

11

sition followed by a conjunctive, he wrote a circumstantial clause followed by a conjunctive, where instead of r-r=w he used r-r=f which is probably to be understood as co-ordinate with the initial pꜣ ḥḏ. The photograph of this document shows that there is indeed a dot before pꜣ ḥḏ as suggested by the original editor of the text, but doubted by the reviewers (Hughes and Nims 1940, 256 note g). An example for the use of a dot as punctuation is also found in P. BM EA 10599 (169 BC) (lines 13–14) (Thompson 1934), where the scribe employed it to separate a present tense clause from the following conjunctive to indicate that he was using the conjunctive independently rather than as continuing the first clause (Johnson 2004, 189). The clause pꜣ ḥḏ nt i҆w=w r i҆y r nꜣ ẖr.w-ḥb was translated by Hughes and Nims as ‘as for the money concerning which they will come to the lector-priests,’ while Depauw proposed the reading ‘the money with which they will come to the lector-priests’ (Hughes and Nims 1940, 255; Depauw 2000, 72). However, the expression r i҆y r is commonly used in legal documents to refer to legal action undertaken against an individual, and this is the way in which it should be understood here. The meaning of the compound preposition ẖr-r=f in this context is not entirely certain, my reading as ‘to it’ is based on an example found in the story of Setne, P. Cairo 30646 (Ptolemaic Period): ‘Setne caused a boat to be brought to him’ (col. 5 line 11) (tw stn i҆n=w tks ẖr-r=f ) (Lexa 1948, 781 ex. 1009.5; Speigelberg 1975, 135). Another example occurs in P. Turin 6083 (105 BC): ‘non c’è (più) una parola che dirò contro te a causa di lui (scil. Psenminis, the deceased)’ (mn mt i҆w=y ꜥš `m-sꜣ=t´ n-i҆m=s (scil. the burial) ẖr-r=f ) (lines 3–4), where the text editor translates it as ‘a causa di lui’ since it is clearly the compound preposition ẖr-r-r=f (Pestman 1985, 178–179). The text does not specify who the person identified as ‘him’ is. However, given that all the taxes mentioned in the present document are those paid by a choachyte on behalf of

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Pelaias then specifies what his profit will be: ‘(as for) the 2½ kite which they will give on account of the tombs, mine are the 2 kite, while to Petearpres son of Horos, the scribe of the city of ˹Thebes˺12 belongs the ½ kite, which makes it complete’ (pꜣ ḥḏ ḳt 2½ nt i҆w=w r ty.t st rn nꜣ šty.w i҆w i҆nk nꜣ ḳt 2 i҆w wn mtw pꜣ-ty-ḥr-pꜣ-rꜥ sꜣ ḥr pꜣ sẖ tmy ˹nw.t˺ pꜣ ḥḏ ḳt ½ tmt).13 lines 4–5

Finally, Pelaias promises that he will not allow either the temple authorities or the state officials to strike against the lector-priests with respect to the payment of the five deben, which suggests that, if he did not pay this amount, it would be requested from them: ‘while I will not let them strike against all the lector-priests on account of the 5 deben aforesaid. You are to act for me in accordance with [everything] aforesaid, (and) I am to act for you in accordance with everything aforesaid from regnal year 14, fourth month of the winter season, day 1, until regnal year 15, first month of the winter season, the last day. If I refuse to act in accordance with everything aforesaid until regnal year 15, first month of the winter season, the last day, I will give to you 10 deben (…) by force, without delay and without any obstruction’ (i҆w bn i҆w=y ty.t sh̭ =w r nꜣ ẖr-ḥb.w tr=w rn pꜣ ḥḏ 5 nt ḥry mtw=tn i҆r n=y r-ẖ [mt nb] nt ḥry mtw=y i҆r r-ẖ mt nb nt ḥry ṯ ḥꜣ.t-sp 14 i҆bt 4 pr.t sw 1 r ḥꜣ.t-sp 15 tp pr.t sw ꜥrḳy i҆w=y sṯꜣ.ṱ r tm i҆r r-ẖ mt nb nt ḥry šꜥ ḥꜣ.t-sp 15 tp pr.t sw ꜥrḳy i҆w=y r ty.t n=tn ḥḏ 10 (…) n ḥtr i҆wṱ mn i҆wṱ sh̭ nb). lines 5–6

12 13

the family, as clearly indicated by the surviving tax receipts for both the burial and the transfer duties, it seems logical that the ‘him’ to whom the text refers is the choachyte (see Chapter 1 § 4 and Chapter 13 § 3). Vleeming 1992; Muhs 2005, 99–100; on the Theban scribal offices and scribal families see also Arlt 2011. Although grammatically the passage should be understood as being in apposition to the previous one, its meaning requires the clause to be understood as separate. In fact, if one were to connect it with the preceding one (‘namely, the 2½ kite which they will give …’) the sense of the passage would be that the person identified as ‘him’ was to pay only 2½ kite, rather than all the duties mentioned in the document. Instead, Pelaias is specifying what he is to receive, explaining that 2 kite are due to him, while the other ½ kite is for the scribe of the city of Thebes. The fact that only the transfer-tax is mentioned indicates that, unless we assume a scribal error, he was not entitled to the ½ kite tax due for each deceased brought into the necropolis, although he appears to have been responsible for its collection, probably on behalf of the temple.

the theban necropolis

21

Therefore, Pelaias, in his capacity as overseer of the necropolis, was responsible for the collection of funerary taxes during one calendar year. He has written to the state authorities informing them that he will pay 5 deben to obtain the right to farm out the transfer-tax due on the sale of tombs (and parcels of land) in the necropolis, as well as the tax due for each deceased person brought into the necropolis. The other lector-priests are to give him a cession document in which they undertake to hand over to him any amount which they may collect on account of these taxes, possibly in his absence. On the other hand, he promises that he will not let the authorities14 bother them with requests for payments, which presumably could happen if he failed to pay the agreed amount. Further, he specifies that he is to receive 2 kite out of the 2½ kite paid as transfer-tax on the plots of land and the tombs, while the remaining ½ kite is due to the scribe of the city. The fact that the other duty, the burial-tax, is not mentioned at this point in the document suggests that it was due entirely to the temple (something that may not have been deemed necessary to specify if it was common practice or knowledge).15 In this scenario the state would receive an advance payment of 5 deben allowing Pelaias (possibly the highest bidder) to farm out the relevant taxes, while the temple would receive its taxes on account of the entombed deceased, allowing him to make a profit out of the difference between the taxes collected and the money paid.16 That the overseer of the necropolis was chosen from among the lectorpriests is indicated also by P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), a document in which are recorded a number of entries relating to the accounts of two associate lectorpriests, Amenothes son of Horos and Petenephotes son of Petenephotes. Two of the entries in this document show amounts in deben received in the capacity of ‘chief of the necropolis’ (tp ḫꜣs.t), a title which was probably equivalent to that of overseer of the necropolis (mr ḫꜣs.t).17 The office, already attested from the Late Period,18 appears to have been held for a specific period of time, generally one calendar year, at the end of which others may have been able to farm-out the position. Only two individuals are identified as overseer of the necropolis in the surviving receipts, which span the period between 310 and 224BC, and it is therefore not possible to be certain

14 15 16

17 18

In this case probably both state and temple are meant. A scribal error could, of course, also account for the omission, but it seems unlikely. Although at first this may seem a highly desirable arrangement, it may not have been an entirely risk-free enterprise since there was no guarantee on the number of tombs and land allotments sold in a given year. See also Chapter 1 § 6. The office is attested in P. Louvre E 7850 (533 BC) and P. Cairo 50060 (Persian Period).

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of the exact length of this office tenure, although the evidence of P. BM EA 10528 (291BC) (lines 5–6) suggests it would be for a calendar year.19 During the documented time span, two different overseers of the necropolis are attested. In particular, during regnal years 20–21 and 22–24 of Ptolemy II, Petemestous son of Poulemis was collecting the taxes due, while the overseer of the necropolis appears to have been, at least in year 21, Amenrosis son of Totoes. In trying to explain the mechanics behind the division of work between these individuals it has been suggested that Amenrosis may have infringed on the competence of Petemestous during year 21–22.20 However, the latter could also have been acting on behalf of the overseer Amenrosis, a possibility already mentioned in P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC) (line 3), which means that there was no infringement of competences between the two individuals. The overseer was subordinate to the Steward and the Lesonis as shown by O. Brooklyn 37.1859 E (267BC), O. Brooklyn 37.1858 E (264BC), O. Bodleian Eg. Inscr. 371 (259 BC) and O. BM EA 5730 (260BC) in which the overseer in office is identified as ‘the representative of the steward’ (pꜣ rt pꜣ ꜥꜣ n pr), ‘the representative of the lesonis’ (pꜣ rt pꜣ mr šn) or both.21 In this capacity, he was responsible for the exaction of funerary taxes on behalf of the relevant authorities, as stated in the tax-farming agreement recorded in P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC), and as indicated by the numerous burial-tax receipts which state that they have been issued at the ‘request of PN, the overseer of the necropolis.’ However, there is also some evidence to suggest a link between the office of overseer of the necropolis and the choachytes. This possibility is raised by a small group of ostraca concerned with the ‘money of document’ (ḥḏ [var. nꜣ ḥḏ.w] (n) bꜣk),22 which are connected with the activity of the choachytes, and, according to the evidence of O. Louvre 93 and 314, to the payment of the transfer-tax on the acquisition of a burial plot. In particular, two of them, OIM 19295 (271BC) and O. BM EA 5695 (263BC), are reminiscent of the agreement recorded in P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC) discussed above, in that they seemingly record receipt of the same amount of tax-farming revenue. The first ostracon addresses a certain Psenamounis son of Panas stating ‘you are filled with the money which has come to you from the 5 silver (deben) which the choachytes give ˹it˺ to the temple, according to ˹the˺ documents ˹that we made˺ (them), which I made for the choachytes ˹for˺ each man among them’ (mḥ.k 19 20 21 22

The tax-farming agreement between oikonomos and tax farmer was also stipulated for one calendar year (Muhs 2005, 13). Vleeming 1994a, 359. See Table A.1. Muhs 2011, 183–193.

the theban necropolis

23

n ḥḏ nt pḥ r-r=k ẖn ḥḏ 5 nt nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw.w ti҆ ˹st˺ r ḥw.t-nṯr r ˹nꜣ˺ bꜣk.(w) ˹r.i҆r=n˺ ṱ=w r.i҆r=y nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw.w ˹ẖr˺ pꜣy rmṯ ẖn=w) (lines 1–4).23 This same individual is also named in the second ostracon where a certain Parates son of Harmais says to him ‘˹I am˺ filled with the ˹½˺ silver kite which have come to you from the 5 silver (deben)’ (˹tw=y˺ mḥ ḥḏ-ḳt ˹½˺ (i҆.)i҆r pḥ r-r=k ẖn ḥḏ 5) (lines 3– 4).24 Given the links between these receipts, the tax-payment on the purchase of a burial plot, and the activity of choachytes, it is possible that they were also connected with the payment of the burial-tax. This, in turn, suggests the existence of a tax-farming agreement between the choachytes and the temple administration, perhaps stipulated along similar lines to that discussed above,25 and thus the possibility that the function of overseer of the necropolis could have, at times, been explicated by choachytes too.26 During the Late Period there appear to have been close ties between these two groups, since the overseer of the necropolis sometimes attended the meetings held by the Theban choachytes’ association for the New Year (P. Louvre E 7840 [538 BC]), while some of the choachytes performed the function of overseer of the necropolis.27

2

The Lesonis

The office of the lesonis of Amun is frequently attested in transfer- and burialtax receipts where the overseer of the necropolis, or a temple scribe, is identified as his representative. The designation lesonis is the Greek rendering of the Demotic title mr šn, the overseer of the šn, although the exact meaning of the latter noun remains unclear.28 From the available documentation it is apparent that the office of lesonis was attached to individual temples as indicated by the fact that the title was often qualified by the name of a god, and that the function was mainly a financial one.29 The evidence indicates that the lesonis was responsible for the receipt and subsequent distribution of commodities to temple personnel as

23 24 25 26 27 28 29

After Muhs 2005, 140. After Muhs 2011, 187. Muhs 2011, 184–185. I am not sure if it is just a coincidence that for regnal years 15 and 22 of Ptolemy II there is no specific overseer of the necropolis attested by name. Donker van Heel 2012, 77; Donker van Heel 1995; Pestman and Vleeming 1994, 16–18, 159. A study of the title was first undertaken by Spiegelberg (1902b, 1916). For this title see also De Cenival 1972, 154; and Muhs 2005, 102–103. Muhs 1996, 190–191; Muhs 2005, 103.

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shown by P. Cairo 50060 (Persian Period),30 an account, from Siut, to a lesonis for the payment of goods to local temple workers; and P. Berlin P. 13539 (493– 492BC)31 in which the priests of the temple of Khnum at Elephantine inform the Satrap that they have appointed a lesonis who will be in charge of deliveries. Similarly, during the Ptolemaic period the lesonis was in charge of the distribution of the royal syntaxis to temple personnel as indicated by the Serapieion archive and that of Horos, both from Saqqara.32 In addition, the lesonis is in some cases attested at the head of religious associations which may be an indication that he represented a link between the temple and some of the funerary priests, as well as playing a role in the overall organisation of the necropolis.33 The letter from Elephantine, P. Berlin P. 13539 (493–492 BC), indicates that the lesonis was selected from amongst priests of different ranks, although, in general, he appears to have been chosen from among the temple’s high priests.34 This is supported by the evidence of a number of receipts in which the lesonis also bears the title of god’s father. In P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC) party A declares he has bought a tomb from Oaphres ‘the representative of the god’s father Harsiesis son of Horos, the scribe of the divine book, the lesonis of Amun’ (pꜣ rt n i҆ṱ-nṯr ḥr-sꜣ-i҆s.t sꜣ ḥr pꜣ sẖ mḏꜣ-nṯr pꜣ mr-šn) (line 3). In O. Pontif. Bibl. Inst. (227BC) the scribe signs the receipt as ‘Espemetis the representative of the ˹god’s father, the lesonis˺ of Amun ˹Marres˺ son of Esminis’ (ns-pꜣ-mt pꜣ rt ˹i҆t-nṯr mr-šn˺ n i҆mn ˹mꜣꜥ-rꜥ˺ sꜣ ns-mn) (lines 11–12). Similarly, in O. BM EA 66383 (241BC) and O. Louvre 92 (241BC) the scribe signs the receipt as ‘Paibis son of Apathes, the representative of the god’s father (and) prophet of Amunranesutjereu, the lesonis of Amun, Haefchonsu35 son of Petearpres’ (pꜣ-hb sꜣ ꜥꜣ-pḥ.ṱ pꜣ rt n i҆t-nṯr ḥm-nṯr i҆mn-rꜥ-nsw-nṯr.w mr-šn n i҆mn ḥꜣ=f-ḫnsw sꜣ pꜣ-ty-ḥr-pꜣ-rꜥ) (lines 8– 10).36 On the other hand, in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) (Text A line 5) it is the choachyte Nechthmonthes son of Horos that bears the title of lesonis of Amenope, which is surprising since one might expect there to be a conflict of interest between the two professions.37

30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37

Malinine 1961, 138–139; De Cenival 1972, 158; Devauchelle 1987, 151; Muhs 2005, 103. Martin 1996, 294–295, C3. Muhs 1996, 190–191; Muhs 2005, 103; Jelínková-Reymond 1955; Thompson 1988, 110–112; Ray 1976. For a lesonis attested at the head of another association see Farid 1987, 190 note j; and Donker van Heel 1994, 25. Clarysse 2003, 21. Or K(ꜣ)p=f-ḥꜣ-ḫnsw (Kapefhachonsu) instead of Ḥꜣ=f-ḫnsw (Haefchonsu)? For the new reading see Andrews 1990, 47 note 10. However, it may be of significance the fact that this choachyte is not a lesonis of Amun, but rather of Amenope, a patron deity of this class of lay-priests. The presence of a leso-

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Tenure of the office of lesonis appears to have been annual, with the same person being able to hold the office more than once, although perhaps not in consecutive years.38

3

The Steward

As noted above, another official mentioned in the sources is the steward. In O. Brooklyn 37.1859 E (267BC) (line 5) and O. Brooklyn 37.1865 E (266 BC) the overseer of the necropolis Amenrosis son of Totoes is identified as ‘the representative of the steward’ (pꜣ rt pꜣ ꜥꜣ-n-pr),39 while in O. BM EA 5730 (260 BC) the same individual is identified as ‘the representative of Petemestous the steward, the lesonis of Amun’ (pꜣ rt pꜣ ꜥꜣ-n-pr pꜣ rt pꜣ mr šn I҆mn) (line 4), thus suggesting that both offices could be held by the same individual.40 It is possible that these are simply two names for a single office,41 or that they are indicative of the link between the necropolis on one hand, and state and temple officials on the other. The existence of such a link is also indicated by P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC), in which the overseer of the necropolis states that he has written to the commissioner (sḥn), possibly a state official, to whom he will pay the money for the right to farm-out the funerary taxes.

4

Choachytes

The term ‘choachytes’ (χοαχύτης) is the Greek rendering of the Egyptian ‘water pourer’ (wꜣḥ-mw), which designates both a religious ceremony and a profes-

38

39 40 41

nis at the head of the association is perhaps another indication that it played a role in the overall organisation of the necropolis possibly as a regulating body and a link between the choachytes and the temple. It is also possible that this individual was the lesonis of the choachytes’ association, since the titles of officials of small associations were the same as those of state and religious officials (I thank Brill’s anonymous reviewer for pointing out this possibility). Clarysse 2003, 21. See, for example, P. Elephantine Demotic 8 (224–223BC) which gives a list of the lesonis priests, the year of their tenure of the office and the revenues due to them from the temple. However, for two of the individuals listed the texts adds ‘1½ year in the temple of Edfu’ (line 6), and ‘⅓ year in the temple of Edfu’ (line 8), where it is not clear if this refers to the portion of the year for which they are still owed from the temple, or to the actual length of time spent serving as lesonis in this particular temple. Correction after Vleeming 1994a, 358 note (aa). Muhs 2005, 102. Muhs 2005, 102.

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sion, that of pouring water or libations.42 In particular, during the Ptolemaic Period this category of funerary priests was responsible for the acquisition of an existing tomb in the necropolis, or of a plot of land, and for the subsequent building of a new burial place; for the payment of the funerary taxes; the temporary storage of the mummy and/or for its burial; and for performing the mortuary cult of the deceased. In documents of the Ptolemaic period, the occupational title of choachyte was used to designate their main activity, while their official and professional title was that of pastophoros,43 in Egyptian door-keeper (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ).44 This is the term used in the opening clause of the vast majority of the legal documents belonging to their archives where the Theban choachytes are identified by the title ‘door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes’ (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ n I҆mn- I҆py n pr i҆mnṱ n Nw.t—var. n tꜣ i҆mnṱ n Nw.t). There are only a few exceptions and variations among the extant documentation, which are in part due to scribal practices, and in part depend on the type and purpose of the documents. In the heading of legal deeds the title of ‘door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes’ (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ n I҆mn- I҆py n pr i҆mnṱ n Nw.t) is always used to identify the main contracting parties, followed by their patronymic and matronymic.45 The main exceptions are P. Berlin P. 3105 (103BC) and P. Louvre E 2436b (103 BC)46 in which one of the contracting parties, party B in both cases, is styled as ‘the door-keeper of Amenope in the necropolis of Djeme’ (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ n I҆mn-i҆py n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n Ḏmꜣ). However, this is probably due to personal scribal practice, since both documents were written by the same person, the scribe ‘Chonstephnachtis son of Harsiesis who writes in the name of Espemetis son of Osoroeris.’ Another exception is the use in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) of the title choachyte in the document’s heading. This is probably due to the fact that the regulations set down in this document are concerned with the type of activity performed by these priests as choachytes. Other exceptions are limited to the body of the

42 43 44

45 46

On this subject see also Pestman 1993, 6; Donker van Heel 1992, 19. As suggested by Pestman 1992, xix note 2, 51 note e; 1993, 429. Several studies have been devoted to this title, including Jelínková-Reymond 1953, De Meulenaere 1956, Pestman 1993, 428, and Depauw 2000, 83 note c. One of the uncertainties surrounding it concerned the reading of the second sign, pr, and, in particular, whether it should be taken as the house determinative, or as the writing of a separate word. The use of a genitive n in a small number of examples of this word seemed to argue in favour of the latter possibility (Tait 1984, 218). However, Zauzich (2000, 47 note 151) has convincingly argued that the title is to be read as i҆ry-ꜥꜣ, as have most recently Hoffmann and Quack, who suggest a translation as ‘one who belongs to the door,’ or door-keeper (2014, 148). See Table A.2. For these documents see Grunert 1981 and Pestman 1993, 209–210, respectively.

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document. In particular, the main inconsistency is seen in the use of titles as an identification of the owner of a neighbouring property. The same person is in some instances identified as a door-keeper of Amenope, in others as a choachyte, while in some cases only the individual’s name is given (with or without patronymic).47 On the other hand, the title choachyte tends to be used in shorter, less formal documents, such as letters and tax receipts. In these texts the person is in some cases identified simply by name and title, and in others by means of a patronymic as well. In addition, the title is consistently used, within the body of a contract, to refer to the type of activity performed by this class of mortuary priests, and to qualify the revenues to which they were entitled.48 By contrast, Greek documents always identify these mortuary priests as choachytes, probably to distinguish them from priests employed in the cult of the god and who are identified in Greek as ‘pastophoros’ (παστοφόρος).49 The only exceptions are P. Turin Gr. 2153 (111 BC) and P. Turin Gr. 2152–2151 (110 BC), two petitions against unjustified tax demands, in which the petitioners identify themselves as ‘pastophoroi of Amenophis-who-is-in-the-Memnoneia’ (παστοφόροι Ἀμενώφιος τοῦ ἐν τοῖς Μεμνονέοις), which may suggest that the document was written by the petitioners themselves.50 The difference in the use of titles between contracts in Demotic and Greek is exemplified by P. London Gr. 3 (146BC), which is a Greek translation of P. Berlin P. 3119 (146 BC) recording the sale of liturgies. In the latter document the contracting parties are identified as the ‘door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes, Onnophris son of Horos whose mother is Senpoeris,’ and the ‘doorkeeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes, Horos son of Horos whose mother is Senpoeris’ respectively. By contrast in the Greek translation they are identified as a ‘choachyte from Diospolis Magna’ and as a ‘choachyte’ respectively.51 The earliest attestation, in the Ptolemaic period, for the use of a professional title by the Theban choachytes, in the body of a contract, is found in P. Philadelphia II (314BC) where each of the sons of party A, co-owners of part of the 47 48 49

50 51

See Table A.3. See Tables A.4 and A.5. Examples of this latter class of priests are found in P. Leiden Gr. 413, a translation into Greek of the documents of sale and cession recorded in P. Berlin P. 5507 and 3098 (136BC), and in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (146 BC), a document of sale and division of an inheritance, copied in part in P. Leiden Gr. 416, in which a number of the deceased persons listed are identified as pastophoroi of a particular god. See Table A.6. On the differences between the writing of this title in the three documents, see Pestman 1993, 193–195; Pestman 1992, 51 note e. Pestman 1993, 73.

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house transferred to party B, is identified as ‘door-keeper of Amenope’ (line 3); while the first document in which one of the main contracting parties is styled as a ‘door-keeper of Amenope’ is P. Philadelphia V (302 BC). However, the additional title of ‘door-keeper’ had already been adopted, at least, by the end of the Late Period. During the 6th and 5th century BC the title ‘choachyte’ was used both as both the professional and the occupational title of this category of priests.52 On the other hand, the title of door-keeper is found in P. Libbey (337BC), a marriage document stipulated between the woman Setatiretbint, daughter of Petearpochrates and Senminis, and the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes Teos, son of Iuefau and Sarpochratis, dating to Regnal year 1 of Khababash.53 The same title is also employed in P. Louvre E 2430 (334 BC) dating to Regnal year 2 of Darius III. In the contract, a sale of a house, both party B (line 1) and the father of party A (line 2) are identified as ‘door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes.’54 However, due to the lack of relevant documentation, it is not possible to determine with more accuracy when the adoption of this new title took place. A first modification of the title ‘choachyte’ had already occurred during the reign of Apries as indicated by P. BM EA 10113 (570BC), a contract of loan, in which Djechi, son of Tiesmonti and Chaauesiset, is identified as the ‘choachyte of the valley’ (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ i҆n.t), where ‘the valley’ refers to the area around Deir el-Bahari, the central part of Djeme necropolis.55 The title did not become firmly established in the scribal tradition until 536 BC, during the latter part of the reign of Amasis, but continued to be used throughout the reign of Darius I. Other variants attested are: ‘choachyte in the west (of) Thebes’ (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ i҆mnṱ wꜣs.t) found in P. Louvre E 10935 (556BC) and in P. Berlin P. 3078 (493–492BC); ‘choachyte of the valley in the west (of) Thebes’ (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ i҆n.t n tꜣ i҆mnṱ wꜣs.t) used in P. Louvre E 9294 (491 BC); and ‘choachyte in the necropolis of Djeme’ (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ṯ-mꜣꜥ) attested in P. Turin 2128 (487BC). In addition, P. BM EA 10120B (517BC) provides evidence for the combination of the activity of ‘choachyte’ with that of ‘door-keeper.’ In this document the choachyte of the valley Psennesis, son of Herirm and Beniuutehties, appoints his daughter Lolous as heir, stating that she will be entitled to a share of all his properties including his ‘charges as choachyte (and) as door-keeper in the mountain’ (scil. necropolis) (sḥn.w n wꜣḥ-mw n i҆ry-ꜥꜣ n pꜣ ḏw) (line 5). However, it is unclear whether this should be considered as an isolated example, or if the practice was more widespread than the paucity of textual evidence would 52 53 54 55

See Table A.7. For this document see Depauw 2000, 235–236. For this document see De Cenival 1966. Pestman and Vleeming 1994, 10.

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indicate. Further indirect evidence for the possible combination of the two professions is provided by P. Louvre E 7840 (538BC) recording the accounts of choachytes’ association of Amenope, which also indicates that the Late Period choachytes were attached to the cult of this god as the choachytes of the Ptolemaic period were to the cult of Amenope. The adoption of the new title of door-keeper of Amenope, it has been suggested, may have been the result of ‘a decline in the importance of the funerary endowments between the two points in time,’ that is, the Late and the Ptolemaic periods, with the choachytes choosing ‘to be seen in a different light.’56 It is certainly possible that the exercise of both professions could be an indication of a decline in the endowment of land to the choachytes as payment by the families for the mortuary cult of a deceased relative. However, it should be noted that there are only four contracts recording such an agreement, P. Turin 2121 (617BC), P. Louvre E 10935 (556BC), P. Louvre E 7836 (536 BC) and P. Louvre E 3231a (497BC). Therefore, it is not possible to determine how common a practice this actually was during the period in question. In addition, a comparative analysis of the regulations of the Gnomon of the Idios Logos on the one hand and late Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman sources on the other, indicate a change in standing of the ‘door-keepers’ (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ), the professional title by which the choachytes of the Ptolemaic Period were known. This change in status from ‘low-ranking door-keepers to higher-ranking pastophoroi’ may date from the reign of Psammetichus I (c. 664–610BC), the first king of the Saite dynasty, whose reunification of the country was accompanied by a series of other reforms, including the introduction of the Demotic script, and of the legal system from Lower Egypt to the rest of the country.57 Whereas the doorkeepers of the earlier Pharaonic Period served as temple guards, for which they may have received a temple income, from the Saite Period onwards they started to perform other functions such as those of dream-interpreters and mortuary priests. Their appointments are described in Demotic as sḥn or ‘private appointments,’ and are distinguished from priestly posts that are identified as i҆ꜣw.t or ‘offices.’58 Ultimately, it may have been this possibility of performing functions not closely linked with the temples that resulted in the increased numbers and status of the door-keepers in the Saite Period.59 The various modifications in the titulary of these mortuary priests may also be a reflection of internal, temporal changes inherent in the organisation of 56 57 58 59

Vleeming 1995, 243–244. Muhs in press, 1, 5. Muhs in press, 14. Muhs in press, 7.

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the profession resulting, for example, from their new association with the cult of Amenope in place of that of Amenothes. Amenope is one of the manifestations of the god Amun in his ithyphallic form, shown entirely covered by a cloth, except for the head, wearing the double-plume crown and standing over a chest, or a chair, provided with two carrying poles.60 Temple reliefs and private monuments indicate that the god sailed at the beginning of each decade to Djeme in order to perform the funerary offerings for his ancestors buried there, that is the ogdoad, while funerary texts of the Roman Period indicate that the deceased interred in the necropolis were believed to have been able to partake of these offerings.61 The adoption of Amenope as the patron deity of the Theban choachytes is, therefore, a perfectly logical one, since he can be seen as an archetypal libationer.62 Doresse understands that of Amenope as a Late Period popular cult which development resulted from a decline in royal donations to temples, and in the need to find alternative sources of revenues, in this case, from devoted individuals.63 Although the celebration of the beginning of each decade is already attested in the Saite Period, it is only in the 29th dynasty, during the reign of Akhoris, that the cult acquires its more definitive character as indicated by an inscription of this king inside the small temple of Medinet Habu attesting to his construction of a temple to Amun ḫnt i҆pt=f and mentioning the ogdoad for the first time.64 This could indicate that the change in the titulary of the Theban mortuary priests took place at some point between the 29th dynasty and the Second Persian Period, and that it was linked to the increased importance enjoyed by the cult of Amenope. However, such a change needs to be understood within the wider context of the social, political

60

61

62

63 64

Doresse 1971, 114–115; Doresse 1973, 111–112; Sethe 1929, §28. In temple reliefs or on private monuments he is depicted standing before the king or private individuals who are shown in the act of making libations, burning incense and presenting him with floral offerings (Doresse 1973, 116–117). Smith 1987a, 80 note (c); Doresse 1971, 116 nº 1; Doresse 1973, 93 nº 12bis, 122; Doresse 1979, 62–64. Medinet-Habu was, according to the Hermopolitan theology, the burial place of the ogdoad, the primordial gods (Doresse 1973, 122–126; 1979, 41). For the rites at the beginning of the decade see also Bietak 2012 and 2012a. Already from the Ramesside Period the god is in charge of making offerings to the deceased every ten days (Doresse 1973, 120–121; Černý 1939, no. 66, line 4–6). See also the observations by Pestman on the use of two different determinatives in the writing of the word west (i҆mnṱ) in the full title of the choachytes, which shows that when used in conjunction with the god Amenope the ‘evil’ determinative was used, as was the case with the noun ‘death,’ while when used with the goddess Hathor the word was accompanied by the divine determinative (Pestman 1993, 430–435). Doresse 1979, 64. Doresse 1979, 42–43.

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and economic conditions prevailing at that specific time. In this context, it is perhaps quite telling that the new title was adopted only towards the end of the Late Period and may be indicative of the unstable political situation of the country, and of the threat felt by the population. In fact, it is possible that such a change was the result of a more widespread combination of the two professions caused perhaps by a desire to be associated more closely to the temple, particularly if during this period, as it would appear was the case during the Ptolemaic and Roman dominations, the native aristocracy was closely linked to the priestly milieu with the native élite occupying many of the ranks of the temple hierarchy.65

5

Territorial Jurisdiction of the Choachytes

From the surviving textual evidence it is not entirely clear how the choachytes’ territorial jurisdiction was determined, how labour division among them was organised, nor on what basis the family of a deceased person chose a particular choachyte. It is possible that in some cases the choice was based on family traditions and their association with a particular family of funerary attendants, although this does not explain, of course, the basis on which this choice was made in the first place. A number of deeds stipulate that the family will not be able to engage the service of any other choachyte besides the present beneficiary and his or her children. This is the case in P. Philadelphia VI (301 BC) (line 8), P. BM EA 10240 (228–227BC) (lines 4–5), P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC) (line 4), and P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) (lines 7–8). Some contracts mention the obligation of the choachyte to serve the family from the day of the contract onward without specifying the duration of such an obligation, as in the case of P. Turin 2130 (99 BC), P. Berlin P. 3106 (98 BC), P. Berlin P. 3139 (98 BC) and P. Turin 2132 (98BC), while in P. BM EA 10240 (228–227BC) the seller specifies that the beneficiary is to ‘work as a choachyte’ for him ‘from the above regnal year 20, first month of the inundation (ꜣḫ.t) season, until the completion of 99 years’ (mtw=k pꜣy=y wꜣḥ-mw (…) ṯ ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t tp ꜣḫ.t r ḥry šꜥ pꜣ mnḳ rnp.t 99) (lines 3–4). Indeed,

65

Lewis 1993, 276; Lloyd 1982, 55. There does not appear to be any evidence for the involvement of the Pharaohs of the Late Period in the organisation of the priesthood and the appointment of priests to the various offices, beside the donation of land to the temples or its reduction. On the basis of the evidence of P. Berlin P. 13543 (219BC) (Martin 1996, 311–312, C11) concerning the payment of a bribe to purchase a priestly office, it could be suggested that the organisation of the temple was left in the hands of the natives.

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the evidence of a number of legal documents confirms that in some instances the choachytes remained in the service of the same family for a number of years. In P. Brussels E 6037 (153 BC) the liturgies for the deceased Imouthes son of Esminis, who is said to be in the ḥ.t-tomb of Abunefer, are bequeathed by the door-keeper Horos to his son Horos. The liturgies for the same individual are still listed amongst those that Horos son Horos shares between his sons Osoroeris, Nechthmonthes and Petemestous with P. Berlin P. 3099, P. Berlin P. 3100 and P. Berlin P. 5508 (124BC) respectively.66 This division is later confirmed in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC) where it is stated that ‘Osoroeris together with Nechthmonthes and Petosiris shall serve Harmais [the prophet of Ptah],67 and Imouthes son of Esminis, between us68 as the three men’ (mtw wsi҆r-wr ḥnꜥ nḫṱmnṱ ḥnꜥ pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r šms ḥr-m-ḥb [pꜣ ḥm-nṯr ptḥ] ḥnꜥ i҆y-m-ḥtp sꜣ ns-mn i҆wṱ=n n pꜣ s 3) (col. 2 lines 30–31). In particular, in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113 BC), the last division document drawn up by Horos before he died, it is specified that the three brothers will share in the emoluments received for these individuals until their ταφή (taphe), probably referring to the final entombment in their tomb(s).69 Thus the individual is attested in the care of the same family of choachytes for at least 39 years. Similarly, the deceased Amenothes son of Spotous is attested in P. Amherst 60b (153 BC), P. Berlin P. 3119 (146 BC), P. Bibl. Nat. 218 (146 BC) and P. Berlin P. 3099/3100/5508 (124BC) for a total of 20 years. Given that liturgies represented the funerary priests’ assets, they could be bought, sold and pledged as securities on legal documents.70 However, this means that families could end up with a choachyte different from the one they had originally chosen. It would be interesting to know whether the individual families had any saying on the matter at all, or if these rights were transferred by the funerary priests even without the express consent of the families concerned. If the latter’s consent was required, the choachytes would find their freedom to dispose of their assets limited by the decision of the various families. On the other hand,

66

67 68 69

70

Horos and Sachperis had six children. Of these, five, Osoroeris the eldest son, Nechthmonthes, Petemestous, and possibly Petosiris and Taues, are involved in the family activity, while the other son, Chapochrates, is in the military [army?]. The surviving contracts are those drawn up for Osoroeris (P. Berlin P. 3099), Nechthmonthes (P. Berlin P. 3100), and Petemestous (P. Berlin P. 5508), although it is probable that one had also been drawn up for Petosiris and one for Taues (Pestman 1993, 128). For this restoration see Pestman 1993, 440. For the correction to Erichsen’s reading see Pestman 1993, 176 note b. Thus Pestman 1988, 116–117. Following the taphe, the mortuary service for this individual will be shared between only two of the brothers, Osoroeris with Nechthmonthes, and Nechthmonthes with Petosiris respectively (col. 3 line 1; col. 17 lines 9–11; col. 30 line 1). On the latter aspect see Chapter 7.

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if these assets could be freely bought and sold without the need for the consent of the interested parties, the latter’s choice would be invalidated by the funerary priests’ legal transactions. Indeed, this is probably the reason behind the clause appended to a number of contracts stipulating that a specific choachyte is to serve the family from the date of the deed onward, with or without specification of the duration of the obligation.71 Yet, as noted above, there is also a group of documents that prevents the various families from engaging the services of a different choachyte, a clause that extends even to the offspring of the funerary priest named in the contract.72 It is also possible that each of the choachytes was associated with, or in charge of, a specific zone within the necropolis of Djeme. Such a possibility is suggested by P. BM EA 10615 (175BC) which lists plots of lands owned by a choachyte among tombs in a particular area of the Djeme necropolis. If this was the case, the family might have chosen their choachyte on the basis of where s/he operated because of a desire to be associated with that particular area, for example because of the presence there of a memorial chapel (mꜣꜥ) to a venerated individual. Over time a family’s burials would have clustered around the same area thus contributing to the choice of such an area and of a particular choachyte. Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest a zoning of necropolis land and cultic areas during other periods of Egyptian history. The possibility of a division into districts of the Middle Kingdom cultic area at Abydos is, for example, indicated by a number of stelae which attest to the existence of districts (wꜥr.t), or subdivisions thereof.73 These, it is suggested, were used to designate areas close to the Osiris temple complex and therefore favourable locations for the erection of offering chapels, which, by virtue of their proximity to the temple, were ideally placed for their owners to partake of the offerings made there.74 Similarly, a zoning of the necropolis may be sug71 72 73

74

See P. Turin 2130 (99 BC), P. Berlin P. 3106 (98 BC), P. Berlin P. 3139 (98BC) and P. Turin 2132 (98 BC), and P. BM EA 10240 (228–227 BC) mentioned above. See P. Philadelphia VI (301 BC) (line 8), P. BM EA 10240 (228–227BC) (lines 4–5), P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC) (line 4), and P. BM EA 10388 (223 BC) (lines 7–8) mentioned above. The wꜥrt nbt ḥtpt, wꜥrt ddt ḥtpt, wꜥrt nbt ḏfꜣw, wꜥrt ꜥꜣt hmhmt and the wꜥrt nbt ꜥnḫ. These terms are, for example, mentioned in the stelae Louvre C15, Louvre C3, Leiden V.3, Leiden V.6, BM EA 567, Berlin 1192, CCG 20153, Louvre C170, Leiden V.79, BM EA 573, BM EA 213, Vienna 32, CCG 20479 and BM EA 159 (Simpson 1974, 13). To the list should be added also ÄS 109 (Seipel 1994, 136–137, Pl. 64). Simpson (1974, 13) suggests that some of them were perhaps interchangeable since they are mentioned together, and that they may originally have been subdivisions of others. He also suggests that the same terms may have been used in other parts of Egypt to designate similar areas. Simpson 1974, 13. In particular, the terms wꜥrt nbt ḥtpt and wꜥrt ḥtpt could have referred to the area where private cultic chapels were erected, and are perhaps to be seen as the

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gested by the presence of the Late Period stone blocks discovered by Petrie in the Giza necropolis, and inscribed in Demotic with the names of a number of choachytes.75 For the Roman period Bataille suggests that burial grounds were divided into districts on the basis of the evidence provided by some mummy labels. He argues that the mention on a large number of these labels of the place of origin of the deceased is a clear indication of a division into districts of the larger necropolises where people would be buried according to their place of origin. In fact, he concludes, there would be no need to indicate the individual’s origo if his/her mummy did not have to travel to the burial grounds from a different location.76 Spiegelberg understands the origo as evidence for the existence of registers where the citizens’ names were recorded according to a division into districts (tꜣ mr(.t) i҆we.t) of the city in which the defunct had lived.77 This, Bataille notes, would serve the exact same purpose, that of determining where the deceased should be interred.78 Bataille cites as additional evidence the listing of the deceased’s origo in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113BC) (lines 8, 5–7), which, he argues, shows that in the Ptolemaic period people chose to be buried close to one another as they had been in life.79 However, without denying the distinct possibility that the necropolis of Djeme was divided into districts, it should be noted that this practice was not at all widespread. In fact, for the Ptolemaic Period, the vast majority of cases in which the deceased are designated by their origo are found in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114 BC), accounting for over ⅔ of the total occurrences, thus indicating that this was probably a personal scribal practice, rather than a requirement of the necropolis’ organisation. On the other hand, the identification by means of a toponym would have been nec-

75 76 77

78 79

equivalent of the wꜥrt mnḫt nṯrw, which probably indicated an area reserved for royal cultic structures (Wegner 1996, 135–136). This contrasts with Lichtheim’s (1988, 92) suggestion that the terms could have referred to the entire cultic area at North Abydos. See Chapter 3 § 3. Bataille 1952, 235; Schmidt 1896, 79. Spiegelberg 1931, 40. The correct reading of the word as tꜣ mr(.t) i҆we.t was supplied by Zauzich who translated it, on the basis of the equivalent Coptic terms, as ‘borough’ or ‘neighbourhood,’ and which refers to divisions either in the city or in the necropolis depending on the context (Zauzich 1987, 99), although this would still be in line with Bataille’s suggestion. Bataille 1952, 236. Bataille 1952, 236. See also the evidence of P. Harkness (MMA 31.9.7) I, 33 and II, 2 where the text gives the ‘districts’ (i҆we.wt) of Pernebetwety, the town where the deceased woman for whom the text was inscribed had lived. The existence of such districts is also confirmed by three mummy labels, Heidelberg Inv. Nr. 1892, Michigan Inv. 4535.10 and Vienna MT 47, which refer to its 4th, 11th and 15th district respectively (Smith 1999, 284). I thank M. Smith for this reference.

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essary for the lector-priests, who divided their areas of competence according to the origo of the deceased, a practice that, at times, resulted in disputes over whose right it was to embalm a certain person.80 In addition, had the type of organisation envisaged by Bataille been present in the Theban necropolis, we would probably expect to find some indication of it in the extant documentation relating to the choachytes’ activity. Instead, the evidence indicates that different choachytes, whom the documents suggest were chosen by the families, appear to have been appointed to specific areas over which they acquired control. This is not to deny the possibility that the necropolis of Djeme was divided into districts, but rather that from the Ptolemaic period there is not enough evidence to suggest that such a division was based on the origo of the deceased. Indeed, a division of burial grounds is still implemented in present day cemeteries in Egypt, such as in Cairo and at Zawwyat al-Amwat, east of el-Minya in Middle Egypt. In particular, at Zawwyat al-Amwat the cemetery area is informally divided into sections each placed under the responsibility of an undertaker. Although these areas are not assigned official numbers, as is the case in Cairo, each of the cemetery workers is aware of their territorial limitation and is careful not to encroach upon his colleagues’ section.81 In conclusion, the data from other periods of Egyptian history suggest the possibility that the large area over which the necropolis of Djeme extended may have been divided, formally or informally, into districts each under the responsibility of different choachytes, although there is a lack of direct evidence from the Ptolemaic period itself. Such a division could have been implemented with or without the aid of boundary markers as clearly shown by evidence from modern Middle Egypt. Finally, it is clear that choachytes could operate in different necropolises. This is indicated, indirectly, in P. Berlin P. 3099, 3100 and 5508 (124 BC), where the testator declares that to the beneficiaries also belongs the 1/5 of the funerary assets owned by their mother ‘in any necropolis and any place.’ Although this could be simply a formulaic expression, more direct evidence is provided by a number of documents which show that some choachytes had a lease for the office in Hermonthis and neighbouring areas. This is the case in P. Louvre E 2429bis (292BC), P. Louvre E 2428 (277BC), P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC), P. BM EA 10026 (265–264BC), P. Louvre E 2443 (249BC), P. Louvre E 2438 (245 BC) and P. Louvre E 2431 (243BC), all of which probably refer to the same position since they concern transactions between members of a single family. In particular,

80 81

See below Chapter 1 § 7. El-Shohoumi 2002, 190, 195.

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P. Louvre E 2429bis (292BC) identifies this office as ‘my work as choachyte at Hermonthis for which th[e priests] of Montu of the fourth phyle made a lease for me (scil. party A)’ (tꜣy=y wp.(t) n wꜣḥ-mw n i҆wnw-mnṱ r-i҆r n=y n[ꜣ wꜥb.w] mnṱ nb i҆wnw n pꜣ 4 sꜣ.w sḥn r-ḥr=s) (line 2), while in P. Louvre E 2428 (277 BC) it is defined as ‘my work as choachyte of Hermonthis together with the leases which were made (for) me (scil. party A) in the temple (and) the town’ (tꜣy=y wp.t wꜣḥmw n i҆wnw-mnṱ ḥnꜥ nꜣ sḥn.w i҆w.i҆r=w n=y n ḥ.t-nṯr pꜣ tmy) (line 2). This indicates that permission to operate within, as well as control over, a specific area was granted, through a lease, by the relevant authorities, and that the choachytes perhaps had to apply for it to the temple under which jurisdiction the necropolis laid.82

6

Embalmers

Three different titles are used in documents from the Theban area to identify embalmers: lector-priest (ẖr-ḥb), embalmer (ḳs) and doctor (swnw). The first group, the lector-priests, literally ‘he who carries the ritual-book,’ a title that refers to their function as readers of the rituals recited during the mummification process, was that category of funerary priests who, during the Ptolemaic Period, were in charge of the mummification of the deceased.83 The title is often further qualified either by the name and/or location of the necropolis in which they mainly operated, by the name of the sacred animal to whose cult they were attached, or by their district of origin which probably also corresponded to the main area for which they were responsible. This range of titles is encountered both in the heading and within the body of Demotic contracts, and are used to refer to lector-priests as owners or occupants of houses and tombs, as owners of liturgies, as members of councils, and to their professional activity.84 However, there is also a small group of documents in which the title ẖr-ḥb is followed by the word tp, both in the heading and in the body of the doc-

82

83

84

On the basis of the evidence of these contracts, Vleeming (1995, 245) suggests that in the smaller necropolises the choachytes may have operated on the same basis as the lectorpriests, that is, by holding monopolies over certain areas. In addition, the documents indicate that the same person could be responsible for human and animal mummification as shown by the fact that Harsiesis, son of Panas and Thibis, is identified both as a ‘lector-priest of the necropolis of Djeme’ (ẖr-ḥb tꜣ ḫꜣs.t Ḏmꜣ) and as a ‘lector-priest of the Baboon’ (ẖr-ḥb n pꜣ ꜥꜥn), although it is not clear whether both offices were held at the same time. See Tables A.8, A.9, A.10 and A.11.

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uments.85 The title, borne by members of the same family over four successive generations, is attested solely in documents belonging to the archives of Lolous, called Petenephotes, son of Petenephotes and Mutirdis, and Amenothes, son of Horos and Tashebura, uncle and nephew respectively, who worked together for a number of years. These documents span a period of 53 years and were written by different scribes.86 Pestman understands the word tp as referring to the rank of these lector-priests and translates the title as ‘chief ritualist in the necropolis of Djeme’ (ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n Ḏmꜣ).87 In his study of the titles ẖryḥb and ḥry-tp, Quagebeur suggests that the word tp may be an ordinal number marking the order of promotion of the various lector-priests,88 thus following Pestman’s understanding of this term. However, P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC) suggests that this word may have a different meaning in these documents. This document records a number of entries relating to the accounts of two colleagues, Amenothes and Petenephotes. Two of the entries show an amount in deben received in the capacity of tp ḫꜣs.t: ‘The reckoning of the money: what belonged to me concerning his reckoning within (the) money of the chief of the necropolis: 35 deben’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w r-wn-nꜣ.w mtw=y ḥr pꜣy=f i҆p ẖr nꜣ ḥḏ.w n tp ḫꜣs.t ḥḏ 35); lines 6–7

‘The reckoning of the money: ⟨w⟩hat came to me here in Djeme for the ⟨year⟩ 39: 15 deben within (the) money of the chief of the necropolis’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w ⟨i҆.⟩i҆r i҆y r ty n ḏmꜣ ẖr ⟨ḥꜣ.t-sp⟩ 39 ḥḏ 15 ẖr ḥḏ n tp ḫꜣs.t). lines 11–12

Pestman understands the expression ḥḏ tp ḫꜣs.t as ‘money of the chief of the necropolis’ and as referring to the money the two colleagues earned together as ‘chief (lector-priests) of the necropolis.’89 This would then suggest that a particular payment was to be made by someone specifically to a chief lector-priest of the necropolis (ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t). However, the expression is reminiscent of the tax of the overseer of the necropolis (ḥḏ mr ḫꜣs.t), the burial tax paid on

85 86 87 88 89

See Tables A.10 and A.11. Except for P. Turin 2133 (118 BC) which is not signed by a scribe. Pestman 1981, 6–7. Quaegebeur 1987, 383 and note 95. For the titles ẖry-ḥb and ḥry-tp see also Quaegebeur 1985 and 1989; and Vittmann 2009. Pestman 1981, 51 note j.

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each deceased individual brought into the necropolis.90 Consequently, rather than taking this title as referring to a hierarchy within a professional group, that of lector-priests, I would suggest understanding it as an equivalent of that of overseer of the necropolis (mr ḫꜣs.t) attested from 310 BC (P. Brussel 8255c) to 242BC (O. Cairo 12536–12582), a position held by a lector-priest on an annual basis, as noted above, and would perhaps indicate a change, over time, in the terminology used in the identification of this official.91 In some years the two colleagues acted jointly as overseer of the necropolis, as shown by the fact that in P. Amherst 47+56 (114BC) Lolous-Petenephotes is simply identified as ‘lector-priest of the necropolis of Thebes (in) Djeme’ (ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n nw.t ḏmꜣ), rather than as ‘chief lector-priest of the necropolis’ (ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t).92 In addition, if the two titles were to be interpreted as referring to two different officials, one would have to assume the existence of another tax, unattested from elsewhere, that was to be paid to the ‘chief lector-priest of the necropolis.’ The other titles encountered in the Theban documents are those of ‘embalmer’ and ‘doctor,’ both of whom appear to have had some involvement in the mummification process.93 The meaning of the title ḳs, traditionally translated as ‘embalmer,’ was put into question on the basis of the Greek rendering of this word as ‘leather-worker’ (Σκυτἐων) in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (UPZ II 180a) (113BC), the last will made by Horos, son of Horos, in favour of his eldest son Osoroeris, and previously recorded in Demotic in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114 BC). On the basis of this Greek parallel, and of the Coptic word ⲕⲁⲥⲉ, denoting also a shoemaker, it has been argued that the title ḳs should be translated as leatherworker.94 However, a comparative analysis of the occurrences of the word ḳs in the Theban documentary sources shows that during the Ptolemaic period 90 91

92

93 94

On this tax see Chapter 13 § 3. In P. Turin 2129 (171BC), P. Turin 2131 (145 BC), P. Turin 2136 (126BC), P. Turin 2146 (125BC), P. Turin 2135 (118 BC), P. Turin 2139 (118 BC) and P. Turin 2133 (118BC), the writing of the term tp uses a more elaborate orthography than in P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), which is written as the simple numeral 1, presumably because these were private accounts. Some evidence for the practice of sharing this office may be provided by a small number of documents from Hawara in which the position of overseer of god’s seal-bearers and embalmers is held by two, in some cases related, individuals at the same time, for which see Chapter 4 § 1. See Tables A.12 and A.13. De Meulenaere 1955, 80; Crum 1939, 121. However, it should be noted that, beside the word ⲕⲁⲥⲉ, there is in Coptic also the term ⲕⲁⲓⲥⲉ, which refers to (a) preparation for burial, embalming; (b) grave-clothes, shroud; and (c) corpse (Crum 1939, 120–121). The Chicago Dictionary Project accepted this suggestion and corrected the meaning of the Demotic title ḳs from embalmer to leather-worker, CDD letter Q, 86–87. Note, however, that Den Brinker et al. 2005a do not refer to the correction proposed by De Meulenaere.

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this root had a wide range of meanings, all relating to aspects of mummification and burial, and that the Greek rendering of Demotic words is not entirely consistent, which, therefore, does not constitute reliable evidence on which to base the understanding of the Demotic title ḳs.95 That individuals identified as ‘doctors’ were involved in the mummification process is shown by a passage in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC), the list of regulations adopted by the Theban choachytes, where the members agree that ‘no man at all within the association will bring doctors (scil. embalmers) to the association of Amenope besides the choachyte who goes to (the) ḳs, the wꜥb (and the) 35 (days ceremony)’ (Text C lines 10–11).96 The use of the title ‘doctor’ to denote a class of embalmers was probably linked to the belief that death was a state of ‘illness’ from which the deceased could be treated.97 However, the available sources do not provide clear evidence on the different roles that the three groups, lector-priest (ẖr-ḥb), embalmer (ḳs) and doctor (swnw), had during the embalming process. That a difference existed between them is suggested by the presence in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) of different entries for the payments made to a lector-priest and to an unspecified number of embalmers, which indicates that the two were not the same.98 In documents written in Greek three different terms are used to translate the Demotic titles lector-priest, embalmer and doctor, although their use is not consistent.99 The title lector-priest is generally rendered as ‘taricheutes,’ although there are a small number of documents from the Theban area, P. Turin Gr. 2155 (119BC), P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–117BC) and P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC), in which the title is translated as ‘paraschistes.’ These are the only documentary texts in which the latter is attested, while in Classical sources it is employed by Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus in their description of the Egyptian funerary practices. Literally, the term means ‘one who rips up lengthwise,’ from the verb παρασχίζω, and it is used to refer both to the slitting up of a fish (cutting it lengthwise) and to the incision made on a deceased person during the embalming process.100 Diodorus distinguishes between the paraschistes who makes the first incision on the body of the deceased, and whose job was considered impure, and the taricheutai who were in charge of the subsequent operations,

95 96 97 98 99 100

On this see further Cannata 2007 and Appendix 1. The emendation is rejected here and the title translated throughout as ‘embalmer.’ On this passage see further Chapter 11 § 3. On this aspect see Chapter 10. See further Chapter 11 § 4 and Appendix 2. See Table A.14. Liddel and Scott 1897, 1143; Pestman 1981, 4–5.

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and whose activity was considered ‘worthy of honour’ (Diodorus I.91). However, this contrasts with the fact that the individuals identified in Greek as paraschistai are titled ẖr-ḥb tp in Demotic, the latter suggesting a more important and involved function in the embalming process. Pestman remarks that, as a ritualist, the lector-priest would have had various functions and would have been present at the various stages of the embalming process, such as at the time the first incision was made (παρασχίζω) and at the time the body was embalmed (ταριχεύω), and that, depending on the circumstances, the title was translated into Greek either as paraschistes (παρασχίστης) or as taricheutes (ταριχευτής).101 However, this statement implies that the scribe was familiar with the various details of the embalming process, something that is not borne out by the evidence since the translation of the Demotic title ẖr-ḥb tp as paraschistes does not correspond to the meaning the title has in Egyptian, and rather suggests that the scribe was unfamiliar with the terminology generally used in this context. In fact, although it is possible that, as Pestman suggests,102 the use of this title represents simply a scribal error, it seems strange that the scribe should use such an uncommon term in place of the more familiar one of taricheutes. Indeed, the fact that among the documentary texts this group is the only one where the title of paraschistes is, at present, attested may suggest that the scribe was more acquainted with classical works, such as those of Herodotus. On the other hand, its use could also indicate that in practice a distinction between those who worked as paraschistes and those who acted as taricheutes did not apply, and that the same person could be in charge of both operations, although it is hazardous to use Greek titles as evidence, since they are not reliable, equivalent translations.103 With respect to the documents belonging to the archives of the two colleagues lector-priests, Lolous-Petenephotes, son of Petenephotes, and Amenothes, son of Horos, Pestman suggests that the title ‘chief lectorpriest in the necropolis of Djeme’ (ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ) was linked to activities in the necropolis of Djeme, while the title of paraschistes was completely unrelated to it and instead linked to activities performed in a wider area and in another necropolis, that of Pois.104 However, such a statement is not sup101 102 103

104

Pestman 1993, 7 note 3, 171 note f. Pestman 1981, 8. Unfortunately, none of the three documents bears the name of the scribe and it is, therefore, not possible to determine whether the use of this title is to be ascribed to a personal scribal practice. Pestman 1981, 7–8. Pestman further adds that from the analysis of this archive one gets the impression that Amenothes and his colleague were probably in charge of the entire process of mummification, thus the use of the term paraschiste to identify the two may be an error of the scribe since all attestations are found in (Pestman’s) document 5 which

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ported by the available documentation. In the first instance, the Demotic title is simply the official designation by which they were known, further qualified by the name and/or location of a necropolis, as was the case with all other lector-priests.105 That Amenothes and his colleague Lolous-Petenephotes operated also in other necropolises is shown by P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), which indicates that they were responsible not only for the deceased of Djeme but also for some of the dead from the town of Hermonthis.106 In addition, P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116BC), one of the documents written in Greek which identifies the two colleagues as paraschistes, specifies that under the competence of LolousPetenephotes fell not only the village of Pois and others in the Coptite region, but also the temple of Amun at Thebes and the village of Psameris. Therefore, it is clear that the difference in the titles used rests on the language in which the various contracts were drawn up, with those in Greek using, erroneously, the title of paraschistes as an equivalent of that of ‘chief lector-priest in the necropolis of Djeme’ (ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ) in Demotic. The Greek equivalent of the Demotic title ‘doctor’ (swnw) is attested in only one document, P. Leiden Gr. 413 (136BC), which is the translation of the contract of sale of liturgies recorded in P. Berlin P. 5507 + 3098 (136BC). The Demotic contract lists, among other liturgies, ‘the ⅓ of Psenamounis the doctor’ (pꜣ ⅓ n pꜣ-šr-i҆mn pꜣ swnw) (line 7), translated in P. Leiden Gr. 413 (136BC) as taricheuton.107 Unfortunately, this is the only evidence available for how the title was rendered in Greek and it is, therefore, not possible to determine if other equivalent titles were also in use. Nevertheless, it is interesting that this category of embalmers is identified in Greek with the same title as that commonly used for lector-priests. In P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), a personal account of the two lectorpriests Amenothes and Petenephotes, one of the entries concerns an amount received ‘on the day of giving medications.’108 It is to be wondered whether the

105 106

107 108

has not survived (Pestman 1981, 7–8). However, it is unclear to me what Pestman meant by this statement since the title of paraschistes is certainly used in P. Turin Gr. 2155 (119BC), P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–117 BC) and P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116BC). See Tables A.8–A.11. P. Turin 2141 (c. 131 BC) is a list of private accounts. The only title mentioned is that of ẖr-ḥb tp n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t since one of the entries related to money received by the two colleagues in this capacity. Although in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC) there is also evidence for one of the two colleagues taking charge of two deceased individuals from Hermonthis, the document does not constitute proof of them working in this area since the deceased had been transported to, and had died in, the temple of Amun in Thebes, which fell under the competence of the two lector-priests. Pestman 1993, 230 note b. On this document see also Chapter 7 § 3.

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use of this expression, which is something that normally applies to doctors, indicates that rather than being separate groups, the title of doctor was used to identify the specific activity carried out by these individuals during the mummification process. In fact, the latter title is never associated with the name of a necropolis or to that of a god, as in the case of the other two titles. Another term used in Greek to designate embalmers is that of scuteus. This title is attested in only two documents from the Theban area, P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (UPZ 180a) (113BC), a last will and testament previously recorded in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC), and P. Leiden Gr. 414 (UPZ 181) (105 BC), a contract of sale of a plot of land in which party A, two brothers and two sisters, are identified as scuteis from the Memnonia (col. II line 9).109 Unfortunately, the Demotic titles of party A in the latter document are not known and their profession cannot be ascertained further from the Greek sale document. On the other hand, in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (UPZ 180a) (113BC) the scribe translated the first occurrence of the title ḳs.w as ‘leather workers’ (lit. shoemaker), but omitted the title in lines 5 and 6. In addition, he first rendered the title ẖr.w-ḥb as ‘leather workers,’ and then crossed it out and corrected it to ‘taricheutai,’110 which clearly shows he was not very familiar with the correct terminology.111 From the same root as σχυτεῖς also derives the word σκῡτῐνος, used metaphorically to refer to somebody ‘of skin and bones [or] gaunt,’ and σκῦτος, denoting ‘skin, hide especially dressed or tanned hide.’112 Therefore, it is not surprising to find the term σχυτεῖς used to denote embalmers, which work made the corpse appear as being made of tanned, leathery skin and bones.113 The title of lector-priest is not always used in short, less formal documents. Pestman distinguishes between two types of agreements according to the formulae used: 1. an official type in which the contracting parties are introduced by the clause ‘A has said to B’ (ḏ A n B), that is drawn up by a professional scribe and includes a list of witnesses; and 2. a less formal type in which the parties are introduced by the clause ‘A is the one who says to B’ (A pꜣ nt ḏ n B), without wit-

109 110

111

112 113

Pestman 1993, 202–203. Pestman (1981, 7 note 10) suggests that the additional information of their origo helped the scribe decide between one profession and the other, but I fail to see why the origo of these two groups of workers should have any bearing on the profession they exercised. In fact, it is possible that it was the abbreviated spelling of the word ḳs in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114 BC) what confused the scribe. This raises the question of whether the document was copied or written under dictation. The first instance implies an ability to read both languages, something that may not have been the norm, while the second instance would imply only the ability to understand Egyptian, which may be expected at such late a date. Liddel and Scott 1897, 1406. On this see further Cannata 2007 and Appendix 1.

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nesses and often drafted by one of the parties or by another, private, individual. On the basis of these criteria, he identifies P. Turin 2139 (118 BC), an agreement concerning the exchange of some work-animals, as belonging to the second type and therefore of a less formal nature, since it was not confirmed by witnesses.114 However, such a division does not correlate entirely to a distinction between official and informal documents, based on the inclusion or exclusion of professional titles in the identification of the parties and other individuals. In general, in less formal documents the individual is identified simply by name, as in the case of P. Turin 2142 (after 129BC) and P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), a register of birth dates and a list of accounts respectively, perhaps because intended for personal use only; while in some instances the person is also identified by means of a patronymic, such as in P. Turin 2134 (118 BC), an oath, and even by means of both patronymic and matronymic, as in P. Turin 2138 (117 BC), another oath. By contrast, in P. Turin 2139 (118BC), mentioned above, party A is identified by his full title, as well as by patronymic and matronymic, despite the fact that, according to Pestman’s criteria, this type of document should be considered as being of a more informal nature. The title embalmer (ḳs) is also used to identify the contracting parties in the heading of the contracts recorded in P. BM EA 10390 (136BC) and P. Amherst 48+52 (113 BC). In all these instances the title is accompanied by that of Servant of Montu, lord of Hermonthis. In the body of documents only the title embalmer (ḳs) appears, while in one instance this is further qualified by the district of origin, possibly also corresponding to the location of the necropolis in which this individual operated. By contrast, the title doctor (swnw) is never used in the heading of contracts, nor, as noted above, is it associated with the name of a necropolis or that of a god.

7

Territorial Jurisdiction of the Embalmers

The number of surviving documents belonging to the Theban lector-priests is quite small, particularly by comparison to the large archives once owned by the choachytes. These span the period between 291 and 101 BC, and indicate that labour division among the lector-priests was different from that among the choachytes, and that they were entitled to perform the embalming of the people resident in the areas allocated to them. Clear evidence for this is found in a group of documents written in Greek and relating to the professional activity of the two colleagues mentioned above,

114

Pestman 1981, 115.

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the lector-priests Amenothes, son of Horos, and Lolous-Petenephotes, son of Petenephotes. In P. Turin Gr. 2155 (119BC) is recorded the legal decision concerning a petition which Amenothes presented against Lolous-Petenephotes. According to the terms of their agreement, the temple of Amun at Thebes, together with its priests, fell under the control of Lolous-Petenephotes who, contravening this accord, claimed the right to embalm not only them, but also the descendants of the priests, the latter’s slaves and freed slaves. The judges pass judgement in favour of Amenothes, instructing his colleague to adhere to the clauses of the original contract. The document clearly shows that, within defined areas, the two lector-priests owned rights to embalm specific individuals living or working there. Similarly in P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–117BC), in which the same Amenothes presents another petition against Lolous-Petenephotes and his wife, accusing them of taking remuneration for embalming bodies falling under his control. On the other hand, P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC) preserves a petition presented by Lolous-Petenephotes against Amenothes accusing him of having contravened the terms of their agreement. Following a detailed description of which areas fell under each of them, the plaintiff explains how his colleague breached their agreement first by taking care of the son of a certain Pamonthes who had died in the Temple of Amun, and then of the daughter of a leather-worker who had been transported115 there from Latopolis. In addition, Amenothes took care of the sons of a certain Philokles116 from Hermonthis, one having been transported to the temple of Amun already dead (possibly dying during the journey), while the other died there. Similarly, he also performed the embalmment of the son of a certain Sniblais, one from the Kokhlax of the Pathyrites, who had been transported to the temple of Amun where he died. And finally, Amenothes took care of Herieus, son of Harbechis, the topogrammateus of Pois in the western region of the Koptites, an area which belonged to Lolous-Petenephotes (lines 40–69). Another text, this time written in Demotic, which provides evidence for the division of competence among lector-priests is the oath recorded in O. BM EA 25477 (101BC) where party A claims his right over a certain individual stat115 116

Pestman (1981, 74 note w) suggests that the use of this verb indicates that the person was not able to travel, hence it refers to sick people. Pestman (1981, 74 note x) remarks on the fact that this man with a Greek name had his two sons embalmed in the Egyptian way. In fact, this is not so surprising since the evidence from the documents in the choachytes’ archives shows that some Greek individuals were already adopting Egyptian funerary customs as early as the 3rd century BC (see Chapter 14 § 3). In addition, it is important to note that it is difficult to be certain about the ethnic background of an individual on the basis of his/her name alone at such late stage of the Ptolemaic period (end of 2nd century BC).

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ing that ‘the day in which the lector-priests divided the revenues, Aschlas son of Psentaneutos117 devolved upon me’ (pꜣ hrw (n) pš nꜣ šty.w i҆w i҆ry nꜣ ẖr.w-ḥb r-ḥr=w pḥ n=y ꜣsklꜣ (sꜣ) pꜣ-šr-ta-ḥn=w) (lines 6–9). On the basis of the evidence provided by these texts, it is also possible to understand the oaths recorded in O. BM EA 25669 (2nd century BC) and O. BM EA 26206 (153–142 BC) as referring to a dispute over individuals resident in areas allocated to a specific lector-priest. In the first document, party A, Harpaesis son of [Chonsthotes]118 claims control over the liturgies of a carrier called Psenthotes, whom, he states, devolved upon him at the time of the division made by his (fore)-fathers. In the second document, party A, Zmanres son of Chonsthotes and Arsinoe, claims control over the liturgy of Pamonthes son of Psenthotes whom, he states, devolved upon Patemis son of Zmanres at the time of the division which the council of lector-priests made.119 He states that Psenthotes married120 the mother of Pamonthes, for whom he made a woman-document, and that this son was born from that marriage.121 In both instances, should party A not swear the oath, he is to relinquish his claim over the particular liturgies in the presence of the council of lector-priests of Thebes (nꜣ ẖr.w-ḥb n nw.t) before whom the oath is to be taken. Therefore, these documents indicate that the choice over who would be embalming a deceased person did not fall with the family of the latter, but was decided on the basis of the person’s residence. This contrasts with the territorial organization of the choachytes in that, although they may have been responsible for specific areas within the necropolis, families appear to have been free to choose which choachyte would be responsible for their dead.

117 118

119

120

121

Kaplony-Heckel (1963, 99 note to lines 8–9) notes that in the list of liturgies recorded in P. Berlin P. 3116 there is a man called Petenephotes son of Psentaneutos. The patronymic of party A is suggested on the basis of Pestman’s (1993, 321–322) list of council members, before whom public agreements were made, some of whom also appear in the oaths recorded in O. BM EA 26206 (153–142 BC), O. BM EA 25775 (158–157BC) and O. BM EA 25477 (101 BC). Kaplony-Heckel (1963, 95–96 note 2) notes that the relationship between Zmanres son of Chonsthotes and Patemis son of Zmanres is not immediately clear, and suggests that the former may have been a nephew of the latter. No relation between the two can be established on the basis of the genealogy produced by Pestman (1993, 322). Kaplony-Heckel (1963, 96 note to line 8) identifies Psenthotes and his son Pamonthes as slaves. Such identification was based on the erroneous understanding of the formula ḥms=f i҆rm PN as referring to a marriage between a slave and a free person. The son, she states, would have the same status as the father whom she considered to be a slave. Party A’s claim over the liturgies of Pamonthes son of Psenthotes on the basis of his filiation is reminiscent of a specific clause found in P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78BC), a cession of endowments between two groups of embalmers, regulating the possibility that family members may fall within the competence of both groups. On this see Chapter 3 §3 below.

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The only document that seems to show evidence for a different type of organization is P. Rylands XI (284BC) in which the lector-priest of the Baboon Pelaias, son of Thotortaios and Tawatenchemet, pledges his entire possessions on the marriage document he drew up in favour of the woman Tauris, daughter of Harsiesis and Tabastis. The properties listed include a share of the deceased belonging to party A in the necropolis of Djeme, and a share of the deceased who belong to the lector-priest of the Baboon Thotortaios, son of Teos, the father of party A. Since the role of the lector-priests was limited to the process of embalming, this is probably a reference to the deceased people who were going to be buried in the necropolis of Djeme, as opposed to those already interred there, the embalming of whom fell within the competence of party A, the lector-priest of the Baboon Pelaias, and for which he received a remuneration. At first, this would seem to indicate that in the 3rd century BC the principle of labor division was different from that suggested by the 2nd century BC documentation, and that it was based not on the place of residence of the deceased but rather on the place of burial. However, it is likely that the discrepancy is due to the wording of the contract rather than being evidence for a different type of organization. This is indicated by one of the passages in the petition recorded in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC) where, in outlining the agreements between him and his colleague with regard to their territorial competence in the Theban area, the plaintiff explains that it had been agreed he would not ‘take care of the deceased that from Poonpois are taken to Pois,122 on the western side of the Coptites, given that in the said village (Poonpois) there is no cemetery,’ and that his colleague Amenothes would not ‘take care of the dying123 coming from (Pois) the cemetery of Poonpois’ (lines 26–31). It is, therefore, possible to understand the clauses in P. Rylands XI (284 BC) as a reference to deceased people who are going to be buried in the necropolis of Djeme, per-

122

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The village of Pois, located on the western bank, belongs to Lolous-Petenephotes, while Poonpois (or Poenpois), which Pestman states must obviously be located on the eastern bank (though I am not sure of why obviously), belongs to Amenothes. Given that the cemetery of Poonpois is located at Pois, the two villages, Pestman suggests, may be close, and that the name of the former originates from the latter. It is not known whether there is a link with the name Paihinpamehen (the stall of the milk jug = see Hughes 1973, 54 note i; Reich 1914, 16–17), since, although it is generally assumed that the etymology of the name Pois is Pꜣ-i҆hi҆, the bilingual texts indicate that the latter corresponds to Pais and that it is an abbreviation of Poenpois (Pꜣ-wꜣḥ-n-pꜣ-i҆hi҆), ‘the settlement of the stable,’ which in P. Berlin P. 3116 (Thiessen 1971, 73, a 3) also corresponds to Pais (Pestman 1981, 73 note f); CDD letter I҆, 203. See Pestman 1981, 74 note p, for a discussion of this word and its other possible interpretations.

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haps because they lived in a village with no separate cemetery, without this being evidence for different labour division arrangements.

8

Other Funerary Priests

8.1 Necrotaphoi During the Ptolemaic Period evidence for the use in the Theban area of the title ‘necrotaphos,’ another of the terms employed to identify mortuary priests, is very limited and not entirely unambiguous.124 The term νεκροτ[αφκὴ]ν occurs in P. Louvre Gr. 2339 (c. 134BC), a petition, and legal decision of the epistates, presented against the choachytes by a group of individuals with whom they had made some agreements concerning the deceased in Pathyris.125 The petition makes reference to a νεκροτ[αφκὴ]ν προστασ[ίαν] (line 6)126 stipulated between the plaintiffs Petearoeris son of Teephibis, Snachomneus son of Apathes, Petenephotes son of Apathes, […] son of Esminis, Harsiesis son of ˹Psenthotes˺127 and Patseous son of Ka[…]; and the defendants, the choachytes Horos son of Horos, Pechites son of Harsiesis, Psenthotes son of Amenothes, Amenothes son of Amenothes, Amenothes son of Teephibis, Psenchonsis son of Teephibis, Chonophres128 son of Harsiesis and Thentpis129 son of Harsiesis. According to this agreement the choachytes were to receive ⅓ of a certain sum of money while the other group was to have the remaining ⅔. Unfortunately, due to the fragmentary condition of the papyrus, it is not possible to determine the nature of this agreement, nor by whom and for what purpose was this money paid. However, it is important to note that in this document the plaintiffs are nowhere identified by the title of necrotaphoi, and, therefore, this agreement does not provide evidence for the existence of this group of funerary attendants at Thebes during the 1st century BC.130 Given that the petition is written in Greek, it is only natural that the text should employ the term νεκροτ[αφκὴ]ν to define agreements concerning funerary matters, while it is not necessarily the case that any of the contracting party should, by extension, be identified as necrotaphoi. Consequently, there is no evidence to suggest

124 125 126 127 128 129 130

See also Chapter 5 § 6 below. The epistates ruled in favour of the choachytes. After Pestman 1993, 93. See Pestman 1993, 94 note d. See Pestman 1993, 94 note h. See Pestman 1993, 94 note j. Thus also Derda 1991, 27 note 80; see also Bagnall 2017, 7–13.

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that during this period there existed at Thebes a class of mortuary attendants, identified by the title of necrotaphoi, who were contracted by the choachytes, and who worked as gravediggers and were responsible for the transport of the mummy to the necropolis, as has been suggested.131 8.2 Entaphiastai Another title attested in the surviving documentation is that of entaphiastes, which, during the Roman Period, appears to have been synonymous with that of necrotaphos.132 The title is used in P. Louvre Gr. 2331 (98 BC), recording a novation of a debt of fourteen artabas of wheat originally owed by Panas to Horos, the respective fathers of the current contract’s parties: AsklepiasSenimouthes, daughter of Senuris and Panas, represented here by her guardian and possibly husband, Harpaesis son of Chonsthotes, an entaphiastes (ἐνταφιαστής) from Thebes, and the choachyte Harsiesis son of Horos. The use of these two titles in the same document would negate the possibility of the title necrotaphos being, in the Roman Period, synonymous with that of choachyte, if we are to understand that the former was, in the Ptolemaic period, also synonymous with that of entaphiastes, since one would expect people of the same profession to have been identified by the same title.133 The title entaphiastes occurs in the archive of the taricheutai Amenneus and Onnophris from Tanis, where it is, apparently, used as a synonym with that of taricheutes.134 The nature of their professional activities is never made explicit in these documents, which thus do not clarify what this occupation actually entailed and in what way it may have differed from that of a taricheutes and of a necrotaphos. In Greek, the title ἐντα̌φιαστής denotes a person who is ‘charged with a burial,’ and derives from the verb ἐντα̌φιάζω meaning ‘to prepare for burial.’135 The latter is clearly the task of the individuals identified as taricheutai in Ptolemaic documents written in Greek, which is, therefore, consistent with their use as synonyms in the Tanis embalmers’ archive. Matching professional titles in Greek with those in Demotic is problematic on many different levels, including the fact that we do not know whether the scribe was familiar with either the correct terminology, or the activities performed by the individuals whose

131 132 133

134 135

See for example Wilcken 1935–1953, № 185; Bataille 1952, 238–239. Derda 1991, 31–33. Given that this is the last Ptolemaic document in which the title of choachyte is attested in the Theban area, it is possible that it is transitional between the introduction of one title and the discontinuation of the other. Armoni 2013, 17. Liddell and Scott 1897, 486.

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titles he was translating. In addition, the documentary sources in which these titles are used do not describe in any detail, if at all, the actual range of activities each of these titles covered. In fact, textual evidence on what the activity of the entaphiastai entailed is limited even for the Roman Period, and thus, it is not possible, at present, to reach any definitive conclusion on the subject.136 136

But see Lumbroso (1906, 163) who remarked on the similarity between the report produced by the entaphiastai of P. Oxy. III 476 (c. AD159–161) and those made by public physicians in P. Oxy. I 51 (AD 173) and 52 (AD 325), and P. Oxy. III 475 (AD182); while Grenfell and Hunt (1903, 160–161) identified the entaphiastai as embalmers in P. Oxy. III 476 (c. AD 159–161). See also Youtie 1964, 22–23 notes 5 and 8; and Koenen 1972, 20–21.

chapter 2

The Edfu Necropolis The documentary sources from Edfu are very limited and consist mainly of funerary-tax receipts on ostraca. Two main groups of funerary ostraca are, at present, known. The first group consists of 22 receipts of payment of a necropolis tax (tni҆.t ḫꜣs.t) dating to the years 234 and 233BC, and written in one of a number of variant formulae.1 The second group consists of nine ostraca that record receipt of payment for a tax paid on individual burials, dating to the years between 144 and 107BC.2

1

The Overseer of the Necropolis and the Lesonis

There is no mention in any of the surviving documents from Edfu of an overseer of the necropolis, although a lesonis is attested in several of them. However, the presence of an individual acting in this capacity, if not thus officially titled, can be surmised from P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225–224 BC), a letter in Greek written by Pat[… son of] Thotsymthmis to the praktor Euphronios. The latter is being informed that a lector-priest, or taricheutes, Horos, son of Pasas, has contracted to underwrite the collection of the funerary tax for a specified period.3 Such an arrangement is reminiscent of the agreement recorded in P. BM EA 10528 (292–291BC) in which a lector-priest, acting in the capacity of overseer of the necropolis, undertakes to collect both the burial- and transfer-tax for a specific period.4 However, the sum to be paid according to P. Elephantine Gr. 8 is 2800 drachmae, or 140 deben, which far exceeds the five deben paid by the contractor in P. BM EA 10528 (292–291BC). Clarysse understands the sum mentioned in P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225–224BC) as relating to the total of the deaths within the nome of Edfu in a specific period.5 This would suggest that the main temple at Edfu was responsible for the taxation, and perhaps organisation and control, of all the other necropolises within the nome. If this was the case, it would differ from the organisation of the Theban necropolis since P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC) 1 2 3 4 5

See Table A.36. On these taxes see Chapter 13 § 3. Muhs 2003, 87–88. See Chapter 1 § 1. Clarysse 2003, 21.

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indicates that the person who farmed out the necropolis taxes was responsible only for the deceased buried in the necropolis of Djeme. However, the same text also suggests that he may have been responsible for the Theban district, or part of it, since party A states ‘I am to go to the district of Thebes with the men whom you will give to me to go out with me’ (mtw=y šm r pꜣ tš nw.t i҆rm nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w=tn r ty.t st n=y r i҆y r bnr i҆rm=y) (line 4), which may indicate that he was responsible for the supervision of funerary matters outside the main Theban necropolis, though their exact nature is unclear.

2

Choachytes and Lector-Priests

There is only some indirect evidence attesting to the presence of these two groups of funerary attendants in the necropolis of Edfu. This is, in some respects, surprising given the nature of the evidence, although it is important to note that even in the Theban area out of a total of about 96 published ostraca, only six identify the tax-payer by the occupational title of choachyte, while in none of them is the title of lector-priest attested. Evidence for choachytes is found in a fragmentary list of priests and their revenues, recorded in P. Elephantine Demotic 9 (before 223BC) (lines 11–13).6 The fragment has been interpreted as a survey of revenues of priests and choachytes, presumably because of the use of the noun sꜥnḫ in lines 4 and 10.7 Evidence for lector-priests is found in P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225–224BC), discussed above, where Pat[… son of] Thotsymthmis writes to the praktor Euphronios to inform him that the taricheutes Horos, son of Pasas, has contracted to farm out the funerary tax for a specific year.8 No other evidence is at present available on either of these necropolis workers.

3

Territorial Jurisdiction of Edfu Necropolis Workers

Due to the paucity of evidence from this area of the country, all that can be said regarding the organisation of the Edfu necropolis is that the presence of these two groups of funerary attendants, the choachytes and the lector-priests, 6 The documents relate to activity at Edfu but were taken by the last owner of the archive to Elephantine where they were discovered. See Clarysse 2003, 17–19. 7 See Spiegelberg 1908a, 22; and Clarysse 2003, 26. Another choachyte is possibly listed in P. Elephantine Demotic 12, although the reading is far from certain. 8 Muhs 2003, 87–88.

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suggests that the two professions were kept separate and were performed by different individuals, rather than by the same person as in Lower Egypt. This, in turn, would indicate that the necropolis at Edfu was organised along similar lines to that at Thebes.

chapter 3

The Memphite necropolis Insofar as titles can be used as an indication of the type of organisation in place in a particular area, those attested at Memphis indicate that around the 2nd century BC some changes were implemented in this necropolis with regard to the individuals responsible for the care of the dead. As I have discussed elsewhere,1 the evidence suggests that the title of god’s seal-bearer was used in this area to denote a mortuary priest in general, whose activity corresponded to that of the choachytes and that of the lector-priests of the Theban necropolis. At Memphis, on the basis of the documentation available at present, it is clear that the title only appears around the end of the third and the beginning of the second century BC.2 From around this period the choachytes adopted the official title of god’s seal-bearer, although that of choachyte is still employed, historically, in the description of the endowments to identify the original owners of the endowment transferred.

1

The Overseer of the necropolis

With respect to the organisation of the Memphite necropolis, it is interesting to note the lack of evidence for individuals identified as overseer of the necropolis, although it is difficult to ascertain whether this is the result of accidents of preservation, or if the title was not in use in this area. Among the documents analysed, with the exception of P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC), this title is found only in the Theban area. At Hawara the office seems to have been held by one of the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers who bore also the title of overseer, and it is, therefore, possible that this was the case at Memphis as well. Some indirect evidence for this possibility is found in a number of legal documents written in Greek in which Petesis son of Chenouphis, identified in Demotic contracts as a god’s seal-bearer, holds the title of ‘archentaphiastes for the most great and everlasting gods, the deified Apis and Mnevis.’3 This, it is suggested, may cor1 Cannata 2009. 2 At present the earliest document in which the title of god’s seal-bearer is attested is P. Leiden 381 (226 BC). 3 Wilcken 1927, 453–472, UPZ 106 (99 BC) lines 10–11, UPZ 107 (99BC) lines 11–12, UPZ 108 (99BC) line 10, and UPZ 109 (98 BC) lines 1–2; Thompson 1988, 186 note 103.

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respond to the Demotic title overseer god’s seal-bearer attested at Hawara.4 In addition, as at Hawara, there is evidence at Memphis for the title overseer of the mysteries borne by one of the god’s seal-bearers who, in P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC), is identified as the ‘god’s seal-bearer (and) overseer of the mysteries of Apis Peteimouthes (…) son of Pais’ (ḫtmw-nṯr ḥry-sšt n ḥp pꜣ-ty-i҆y-m-ḥtp (…) sꜣ pa-ḥy) (line 8). The evidence from religious texts indicates that the overseer of the mysteries was in charge of the embalming ritual, which implies that the holder of this office had a prominent position among the other funerary priests, and, therefore, it may be possible that he also fulfilled the role of overseer of the necropolis.5

2

God’s Seal-Bearers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes

The role of god’s seal-bearers was the object of a study by Sauneron based on the analysis of a range of tomb reliefs and textual sources spanning the period from the Old Kingdom to the Ptolemaic Period.6 In particular, the analysis of a total of nine tomb reliefs, ranging in date from the 6th to the 18th dynasty, suggested that the function of the god’s seal-bearer was that of an embalmer, or a chief embalmer, who also took part in the ceremonies accompanying the deceased’s river journey to the tomb. Here, following the burial, he performed, together with other funerary priests, the mortuary cult and the libations for the deceased. On the other hand, the textual evidence analysed suggested that the title denoted exclusively an embalmer.7 With regard to the Ptolemaic Period, Sauneron observed that, in general, scholars have remarked on the fact that the title god’s seal-bearer is attested solely in the Memphite area where, it is suggested, he acted as a supervisor of both taricheutes and choachytes.8 Nevertheless, the available documentary evidence relating to the funerary sphere shows that during the Ptolemaic Period the title of god’s seal-bearer was an official title used to denote a mortuary priest whose functions encompassed both those of a choachyte and those of a lector-priest, while the latter two were used as occupational titles. In addition, the surviving documents indicate that

4 5 6 7

Thompson 1988, 186 note 103. See also Chapter 11 § 4. Sauneron 1952, 137–171. Sauneron 1952, 145–146, 155. One exception is a stela dating to the reign of Ramses II in which a god’s seal-bearer takes part in the opening of the mouth ritual (Sauneron 1952, 148). 8 Revillout 1880b, 71–72; Sauneron 1952, 151, 154. However, in accordance with Spiegelberg (1920, 4 note 1), he noted that there is no evidence for this theory.

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the use of this title varied both geographically and temporally, since it is not attested among legal deeds from the Theban area, while it appears in the Memphite archives only around 226BC, but it is already found at Hawara from at least 365–364BC. The Memphite documents are, at present, divided into three groups, since it is not possible to establish a direct link between the individuals mentioned in them.9 The first two groups comprise documents that were originally part of the choachytes’ archives. In these the contractual parties are always identified as choachytes and the properties transferred as the endowment of the choachyte PN son of PN. The third group includes documents belonging to the god’s sealbearers. Here the contractual parties are identified as god’s seal-bearers, while the properties transferred are identified as the endowment of the god’s sealbearer PN son of PN, and in some cases as the endowment of the choachyte PN son of PN.10 From the close analysis of a number of Memphite contracts it is clear that one of the functions of a god’s seal-bearer was, indeed, that of a lector-priest.11 In P. BM EA 10384 (132BC),12 a contract of lease between the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris, son of Haroeris, and Taimouthes, daughter of Archebis, the liturgies listed appear to have originally belonged to two different family groups. The first group includes: 9

10 11

12

The earliest surviving document from this area is P. Louvre E 2412 + P. Bibl. Nat. 226 (305– 304 BC), and forms part of the first group. Although it clearly belongs to the choachytes’ archive, as indicated by the title borne by the contracting parties, it is not possible to suggest a genealogical link with the second group also belonging to this class of mortuary priests. The second group consists of the contracts recorded in P. Brussels E 6033 (276–275BC), P. BM EA 10381 (276–256BC) and P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) also known as the choachytes’ archive from the title borne by the contracting parties. The third group includes the contracts recorded in P. Leiden 381 (226BC), P. Leiden I 373b–c (204–203BC), P. Louvre E 2408 (197 BC), P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC), P. Sallier 3 (186–185 BC), P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC), P. Wien ÄS 3874 (149–148 BC), P. Hermitage 1122 (135 BC), P. BM EA 10384 (132BC), P. Leiden 373a (129 BC), P. Forshall 41 (124 BC), P. BM EA 10398 (119 BC), P. Pavia 1120 (118 BC), P. Forshall 42 (97–96? BC), P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78 BC), P. BM EA 10229 (78 BC), P. Florence 8698 (77–76BC), P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75 BC), P. Louvre E 3268 (73 BC), P. Louvre E 3264ter (73BC), P. Louvre E 3264 (65 BC), P. Louvre E 2411 (65 BC) and P. Leiden I 380a–b (65 BC). This third group of documents is known as the god’s seal-bearers’ archive from the title borne by the contracting parties. See Table A.15. Additional evidence is also provided by UPZ 125 (P. Leiden 0) (89BC), a loan document in Greek, where party A is identified as Chenouphis son of Petesis, one of the taricheutes of the great Asklepieion temple near Memphis, taricheutes normally being the Greek rendering of the Egyptian title of lector-priest. Martin 2009, 110–135.

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– a share of the endowments that belonged to Kolloutes son of Tjaihekaenimu; – a share of the endowments that belonged to Tjaihekaenimu son of Kolloutes; – a share of the endowments that belonged to Psenptais son of Tjaihekaenimu; – a share of the endowments that belonged to the woman Snachomneus daughter of Paches; – a share of the endowments that belonged to Tjaihekaenimu son of Psenptais. These endowments are later identified collectively as the ‘endowment of Tjaihekaenimu son of Kolloutes.’ The contract also stipulated that, should Taimouthes (party B) neglect the endowments ‘by not being there for them or by not performing any work of lector-priest’ during the period of her tenure, she will forfeit the rent paid (lines 19–20). In P. BM EA 10398 (119 BC) the god’s seal-bearer Pasis, son of Teos, ceded to his younger sister Taues a number of properties and liturgies including ‘all lector-priest’s revenue-town(s).’13 In P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78 BC) a group of god’s seal-bearers ceded to another group of god’s seal-bearers the right to the funerary income from ‘the oil and wine merchant Pais son of Amenneus’ and his family.14 The contract included a specific clause concerning the possibility of family members that may fall within the competence of both groups. In this case the entitlement to the income would be decided in ‘accordance with the rules of the lector-priests.’15 In P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) the properties that the woman Taunchis, daughter of the god’s sealbearer Peteimouthes, ceded to her daughter Senamounis, daughter of the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris, comprised a number of shares of ‘lector-priest’s endowments, revenues and revenue-places.’ These are described as belonging to her husband, the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris, son of Ptahmaacheru; to her father, the god’s seal-bearer Peteimouthes, son of Imouthes; and the latter’s younger brother, also a god’s seal-bearer, whose name is not legible on the papyrus.16 Finally, in P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC),17 a contract of sale for a number of liturgies stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer Teebes, son of Teebes, and the god’s seal-bearer Pati[…], son of Pateris, the funerary revenue transferred is said to pertain the ‘lector-priest’s revenue.’

13 14 15 16 17

Brunsch 1990, 71–77. For the reading of the name Amenneus ( I҆mn-i҆w) see Clarysse 1987, and Martin 2009, 149 note f. Pestman 1963. Spiegelberg 1903; Sethe and Partsch 1920, 737–745. Martin 2009, 154–169.

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The genealogical evidence provided by some of the Memphite contracts shows that individuals who bore the title of god’s seal-bearer descended in many cases from choachytes’ families. The property of the latter group of priests is still being transferred several generations later with contracts in which the parties are identified as god’s seal-bearers.18 This is the case of P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) in which the god’s seal-bearer Imouthes, son of Ptahmaacheru, divided with his half-sister Smithis, daughter of Tjaihekaenimu, a number of revenues and endowments, including: – a share of the revenues and of the endowment of the choachyte Ph[choiphis] son of Hapimenes (their maternal great-great-grandfather); – a share of the revenues and of the endowments of the choachyte Peteimouthes son of Nechtapis (their maternal grandfather); – a share of the revenues and of the endowment that belonged to the choachyte Pais son of Buirutehties (their maternal grandfather); – a share of the revenues acquired by the choachyte Horos son of Djehormen (their maternal great-great-grandfather).19 Similarly, in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC),20 stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris son of Haroeris, and the woman Taimouthes daughter of Harchebis, some of the endowments leased clearly belonged to earlier generations of choachytes and included: – a share of the endowment of the woman Rempnophris daughter of Samous that devolved as a share to the woman Setatiretbint daughter of Horos (…) in the name of the choachyte Horos son of Djehormen, her father; – a share of the endowment of Horos son of Djehormen. Another share of these endowments belonged to the god’s seal-bearer Imouthes son of Ptahmaacheru whose great-great-grandmother was the great-grandmother of Teos, husband of party B in the present contract.21 From a comparative analysis of the extant documents belonging to the choachytes on one hand and to the god’s seal-bearers on the other, the following points can be drawn: 1. They own the same types of funerary structures (such as ḥ.t, kꜣ, ꜥ.wy-ḳs); 2. They own the same types of revenues (such as šty, sꜥnḫ, hwh.t, šmꜥꜣ); 3. The god’s seal-bearers also descend from choachytes’ families; 4. The god’s seal-bearers own endowments once belonging to choachytes; 5. The god’s seal-bearers own lector-priests’ revenues. 18 19 20 21

See Cannata 2009 Fig. I for a genealogical table of these families. De Cenival 1972, 11–65. Martin 2009, 110–135. See Cannata 2009 Fig. I for a genealogical table of these families.

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That in the Memphite necropolis both professions are performed, at least in some instances, by the same person is clearly indicated by P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) and P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC). In the first document Party A states that everything listed belongs to party B and her people, in accordance with the shares listed together with ‘everything which will be given in their name, every day and every month, pertaining to the šty-revenue-source of lector-priest and choachyte and the religious-service revenue of lector-priest’ (ḥnꜥ nt nb nt i҆w=w ty.t st n rn=w ẖr hrw nb ẖr i҆bd nb ˹n ꜥḳ˺ šty ˹n˺ ẖr-ḥb wꜣḥ-mw wp.t šty ẖr-ḥb) (line 16).22 Similarly in P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC), where party A, the god’s sealbearer Apunchis son of Samous and Teteimouthes, summarises the properties transferred to party B, the god’s seal-bearer Teos son of Pasis and Smithis, using the parallel formula ‘together with everything which will be given in the capacity as lector-priest (and) in the capacity as choachyte.’23 In particular, in P. BM EA 10384 the liturgies leased are clearly divided into two groups, one belonging to an earlier choachytes’ family, that of Horos son of Djehormen, as indicated by the title by which they are identified, and a second group possibly belonging to an earlier family of lector-priests, that of Tjaihekaenimu son of Kolloutes, as suggested by the fact that a share of this endowment belongs to the woman lector-priest Anchet, daughter of Tjaihekaenimu. Such division in two groups is further emphasised by the fact that the document specifies the portion of the rent allocated to each of the endowments.24 That the same person would be serving both as a choachyte and a lector-priest is not impossible since the two professions are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the evidence from the Theban area indicates that, although they may have collaborated during some stages of the entire process, the role of one ended when that of the other started. Furthermore, ownership of choachytes’ endowments has to entail also the performance of such an activity in order for these to produce revenue. A difficulty with this interpretation is that P. Louvre E 2409 (184 BC) is confirmed by Teteimouthes, daughter of Pchoilis and ˹Tairetereru,˺ mother of contracting party A. Here Teteimouthes is identified as the ‘woman choachyte’ at a time when this title, according to the interpretation proposed here, was no longer used to identify the contracting parties.25 A possible explanation may be that, although the use of the title choachyte in the identification of contracting parties was in the process of dying out, it continued to be used by some scribes. 22 23 24 25

Martin 2009, 118. The text is unpublished and my reading relies on the transcription given by Revillout (1880b, 115–116, Pl. IV), which may be not entirely correct. Lines 17–18. Revillout 1880b, 115–116, Pl. IV.

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Otherwise, it is possible that it was employed here because it was the only title that a woman could hold beside that of sḥm.t (sehemet). The Memphite sources indicate that during the 3rd century BC there were two separate groups of mortuary priests: the choachytes, for whom there are partly preserved archives, and the lector-priests, for whom no archives survive beside perhaps the possibility that the endowments identified as the ‘endowment of Tjaihekaenimu son of Kolloutes’ [P. BM EA 10384 (132 BC)] are indirect evidence for the existence of this group of funerary attendants.26 From around the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd century BC the choachytes here appear to have adopted the official title of god’s seal-bearer, which may have served as their professional title, comparable to that of ‘door-keeper of Amenope’ in the Theban area. Following the adoption of the new title, that of choachyte is employed, historically, only in the identification of the original owners of the endowment transferred. References to endowments of choachytes disappear completely in the 1st century BC possibly because, by then, such endowments had been in the possession of the god’s seal-bearers for a number of generations and were, therefore, named after the latter group. A possible reason behind the adoption of the title god’s seal-bearer and the apparent disappearance of choachytes from the surviving textual record may be the gradual spread of a Fayumic practice to the Memphite area.27 If this was the case, it is possible that the title was: 1. used by lector-priests first and was later adopted also by choachytes as the two groups started to intermarry, hence the use of both within the same generation; 2. adopted as a general term for mortuary priests because the two groups started to intermarry;28 3. adopted gradually over a period of time independently by lector-priests and choachytes, hence the use of both within the same generation.29

26

27 28

29

Of course it also possible that the function of the lector-priests was already performed by the god’s seal-bearers and that the 3rd century BC archives of the latter group have not survived. This is perhaps also indicated by the fact that the same title is adopted in Middle Egypt, although only in the Ist century BC, thus over a century later than in the Memphite area. This is one of the main points in which the Memphite mortuary priests (and possibly those from Hawara) differ from those at Thebes, where both choachytes and lector-priests remain each as a close endogamous group that do not appear to have intermarried. However, in this respect it is interesting to note that the two do not appear as contracting parties in the same contracts. See also Chapter 18.

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Territorial Jurisdiction of the Memphite Funerary Priests

Labour division among the Memphite mortuary priests was based on the origo of the deceased, which means that they were entitled to perform their services for people resident in the areas over which they had been granted authority. In fact, although the endowments are said to be ‘in the necropolis of Memphis’ the entitlement of the mortuary priests to specific liturgies was decided on the basis of the deceased’s domicile. In this respect the organisation shows parallels with the way in which the Theban lector-priests were organised, but differs from that of the Theban choachytes who appear to have been freely chosen by the deceased’s relatives.30 At Memphis both the choachytes and later the god’s seal-bearers operated in the same way. With regard to the choachytes, this is indicated by P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) which lists the ‘revenue-town (called) Tamen in the district of Memphis, (any) person aforesaid [in] (the) temple of the town in the revenue-town (called) [Ta]men, in the [district] of Mem[phis] which is above, (and) the people of the district of Memphis’ (tmy-n-šty tꜣ-mn n pꜣ tš n mn-nfr rmṯ nt ḥry [n] ḥ.t-ntr n pꜣ tmy n tmy [tꜣ]-mn n pꜣ [tš] n mn-[nfr] nt ḥry nꜣ rmṯ.w n pꜣ tš n mn-nfr) (line 4), thus showing that they were entitled to perform their funerary services for the people coming from the localities mentioned. In P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC), although party A bears the title of god’s seal-bearer, some of the endowments transferred are still identified as belonging to choachytes, such as the ‘⅓ share of the revenue from the endowmen[t] of the choachyte Ph[choiphis] son of Hapimenes (…) which is [i]n the necropolis of Memphis. Their specification: the ⅓ share of the šty-revenue-sources (and) the revenue-villages of the people of Taachinsetmeseh and Taresitmehit, being two villages in the district of Wenkhem’ (tni҆.t ⅓ n nꜣ šty.w pꜣ sꜥn[ḫ] n wꜣḥmw pꜣ-[kp] sꜣ n ḥp-mn (…) nt [ḥ]r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr pꜣy=s wn tꜣ tni҆.t ⅓ n nꜣ šty.w nꜣ tmy.w n šty nꜣ rmṯ.w [tꜣ-ꜥẖy]-st-msḥ ḥnꜥ tꜣ-rsy.t-mḥt.t r tmy 2 n pꜣ tš n wn-ḫm) (line 1 Q–T); (and the) ‘⅓ share of the šty-revenue of the people of Taachinheriitem, and the ⅓ share of the šty-revenue-source of the people of the village Tawecheri being two villages on the island of Ptah in the centre of Memphis’ (tni҆.t ⅓ n nꜣ šty.w nꜣ rmṯ.w n tꜣ-ꜥẖy-hr-i҆tm ḥnꜥ tꜣy=t tni҆.t ⅓ n nꜣ šty.w n rmṯ.w n tmy tꜣ-wḫry r tmy 2 ḥr tꜣ mꜣy ptḥ pꜣ w ḥr-i҆b mn-nfr) (line 2 N–O).31 The same document also lists, as part of another choachyte’s endowment, the ‘⅓ share of the 30 31

See above Chapter 1 § 5 and § 7. Yoyotte 1972, 3; De Cenival 1972a, 18 note 34. The same localities are also mentioned in P. Louvre E 3268 (73 BC) line 6 which abbreviates the villages as Taachi(nheriitem), and in P. Louvre E 3264ter (73 BC) line 6 (De Cenival 1972a, note 18, 32 and 33). For these villages and the ‘New land of Ptah’ see Vandorpe 1995, 158–168.

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šty-revenues-source of the people of the Quarter of the Greeks’ (tni҆.t ⅓ n nꜣ šty.w nꜣ rmṯ.w tꜣ i҆weꜣ.t n nꜣ wynn.w) (line 8 P–Q). The same localities are still listed in some of the documents belonging to the god’s seal-bearers. This is, for example, the case in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) that lists ‘your ¼ share of my ⅓ share of the four revenuevillage(s) which belong to the aforesaid endowment. Their specification: your ¼ share of my ⅓ share ˹of˺ the village Taachi(nheriitem) (and) Tawecherit, being two villages on the Island of Ptah; together with your ¼ share of my ⅓ share of the Quarter of the Greeks which is in the districts of Memphis; together with your ¼ share of my ⅓ share of the village Taachisetmeseh ˹which˺ is called Taresitmehi(t) in the district of Wen[˹khem˺], which ˹makes˺ four villages’ (tꜣy=t tni҆.t ¼ tꜣy=y tni҆.t ⅓ n pꜣ tmy šty ˹tꜣy˺ ṯmy 4 mtw pꜣ sꜥnḫ nt ḥry pꜣy=w wn tꜣy=t tni҆.t ¼ tꜣy=y tni҆.t ⅓ ˹n˺ tmy tꜣ-ꜥẖy.t tꜣ-wh̭ ry r tmy 2 n tꜣ mꜣy ptḥ ḥnꜥ tꜣy=t tni҆.t ¼ tꜣy=y tni҆.t ⅓ tmy tꜣ i҆wy.t n nꜣ wynn.w ẖr nꜣ sḥn.w n mn-nfr ḥnꜥ tꜣy=t tni҆.t ¼ tꜣy=y tni҆.t ⅓ tmy tꜣ-ꜥẖy.t-˹st˺-msḥ ˹nt˺ ḏ n=s tꜣ-rsy.t-mḥt [n pꜣ t]š wn-[˹ḫm˺] r ˹i҆r˺32 tmy 4) (line 8). In P. Louvre E 3268 (73BC) this Quarter of the Greeks is said to be ‘under the northern districts of Memphis’ (tꜣ i҆wy.t nꜣ wynn.w nt ẖr nꜣ sḥn.w mḥṱ mn-nfr) (line 8).33 Other localities connected with Greek ethnic groups are mentioned in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) which, among the liturgies leased, includes ‘the 1/8 share of the army of the Greeks in Egypt’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 pꜣ mšꜥ nꜣ wynn.w kmy) (line 8), that, it is suggested, may originally have been an army camp for Greek troops and should here be understood as a geographical term.34 Yet another zone of the Memphite area is mentioned in P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC), which lists the ‘1/6 share of those of the New-land-of-the-river who will die and be brought to the Necropolis of Memphis’ (tni҆.t 1/6 nꜣy=w tꜣ mꜣy yr nt i҆w=f r mwt nt i҆w=w r i҆n.ṱ=f r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr) (line 4), presumably reclaimed land which had retained this as a nomenclature.35 In addition, the evidence from P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC) indicates that at least one of the temple complexes in the Memphite necropolis, the Anubieion, may have been considered as being a separate revenue-place from those in the city itself since some of the revenues are identified as ‘pertaining to the endowment which is above, in the Anubieion (and the) Peak of Osiris of Rutiset (in) the districts of Memphis’ (msꜣ pꜣ sꜥnḫ nt ḥry n pr-hn-i҆np thny n wsi҆r-rꜣ-i҆s.t nꜣ sḥn.w n mn-nfr) (line 6).36 In

32 33 34 35 36

The text is rubbed off at this point and the reading uncertain, the sign could also read tmt. Yoyotte 1972, 4. Martin 2009, 128 note xxiv. Martin (2009, 128 note xxvi) suggests that Greeks may have been granted rights over this newly reclaimed land. Although the phrase could be understood as being either in co-ordination or in apposi-

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P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) among the liturgies listed we find ‘the 1/8 share of the house of the scribes of the place-of-writing in the temple-domain of the gods of Hapimenes son of Phchoiphis’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 n pꜣ ꜥ.wy n nꜣ sẖ.w tꜣ s.t-sẖ pꜣ ḥtpnṯr nꜣ nṯr.w ḥp-mn sꜣ pꜣ-kp) (line 10), which may be a reference to the grapheion located in the Anubieion.37 Additional toponyms are mentioned in P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC), but since Revillout omits to give a facsimile of the relevant section of the contract it is not possible to be certain of their exact identity.38 However, what remains unclear is how such a territorial division of competence was implemented. Did choachytes and god’s seal-bearers decide among themselves, or was there an overall organising body, such as the temple, who assigned these areas among the various mortuary priests? Undoubtedly liturgies could be bought and sold, as indicated by P. Louvre E 2409 (184 BC), P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC) and P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC), or taken on lease as shown by P. BM EA 10384 (132BC), and therefore it would always be possible to extend one’s authority over new areas in this way. The agreement stipulated between two groups of god’s seal-bearers in P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78 BC) indicates that, at least in some instances, such matters would be settled among the mortuary priests themselves, although this document has the appearance of a document of withdrawal drawn up following a lawsuit. The document includes a rather convoluted clause in which it is established that if a woman who belongs within the liturgy of party B has a husband who belongs within the liturgy of party A, the rights to any children they have will lie with party A, in accordance with the rules of the lector-priests (lines 14–15). This would suggest the existence of customs or agreements on which to base a decision over territorial jurisdiction. It is also possible that, as was the case at Hawara and Thebes, oaths and agreements would be stipulated between the various groups of mortuary priests to determine their jurisdiction and that they simply have not survived.

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tion with the compound noun pr-hn-i҆npw (Anubieion), the fact that the Peak of Osiris of Rutiset is in other documents listed alongside other temple complexes, indicates that it is used in co-ordination with the preceding noun. See Martin 2009, note xi. Martin 2009, 129 note xxxv. Revillout 1880b, 115–116, Pl. IV.

chapter 4

The Hawara Necropolis At Hawara the title of god’s seal-bearer and embalmer was used to denote a mortuary priest whose activity corresponded to that of the choachytes and that of the lector-priests of the Theban necropolis. Such an organisation was already in place from at least the 30th dynasty. However, information on the possible organisation of the necropolises in the Fayum, and at Hawara in particular, concentrates largely around the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, while from the Theban area no evidence survives from the last century BC. Therefore, it is possible that some of the differences noticed between the ways in which these necropolises were organised are also due to temporal, as opposed to solely geographical, variations.

1

The Overseer of the God’s Seal-Bearers and Embalmers

From 310BC (P. O.I. 25259) to 217BC (P. Carlsberg 38a–b) the mortuary priests of the Hawara necropolis are identified by the title of ḫtmw-nṯr wyt, or god’s sealbearer (and) embalmer, while from around 198 BC two forms of this title are in use: god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer (ḫtmw-nṯr wyt) and seal-bearer (and) embalmer (ḫtmw wyt). The same individual could be identified by either of the two titles in different documents. Harmais, son of Maresisukos and Taesis, was called ‘god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer in the necropolis of Hawara’ (ḫtmw-nṯr wyt n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr) in P. BM EA 10605 (98 BC), and ‘seal-bearer (and) embalmer’ (ḫtmw wyt) in P. BM EA 10603 (100 BC), P. Hamburg 4 + 8 (92 BC) and P. Hamburg 5+6 (92BC).1 This indicates either that the change in the title borne reflects a change in the role or function performed, or, more likely, that the difference is merely an orthographical one. In the case of P. Hamburg 10 + P. Cairo 50132–50134a–50136a (198BC) two apparently different spellings are (line 4) and (line 4a). If we accept the tall used sign before ḫtmw as an unusual writing for nṯr, then both variants of the title are used within the same document. However, contra to the suggestion that their function was similar to that of the Theban choachytes, and thus distinct

1 The same individual was also identified as ‘overseer god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer in the necropolis of Hawara’ (mr ḫtmw-nṯr wyt ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr) in P. Cairo 50128 (114BC).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_006

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from that of the god’s seal-bearers who worked as embalmers,2 it is clear that this does not represent a different title since they are borne, over time, by the same individuals. The different writing indicates that the title had become fossilised and that it could be written without the nṯr element, which was simply understood. Coincidentally, this change appears to have occurred at the same time as the introduction of the noun overseer (mr) as part of the title god’s sealbearer (ḫtmw-nṯr wyt), which is also attested for the first time in P. Hamburg 10 + P. Cairo 50132+50134a+50136a (198BC). The documents themselves do not provide any clear indication of how this addition affected the role of the god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers, although it seems very likely that it was used to denote a person with a higher status among this group of funerary priests. Such a higher position could be held by more than one god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer at the same time, and was of limited tenure, perhaps annual, although it could be renewed in successive years. This is shown by the fact that in P. Cairo 50128 (114 BC) the position of overseer (of) god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers was held by father and son, while in P. Hamburg 12a–b (118 BC), P. BM 10604 a–b (85 BC), and P. Hamburg 2a–b (83BC) it was held by two brothers. In some respects this office is comparable to that of the overseer of the necropolis attested in the Theban area, a position held for a fixed period of time by one, or more, of the lector-priests.3 It is unclear whether the appearance of the title of overseer (of) god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers is indicative of a change in the organisation of the necropolis, although it seems probable that such an office already existed during the 3rd century BC despite the lack of supporting evidence, since the position may have been held by individuals whose archives have not survived.4 In addition, a small number of documents appear to employ a variant of the title overseer god’s seal-bearer and embalmer, using a tall sign very similar to the noun meaning superior (ḥry), and translated as such in the Glossar,5 where, presumably, it was used as an equivalent of the noun overseer (mr). The examples are found in P. Hamburg 7 (99BC) where the title is written as (line 3) and as (line 11), and in P. Ashmolean D. 10 (1968.10) (98 BC) (line 2) and as (line 3), thus where it is written as 2 El-Shohoumi 2002, 199–200. 3 See Chapter 1 § 1. 4 Despite the risk of arguing ex silentio it is important to bear in mind that the surviving archives do not form a continuous line of evidence from the beginning to the end of the Ptolemaic Period. 5 Glossar 693.

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apparently writing ḥry ḫtmw-nṯr wyt. The scribe who wrote these two documents also wrote P. BM 10605 (98BC) where, however, he spelled the title as (line 1), (line 2), and (line 2a), or ḥry ḫtmw wyt. ,6 showing the honThe title ḫtmw-nṯr wyt is generally written as orific transposition of the noun nṯr before the noun ḫtmw. Similarly, the title mr ḫtmw-nṯr wyt shows the honorific transposition of the element nṯr before the noun mr as shown in P. Carlsberg 39a (183BC) (line 2) and P. Carlsberg 39b (183BC) (line 3). However, notwithstanding the fact that the orthography of this tall sign does resemble that of the noun ḥry, these are simply writings of the noun nṯr. Although in P. Hamburg 7 (99 BC) the orthography of this sign in some cases resembles that of the adverb ḥry, in P. BM 10605 (98 BC) the same scribe writes the adverb as , thus quite differently from this initial element of the title (see above). In addition, in P. Hamburg 12a (118BC) the title is written as (line 3) while in line 4 of this same rather than the document the noun wyt is written with the tall w more elaborate form used in most of the other documents. Similarly in P. Hamburg 12b (118BC), which writes (line 3) and (line 3a). Therefore, in those instances where the writing of the title shows a tall sign after the noun ḫtmw, this should be seen as an additional divine determinative, while instances where the noun ḥry is seemingly written, represent examples of a more unusual orthography of the noun nṯr.7 From the evidence available at present it is not clear whether the situation in the necropolis of Hawara extended to other parts of the Fayum as well. The fact that the title god’s seal-bearer and embalmer is attested at Tebtunis too (P. Cairo 30623)8 would suggest a certain uniformity in the titles used around this region. However, the titles lector-priest and choachyte are attested in two legal documents from Philadelphia, P. BM EA 10616 (244–243 BC) and P. BM EA 10750

6 Facsimile made from Hughes et al. 1997, Pl. 30, P. O.I. 25388, line 2. 7 A repetition of the divine determinative is commonly found in words that incorporate the noun nṯr, as, for example, in the case of the noun ‘temple.’ This repetition of the divine determinative is also attested from a hieroglyphic-Demotic funerary stela from Edfu, which was inscribed for Pakhom son of Lykos (22 March 18 BC), who bore the titles ḫtm nṯr, ꜥnṱ ‘perfum/unguent-maker’ and ḥry ꜥnṱ ‘chief perfum/unguent-maker.’ The hieroglyphic version of the text on the stela confirms that this additional stroke is not the noun ḥry (which is used in the title ḥry ꜥnṱ), but an additional divine determinative (Stadler forthcoming). See also below Chapter 5 § 5. 8 On the basis of its palaeography, Spiegelberg places the document around the early Ptolemaic Period, no later than the reign of Ptolemy IV and very possibly in that of Ptolemy III (1908, 76).

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(213BC).9 In the first of the two deeds party B is identified as ‘the lector priest of the mountain, the man of Troe, Pichos son of Teos, his mother being Heribastis’ (ẖr-ḥb n tw rmṯ try pꜣy-kꜣ sꜣ ḏ-ḥr mw.t=f hry-bꜣst.t), while in the second contract, contracting party A is identified as a choachyte. The archive of the Tanis embalmers does not help to shed further light on this topic because all the documents, except one, are written in Greek and the parties identified as either taricheutes or entaphiastes. No titles are preserved on the fragmentary text written in Demotic.

2

God’s Seal-Bearers (and) Embalmers as Lector-Priests and Choachytes

As mentioned above, the title of god’s seal-bearer and embalmer is attested at Hawara from at least the 30th dynasty. This is shown by P. O.I. 17481 (365– 364BC), a marriage document stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer Achomneuis and his half-sister, the woman Peseti daughter of the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Achoapis. This clearly indicates that the beginnings of the use of this title to refer to a specific class of mortuary priests are to be sought in the Late Period, or before, and do not represent a change that took place during the Ptolemaic period as a result of Hellenistic influence.10 This was a professional title used to identify individuals whose occupation was both that of a lector-priest and that of a choachyte.11 That one of the functions of the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers at Hawara coincided with that of the Theban lector-priests is indicated by P. Hamburg 9 (79BC), an oath concerning ownership of some liturgies, in which party A identifies party B as ‘Harmais son of Harmais (his) mother being Tamares, Psyllos son of Harmais, his brother, and Petesouchos, his brother, being three persons from among the lector-priests of the said necropolis (scil. Hawara)’ (ḥr-m-ḥb (sꜣ) ḥr-mḥb mw.t=( f ) ta-mꜣꜥ-rꜥ i҆rm pslꜣws (sꜣ) ḥr-m-ḥb pꜣy=f sn i҆rm pꜣ-ty-sbk pꜣy=f sn r s 3 ẖn nꜣ ẖr-ḥb.w n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t nt ḥry) (lines 6–7). That at least one of these individuals also bore the title of seal-bearer (and) embalmer is shown by P. Hamburg 4 (line 13) and P. Hamburg 8 (lines 12–13) (92 BC) where he is identified as ‘the seal-

9 10

11

Published by Glanville (1932) and Smith (1958) respectively. The title of course existed already during the Pharaonic period, what concerns us here is its attestation and use in documents belonging to individuals that can be clearly identified as having the same role as the mortuary priests of the Ptolemaic period. For a study of the evidence from the Pharaonic Period see Sauneron 1952. On the use of these titles in the Theban necropolis see Chapter 1 §4 and §6.

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bearer (and) embalmer of the necropolis of Hawara, Harmais son of Harmais (his) mother being Tamares’ (ḫtmw wyt ḥr-m-ḥb (sꜣ) ḥr-m-ḥb mw.t=( f ) ta-mꜣꜥ-rꜥ tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr). In P. Cairo 50128 (114BC) both party A and B are identified as ‘overseer god’s seal-bearer, embalmer and lector priest in the necropolis of Hawara’ (mr ḫtmw-nṯr wyt ẖr-ḥb tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr) (lines 9–11), where the title ẖr-ḥb (lector priest) is appended to the others without any indication of whether this should be understood as additional to, or explicatory of, the title god’s sealbearer (and) embalmer. In addition, the Greek docket appended to the contract recorded in P. Rendell (232BC) identifies the burial-income from the endowment transferred as ‘taricheias’ (ταριχείας) (line 3), while the dockets in P. Hamburg 4 (92BC) (line 5), P. Hamburg 8 (92 BC) (lines 1–2), P. Hamburg 5 (92 BC) (line 5) and P. Hamburg 6 (92 BC) (line 1) term it a ‘share of the funerary-income of the burial-ground of taricheutes’ [(δεχάτου) νεκριῶν ταριχευτῶν]. Similarly in P. BM 10604 (85 BC) where the share of the endowment transferred is said to be that ‘⟨˹of the funerary-income˺⟩ of taricheutes of the Labyrinth’ (⟨˹νεκρων˺⟩ ταριχευτῶν τῶν ὄντων ἐν Λαβυρίνθωι) (line 1), and in P. Hamburg 2 (83BC) which defines it as a share of the ‘funerary-income of the taricheutes of the dead’ (γέρως νεκρῶν ταριχευτῶν) (line 1).12 An indication that the profession of the god’s seal-bearers in the Fayum necropolis also encompassed that of choachytes is found in P. Carlsberg 37a–b (220BC), a document-of-calling, and in P. Hamburg 13 (84 BC), a loan agreement. In the first document the god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer Achomneuis, son of Pasis, accused of having caused harm to a mummy, is to take an oath before the god Tesenouphis in the presence of party B, the woman Tasis, daughter of Teos, and wife of the deceased in question, swearing that he has allowed no harm to befall it. Finally, party A states: ‘I will take him to the ḥ.t-tomb of Teos son of Pasis, your father, in the necropolis of Hawara, him being mummified, after he has been placed in my care (lit. hand) mummified’ (i҆w=y ṯ.ṱ=f r tꜣ ḥ.t ḏ-ḥr sꜣ p-si҆y pꜣy=t i҆ṱ n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr i҆w=f ḳs i҆w=w ty=s r ḏr.ṱ=y i҆w=f ḳs) (lines 7–8). Thus the document clearly indicates that one of the tasks of a god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer was that of burying a deceased person. In the second document, P. Hamburg 13 (84BC), party A, Kelol son of Maresisukos, Pemsais his son, and Harmais his brother, acknowledge receipt of a sum of money as a loan from Nechthyris the agent of the prophet of Sobek who (acts) for Plous a priest (in) the necropolis of Hawara. The document also includes an oath concerning the state of some bodies in the necropolis ‘(as for) those who are buried in the ḥ.t-tomb of Kephalon the son of Ptolemy, the man from Ptolemais

12

The readings of the dockets are those given by Hughes et al. 1997 and by Lüddeckens 1998.

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Hormou,13 together with those who are here in the necropolis of Hawara today (…), there is no falsehood in the oath (nor) malice to (him) which is among those above-(mentioned)’ (nꜣ nt i҆w=w ḳs ⟨n⟩ tꜣ ḥ.t kpln pꜣ šr ptlwmys ⟨pꜣ⟩ rmṯ ⟨rꜣ-tꜣ⟩ḥny ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt i҆w=w tꜣy14 ⟨n⟩ tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḥ.t-wr pꜣ hrw (…) bn i҆w ḳrf ꜥnḫ ꜥnd nt ẖn=w nt ḥry) (lines 10–16), which suggests that these mummies had been pledged as guarantee on the loan. This in turn indicates that entombed individuals could be pledged as guarantee because they were part of the property of these god’s seal-bearers and embalmers. Both Kelol and his son Pemsais are identified in P. BM 10603 (100BC) as ‘seal-bearer (and) embalmer in the necropolis of Hawara,’ while the latter is attested as ‘overseer seal-bearer (and) embalmer in the necropolis of Hawara’ in P. Hamburg 9 (79BC). If the activity of these people was only that of lector-priests and concerned solely the embalming of deceased individuals, as would appear to be the case in the Theban necropolis, how could entombed individuals be part of their endowments? In other words, if this tomb could be used as a guarantee on a loan it follows that it had to generate an income. Such income could only consist of the payments made by the families of deceased individuals to the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers who looked after the tombs and those buried therein, which is one of the tasks fulfilled in the Theban area by the choachytes.15 As noted above, already from the Late Period in the Hawara necropolis the same individuals worked both as choachytes and lector-priests, and were identified by the official title of god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer. Such a usage seems consistent with the artistic evidence analysed by Sauneron which suggests that the god’s seal-bearers were involved both in the mummification process of the deceased and in the subsequent burial rituals and ceremonies. Therefore, it is possible that this title continued to be employed, in the Fayum, throughout the Pharaonic Period, and that its use during the Ptolemaic Period represents a holdout from earlier times, resulting, perhaps, from the relative remoteness of this area less subject to changes affecting the rest of the country before the Greek domination.16

13 14 15 16

Although this could be translated simply as ‘canal man,’ it seems preferable to restore it as the name of the town. For this reading see Vittmann 1999, 281; Glossar 604. On the custom of using liturgies as pledges see Chapter 7. However, given the limited evidence available, it cannot be excluded that there was a hiatus in this use of the title god’s seal-bearer, and that it was reintroduced, possibly during the Late Period, as the two groups of funerary attendants were perhaps merged into one.

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Other Funerary Priests

3.1 Choachytes There are only few examples from Hawara for the existence and use of the title choachyte. The first example is found in P. O.I. 25261 (221BC), an acknowledgment of repayment of a loan, in which party A is the choachyte of Pharaoh Marres (Amenemhat III), Marres son of Nechetpara and Taremetjet[…]. In this case the title corresponds to that of door-keeper in the Theban area, and refers to that group of people who were employed in the cult of a specific god(s) or, as in this case, in that of a deified deceased Pharaoh. Another example is found in a deed from Philadelphia, P. BM 10616 (244–243 BC), where the title is used in the contract’s heading introducing the parties. It seems possible that this is another instance of an individual identified by the title choachyte whose occupation corresponded to that of the Theban door-keepers. The last example is found in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC), a letter concerning some misconduct, in which the writer apparently objects to the fact that the matter was not investigated ‘in accordance with (my being) a choachyte’ (line 18).17 The context is not entirely clear, but the use of this title in the letter may perhaps be explained by the less formal character of the document, and may be an indication of the existence of the profession carried out by people who in official documents were identified as god’s seal-bearers.18 3.2 Stolistai Another class of priests attested at Hawara is that of the stolistai who, as the Greek noun indicates, were responsible for the dressing of the god’s statues in temples, and, it is suggested, also served as funerary attendants who wrapped the mummified body of a deceased person.19 In the hieroglyphic version of the Synodal decrees they are identified as ḥry-sštꜣ (heryseshta), or overseer of the mystery.20 In the embalming ritual of the Apis Bull (P. Wien ÄS 3873, Late Ptolemaic Period) this individual plays the role of the god Anubis and is the person in charge of the ritual itself, as well as being responsible for the embalming of the head. Interestingly, in the Embalming Ritual recorded in P. Boulaq 3 this function is fulfilled by a god’s seal-bearer (ḫtmw-nṯr) under the supervision of the overseer of the mysteries.21 In this case the god’s seal-bearer, as well as the 17 18 19 20 21

Jasnow 2004, 267. On this text see below Chapter 4 § 5. Pestman 1990, 95 note 2. Hall 1986, 63–65. Smith 2009, 230 col. 7; Vos 1993, 37; Vos 1978, 262, 264. See also Chapter 11 §4 below.

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lector-priests, were subordinate to the latter, thus indicating that the difference in the titles is also reflective of the different status held by the various funerary attendants within the mummification process.22 Greek documents also indicate that the embalmers were subordinate to the stolistai, which is consistent with the fact that, as overseers of the mystery (ḥrysštꜣ), they had a higher status than the other embalmers. In PSI 857 (108 BC23) the son of a deceased individual writes to the stolistai of the Labyrinth requesting that they charge three of their assistants, Harmais son of Maresisukos, Siepmus and Se[so]osis, with the embalming of his father, Zenon.24 The understanding of the text hinges on the word therapeias (θεραπείας), which Edgar suggests refers to the embalming of a body rather than to the medical treatment of a patient. The same is also indicated by the possible identification of one of the named individuals with a known god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer in the necropolis of Hawara.25 That the embalmers named in PSI 857 (108 BC) were god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers is also shown by P. BM 10604 (85 BC), a contract of sale and cession of properties stipulated between two brothers, the overseer seal-bearer (and) embalmer Psyllos and the overseer seal-bearer (and) embalmer Petesouchos, sons of Harmais and Terpos. In the Greek subscription appended to the contract the share of the endowment sold is identified as a share ‘⟨˹of the burial income˺⟩ of taricheutes of the Labyrinth’ (⟨˹νεκρων˺⟩ ταριχευτῶν τῶν ὄντων ἐν Λαβυρίνθωι) (line 1). Another Greek document that indicates the stolistai were involved in the funerary industry is S.B. I 5216 (1st century BC)26 in which an Alexandrian chief physician, Athenagoras, requests

22

23

24

25

26

However, the same person could hold both titles as shown by P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC), from Memphis, where the same individual holds the title of Overseer of the Mystery and that of God’s seal-bearer. The date is suggested by Pasek (2007, 365–366) on the basis of the identification of the individuals mentioned with known God’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers of the Hawara necropolis. The document had previously been included among the papers part of the Zenon archive. However, according to Edgar (1939, 76–77), the handwriting is that characteristic of the later Ptolemaic period, thus, he suggests, the document should be dated either to 196– 195 BC in the reign of Ptolemy V, or to 172–171BC in the reign of Ptolemy VI. According to Roberts et al. (1952, 28), the latter date would seem preferable on the basis of a parallel between the name of one of the taricheutai in the present text and in P. Rylands 577 (146 or 135 BC) where the petitioner, a taricheutes, is the son of a certain Harmais. See also Derda 1991, 22. Harmais son of Maresisukos may be the same individual as the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Harmais son of Maresisukos which is contracting party A in P. BM EA 10605 (98 BC). The letter is dated to regnal year 14, Athyr 25, which Pestman suggests may be year 14 of

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the stolistai of the Labytinth to release the body of one of his men who was wrongly buried in the necropolis of Hawara, and send it to Ptolemais Hormou, at the entrance of the Arsinoite nome.27 3.3 Men of Anubis Another title attested in documents from Hawara, as well as in those from Memphis and Middle Egypt, is that of Man of Anubis. An example is found in P. Ashmolean D. 16 (1968.12) (69–68BC) in which the contractual parties A are identified as the ‘Dancer of Heliopolis, Man of Anubis in the shrines of Bastet and the shrine of Anubis.’ Three brothers, Harmais, Onnophris and Phatres, sons of the like-titled ˹Pahu,˺ sell six liturgical days in the shrine of Anubis to the seal-bearer (and) embalmer Marres, son of Harthothes. The sellers state: ‘you have caused our heart to agree to the price for our half day-[service, its half being ¼, being half day-service again in every month which makes 6 days’ service every year in the service as man of Anubis in the shrine aforesaid, it being built, it being equipped with] beams and door, which is in [H]awara (and) which is written above, together with its religious services, its purificatory offerings,28 together with its share of their štyrevenues (and) their festival offerings (from) the countryside, the town, the river, [the district, (and) any place, together with its share of the ꜥwꜥylinen, the endowed lands, together with all its share of any property which will ˹be received˺] for them, together with that which will be given in their name’ (tw=k mtr ḥꜣ.ṱ=n n pꜣ ḥḏ pꜣy=n gs hrw [šms tꜣy=f pš ¼ r gs hrw-šms ꜥn ẖr i҆bt nb nt i҆r hrw-šms 6 ẖr rnp.(t) nb n pꜣ šms n rmṯ i҆npw n tꜣ štꜣ.t nt ḥry i҆w=s ḳt i҆w=s grg n] sy sbꜣ nt n ḥ.[t]-wr nt sẖ ḥry ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f šms.w nꜣy=f ꜥrš.w ḥnꜥ tꜣy=f tny.t nꜣy=f šty.w nꜣy=f ẖny.w (n) sḫt tmy pꜣ yr [pꜣ ꜥt mꜣꜥ nb ḥnꜥ tꜣy=f tny.t nꜣ ꜥwꜥy nꜣ ꜣḫ.w n sꜥnḫ ḥnꜥ pꜣy=f tny.t nb nkt nb nt i҆w ˹šp=w˺] r-r=w ḥnꜥ tꜣ nt i҆w=w ty st rn=w).29 lines 2–4

27 28 29

Ptolemy X (101BC) or Ptolemy XII (68 BC), although the year 101 BC seems a more probable date (Pestman 1990, 95 note 13). See also Chapter 4 § 4 below. On the ‘religious services’ and the ‘purificatory offerings’ see Chapter 7 §1. The restoration is based on the deed of cession recorded on the same papyrus roll, which corresponds to P. Ashmolean D. 17.

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The formula used is very close to that employed in Theban contracts concerning the sale of liturgical days in various shrines.30 A comparison between P. Ashmolean D. 16 (1968.12) (69–68 BC) and the documents from the Theban area suggests that the profession of the Men of Anubis may have been similar to that of the Theban door-keepers employed in cultic services at various shrines. If this was the case, P. Ashmolean D. 16 (1968.12) (69–68 BC) indicates that individuals normally employed in the service of the deceased could also perform cultic functions at shrines dedicated to a god given that the buyer is a seal-bearer (and) embalmer. By contrast, in the Theban area there is no attested cross-over between the two professions, although this does not mean that there was any law or regulation preventing the Theban choachytes from working as door-keepers attached to divine cults. It is also suggested that some of the individuals bearing the title of Men of Anubis may have been involved in the deceased’s mortuary cult,31 although no evidence for this is found in the documents analysed here.

4

Territorial Jurisdiction of the Hawara Funerary Priests

The evidence indicates that a territorial division of competence was in place at Hawara, and that different god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers had jurisdiction over a specific territory, as clearly shown by various types of agreements stipulated between individual god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers or groups of them. In P. Ashmolean D. 18 (1968.13) (70–60BC) a group of 11 god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers take an oath concerning their territorial jurisdiction over the settlements of Ptolemais Hormou, Syron Kome, and Kerkesoucha Orous in the Polemon district, and swear that they will refrain from going to the said places to do the work of lector-priest, and from allowing any man do the said work in their names. This suggests they had been working in these villages without being authorised to do so, and have now been made to swear an oath so as to prevent them from infringing on others’ jurisdiction, although the document does not state in whose favour the oath was made, nor who was responsible for bringing them to ‘justice.’ It is interesting to note that they swear the oath together, seemingly acting as a group, rather than as individual lector-priests, although it is unclear whether they actually did work collectively, or if they were brought together simply because of having perpetrated the same offence. 30 31

For a number of these contracts see Botti 1967. Clarysse and Thompson 2006b, 182 and note 347.

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Some indirect evidence for a territorial division may be found in the Greek letter recorded in S.B. I 5216 (1st century BC). The letter was written by Athenagoras, a chief physician from Alexandria, who sent it with Nikias and Krokos, also from Alexandria, to the stolistai of the Labyrinth at Hawara.32 The letter concerns one of his men, Heraclides, who had apparently died in the area of Hawara while on a journey there, and was wrongfully buried in its necropolis. In particular, the sender refers to the death as having occurred ‘in your district’ (ἐπὶ τῶν τόπων) (line 4), which is probably to be understood as the district over which the stolistai had jurisdiction. That the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers had control over areas outside this main necropolis is also shown by a number of contracts concerning their funerary properties.33 In P. O.I. 25262 (292 BC), a donation deed, the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Achomneuis son of Peteneneteris, transfers to his son, the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Petosiris, rights to shares of endowments he owns not only in Hawara, but also in the necropolis of Pabunim and that of ˹ Waherker.˺ In P. BM 10603 (100BC) the seal-bearer and embalmer Pemsais, son of Kelol, pledges on the marriage document he drew up in favour of the woman Tamestasytmis, daughter of the seal-bearer and embalmer Harmais, his share of the endowment he owned in the necropolis of Hawara as well as those he had in five other towns.34 Similarly, in P. BM 10605 (98 BC) the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Harmais,35 son of Maresisukos, pledged on the marriage document he drew up for the woman Terpos, daughter of Pelaias, his shares of the endowment he owned in the necropolis of Hawara and those in the necropolises of Ptolemais Hormou, Syron Kome, Kerkesoucha Orous, Psenharyo, and Pasehhoriirties, five settlements on the outskirts of the district of 32

33

34

35

In the address, on the verso of the document, the letter does not specify that the stolistai, to whom it was addressed, are those of the Labyrinth, which indicates that it was personally delivered by Nikias and Krokos, rather than sent there (Pestman 1990, 95 note 14). P. O.I. 25262 (292 BC), P. BM EA 10603 (100 BC), P. BM EA 10605 (98BC), P. BM EA 10606 (93 BC), P. Hamburg 4 + 8 (92 BC), P. Hamburg 5 + 6 (92BC), P. BM EA 10604 (85 BC) and P. Hamburg 2 (83 BC). Although the document is damaged, the passage can be restored on the basis of P. BM 10605 (98 BC): ‘[the endowment of seal-bearer and embalmer in the necropolis of the Sobek town(s) of Ptolemais Hormou, Syron Kome, Psobthon Haryoteos, Pasehhoriirau], and Kerke[soucha Orous called] Patushenara, being 5 town(s)’ ([pꜣ sꜥnḫ ḫtmw wyt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t tmy sbk rꜣ-tꜣ-ḥny pꜣ-sbt-nꜣ-i҆šwr.w pꜣ-sbt-ḥr-ḫb-sꜣ-ḥr-wḏꜣ pꜣ-sḥ-ḥr-i҆.i҆r-ꜥw] pꜣ-grg-[˹sbk˺ ḏ.ṱ n=f ] pꜣ-tw-šn-ꜥrꜣ r tmy 5) (line 5) (Pasek 2007, 381 note 10). In P. Cairo 50128 (114 BC) Harmais, son of Maresisukos, is identified as ‘the overseer, a god’s seal-bearer, embalmer and lector priest of the necropolis of Hawara,’ while in the present document he is simply called ‘god’s seal-bearer and embalmer of the necropolis of Hawara.’

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Herakleides in the Arsinoite nome. A few years later the same individual made two separate donation deeds in favour of each of his two sons, Petesouchos and Psyllos, recorded in P. Hamburg 4+8 (92BC) and P. Hamburg 5 + 6 (92 BC) respectively, and concerning the same shares of endowments in the necropolis of Hawara and in those of Ptolemais Hormou, Syron Kome, Kerkesoucha Orous, Psenharyo, and Sele. P. Hamburg 4+8 (92 BC) specifies that the latter settlements are located on the outskirts of the district of Herakleides in the Arsinoe nome, while the Greek subscription in both deeds reads: ‘the funerary-income of taricheutes in Hawara and Ptolemais Hormu on the outskirts of the Herakleides district’ (γέρως νεκρῶν ταρικε(υτῶν) τῶν ὄντων περὶ Αὑῆριν καὶ Πτο(λεμαίδα) Ὄρμου τῶν ἔζω τόπ(ων) τῆς Ἡρα(κλείδου) με(ρίδος)) (lines 1–2). Some god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers appear to have had jurisdiction as far south as Herakleopolis, as indicated by P. BM 10606 (93BC). The latter is a marriage document that the seal-bearer36 (and) embalmer ˹Mare˺phaues, son of Nechsouchos, drew up in favour of the woman Tasouchis, daughter of the seal-bearer and embalmer Sochonopis, pledging as guarantee his shares of the endowment of seal-bearer and embalmer of the people of Tameten, which is in the district of Herakleopolis Magna, and his share of the endowment of seal-bearer and embalmer of the settlements of Perbit, Tafai, Nabikuharpochrates(?) and the areas opposite them, beside those he owned in the necropolis of Hawara. The same seal-bearer and embalmer also had endowments in areas to the north of Hawara. This is indicated by the Greek subscription in P. Hamburg 2 (83BC), recording his sale and cession of a number of funerary properties to his younger brother Maron, which identifies them as ‘the funerary-income of the taricheutes of the dead which is in the Labyrinth and in the area known as Persea’ (γέρως νεκρῶν ταρικευτῶν τῶν περὶ τὸν Λαβύρινθον καὶ τὸν δη(λούμενον) Περσέ(αν) τόπ(ον)) (line 1). The Demotic contract specifies that these endowments are located in the necropolis of Hawara and in those of Mendes and of Pawawa. The distance between the various necropolises in which different god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers had jurisdiction raises the question of how their work was organised, since the possibility must have existed that their presence was required in different necropolises at the same time. The available sources, however, do not provide any information on this subject. It is possible that they only provided some services in these more distant areas, for example being in charge solely of the burial of the deceased, while being involved with both the mummification and burial of

36

The title is only seal-bearer (ḫtmw) not god’s seal-bearer (ḫtmw-nṯr) (Lüddeckens 1998, 164 note 4a).

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deceased individuals in the principal necropolis to which they were attached. It is also possible that when acting in the capacity of embalmers they operated in groups, which would have allowed those residing at Hawara to travel to the other necropolises, and which would also explain the presence of a number of oaths taken by groups of god’s seal-bearers and embalmers in favour of others. In addition, there is some indirect evidence that suggests a zoning of the Hawara necropolis itself, each area being under the jurisdiction of a specific god’s seal-bearer and embalmer. Evidence for this is found again in P. Carlsberg 37a–b (220BC). From both documents it is clear that the deceased was mummified, presumably in the place where he died, by his son, also a god’s seal-bearer and embalmer. The dead man is then brought to Hawara where he is to be buried in the tomb of his wife’s father. However, the wife has to arrange for the burial with a god’s seal-bearer and embalmer of the Hawara necropolis, rather than the son arranging for his father’s burial himself, thus indicating that the various mortuary priests were in charge of different areas. In addition, the fact that, following her accusations to the mortuary priest, the wife does not engage another god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer to have her husband buried, may indicate that there was a territorial division within the necropolis itself, with the tomb where the deceased was to rest laying within the jurisdiction of this specific mortuary priest, and that another could not have stepped in to do the burial himself. This in turn raises the question of whether the mummification was carried out at the place of decease, or in the necropolis where the individual would ultimately be buried. The evidence of P. Carlsberg 37a–b (220BC) suggests the former, although this may not be a representative example. In P. Carlsberg 37a (220BC) the accused god’s seal-bearer and embalmer declares: ‘I am to call before Tesenouphis the god, in your presence on account of the burial of Pasis son of Pnepheros, his mother being Tasos, who is dead, (and) whom you had mummified (through the) god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Paesis son of Pasis aforesaid, his mother being Tasis, from the island-of-the-hound, (and) whom you had brought to Hawara’ (mtw=y ꜥš ḥꜣ.t tš-nfr pꜣ nṯr i҆.i҆r-ḥr=t ẖr tꜣ ḳs.t n p-si҆y sꜣ pꜣ-nfr-ḥr mw.t=f ta-swr nt mwṱ r-ty=t ḳs ⟨s⟩ ḫtmw-nṯr wyt p-n-i҆s.t sꜣ p-si҆y nt ḥry mw.t=f ta-si҆y n tꜣ mꜣy n pꜣ whr r-ty=t i҆n=w s r ḥ.t-wr) (lines 5–7). The fact that the dead man is said to have been brought to Hawara indicates that his mummification was performed elsewhere. However, the son of the deceased person was a god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer, which may mean that different arrangements had been made because of this. It is possible that the decision on where the mummification took place depended on how far from the place of normal residence, or of final burial, the decease occurred, as is perhaps suggested by the fact that in P. Lille 29 (223BC) there is specified the exact distance from the settlement that the other members of the association will travel in

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order to fetch their dead colleague. On the other hand the evidence of the letter recorded in S.B. I 5216 (1st century BC) indicates that a person dying in a certain area did not automatically give authority to the mortuary priests working in that area to bury him or her there. The chief physician Athenagoras requests in the letter that the stolistai of the Labyrinth at Hawara, who wrongfully buried the corpse of Heraklides in the necropolis there, release it without charge and convey it to Ptolemais Hormou, at the entrance of the Arsinoite nome.37 Pestman remarks on the fact that no undertaker can bury someone from outside his district, and therefore area of jurisdiction, without being clearly authorised to do so, and the fact that they were to release the body without receiving payment for it indicates that they had buried the body without authorisation.38 However, in the letter the body is said to be lying in the cemetery, which could mean that the deceased had been embalmed and temporarily placed in the cemetery (they could hardly leave the corpse unmummified and lying around the place where he died). The fee to which the letter makes reference could thus represent the compensation for both the mummification and burial. The fact that compensation is not offered for this service could suggest that they were not authorised to mummify and/or bury the deceased, even though the death had occurred within their area of jurisdiction, but it could equally have been omitted because other arrangements, of which no mention is made in the letter, had already been made.39

5

The Organisation of the Hawara Necropolis

One of the documents that may provide some additional information on the organisation of the Hawara necropolis is P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC), a letter of complaint, which understanding is still imperfect. The following table presents the two most recent transliterations and translations of this document followed by my own:40

37 38 39

40

Pestman 1990, 94–95. Pestman 1990, 95 notes 4, 8. It is possible, for example, that arrangements for the payment of these expenses had been made in the letter sent by the Alexandrian stolistai to those in Hawara, hence the omission from the present missive. The following transliterations and translations of the text are based on 1 = Jasnow 2004, 1a = Pasek 2007 (transliteration) and 2012 (translation), 1b = my own.

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Line Transliteration

Translation

Recto Harmouis ˹son of˺ [… is the one] who says: I do not desist from ˹greeting˺ Ephonychos (son of) Petenepheros, the temple scribe, Harmai, (Sohn) des Mare, d[er Choachyt], ist derjenige, der sagt: Ich bin nicht fern von den Grüßen des Efonch, (Sohn) des Petenefie, des Tempelschreibers. ḥr-mꜣy ˹sꜣ˺ [… pꜣ]41 nt ḏ bw-i҆r=y i҆r Harmouis ˹son of˺ [… is the one] who says: I do not wš nꜣ [sm]y.(w) n i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ (sꜣ) pꜣ-ty- stop ˹greeting˺ Ephonychos (son of) Petenepheros, nfr-ḥr pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr the temple scribe,

ḥr-mꜣy ˹sꜣ˺ [… pꜣ] nt ḏ bw-i҆r=y i҆r wš nꜣ ˹smy˺ r i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ (sꜣ) pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥr pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr ḥr-m-ḥb (sꜣ) mꜣꜥ-rꜥ ˹p˺[ꜣ wꜣḥ-mw pꜣ] nt ḏ bw-i҆r=y i҆r bnr nꜣ [sm]e.w n i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ (sꜣ) pꜣ-ty-nfr-yꜣ pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr

1

1a

1b

2

[t]y m-bꜣḥ pr-ꜥꜣ sbk i҆rm nꜣ nṯr.w nt ḥtp i҆rm=f [i҆.i҆r]=k gm pꜣ s 2(?) n pꜣy gy i҆r mt ḏ ˹ty˺ m-bꜣḥ pr-ꜥꜣ ˹mꜣꜥ˺-[rꜥ-sꜣ]-sbk i҆rm nꜣ nṯr.w nt ḥtp i҆rm=f b[n] gm nt i҆w=w n pꜣy gy i҆r mt ḏ [t]y m-bꜣḥ pr-ꜥꜣ ˹[mꜣꜥ-rꜥ-sꜣ-s]bk˺ i҆rm nꜣ nṯr.w nt ḥtp i҆rm=f s[t] gm pꜣ s 5 n pꜣy gy i҆r mt ḏ

[he]re before pharaoh, Sobek, and the gods who dwell with him. [Yo]u find the two(?) men in this manner of acting since Hier vor Premaresisobk und den Göttern, die mit ihm ruhen finde ich nicht das, was in dieser Art des Handeins ist sagend: [he]re before pharaoh ˹[Maresisu]kos˺ and the gods who dwell with him. The five men were found in this manner of arguing, because

3

i҆.i҆r=y ḫꜣꜥ ḥꜣ.ṱ r bš pꜣ sẖt n rmṯ m-sꜣ ḫpr ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t tp ꜣḫ.t sw 12 fy=w

3a

i҆.i҆r=y ḫꜣꜥ ḥ(ꜣ.ṱ)⟨=y⟩ r bš pꜣ sẖt n rmṯ nt i҆w=s ḫpr ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t tp ꜣḫ.t sw 12 fy=w

it is to remove the obstruction of a man that I set my mind. Now in year 20, first month of the inundation season, day 12, they brought Ich lasse mein Herz entblößen das Hindem der Mumie, das im Gezählten (Jahr) 20, Monat 1 der Achetjahreszeit, Tag 12 geschehen ist, als sie gebracht haben

2a

2b

41

There is not enough space for the restoration suggested by Pasek 2007.

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(cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

3b

i҆.i҆r=y ḫꜣꜥ ḥꜣ.ṱ r bš pꜣ sẖt n rmṯ nt i҆w=s42 ḫpr ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t tp ꜣḫ.t sw 12 fy=w43

I set my mind to remove the obstruction of a man which happened in regnal year 20, first month of the inundation season, day 12 (when?) was brought

4

[pꜣ] ḥtr i҆ir҆ -ḥr pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr sẖ=y ḫrw i҆ir҆ -ḥr pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t r bn-i҆w mt n ḥꜣ.ṱ=y ˹pꜣ˺ ḥtr ⟨sbk⟩ i҆ir҆ -ḥr pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr sẖ=y mi҆.t i҆ir҆ -⟨ḥr⟩ pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t r bn-i҆w mt n ḥꜣ.ṱ=y

4b

[˹pꜣ˺]44 ḥtr45 i҆i[҆ r-ḥ]r pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr sẖ=˹y˺46 ḫrw47 n ˹…˺48 pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t r bn-i҆w mt n ḥꜣ.ṱ=y

[th]e payment before the prophet of Sobek, the god. I wrote a petition before the overseer of the necropolis, there not being anything in my heart die Abgabe ⟨des Sobk⟩ vor den Propheten des Sobk, des (großen) Gottes. Ich habe eine Abschrift an den Nekropolenvorsteher geschrieben, von der gilt: es gibt keine Angelegenheit, die nach meinem Wunsch ist. [the] tax before the prophet of Sobek, the god. I wrote at the request of ˹…˺ (to?) the overseer of the necropolis, there not being anything in my heart

5

[sp]-2 ḏ i҆w=y (r) ty.t i҆w nkt r pꜣ i҆p n pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆ir҆ pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk ꜥš r-ḥr=y r i҆r mt nb

[at] all that I should cause that property come to the account of the prophet of Sobek. The prophet of Sobek promises to me to do everything.

4a

42 43 44

45 46 47 48

The writing is a very abbreviated one and the reading not certain, but it cannot be the writing for m-sꜣ because this occurs further down and its orthography is very different. The presence of the ‘strong arm determinative’ does not seem correct for the verb ‘fy,’ no examples of this writing are listed in the Glossar. There are two oblique strokes under ḥtr, one clearly part of the writing for the verb ḏ and the other possibly an f thus a suffix pronoun. The scribe at times writes this suffix pronoun below the line, as in line 2 (i҆rm=f ), but in this case the stroke seems to be written just before the noun ḥtr. Although the scribe has omitted to write the ‘strong arm determinative’ the reading of this noun as ‘tax’ seems to be the more appropriate in the context of the letter. The reading of this sign as the first person pronoun is not certain. A comparison between the noun m.t in line 4 and the word here in line 6 suggests that the two are not the same word, the reading ḫrw seems correct. The surviving traces do not appear to support Pasek’s reading. Perhaps it is a name as suggested by Clarysse (2005) and Depauw (2006, 343).

79

the hawara necropolis (cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

5a

[m-sꜣ] ḏ i҆w=y ty.t i҆w nkt r pꜣ rt n pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆.i҆r pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk ꜥš r-ḥr=y i҆r mt nb

5b

[m-s]ꜣ49 ḏ i҆w=y ty.t i҆w nkt r pꜣ i҆p50 n pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆.i҆r pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk ꜥš r-ḥr=y r i҆r mt nb

Danach ließ ich (meine) korrekte Amtsführung des Nekropolendienstes zur Prüfung durch den Propheten des Sobk gelangen. Der Prophet des Sobk hat zu mir gerufen, um jedes Wort zu tun. after that I should cause (that) property come to the account of the prophet of Sobek. While the prophet of Sobek promises to me to do everything.

6

[i҆w]=f i҆r i҆ḫ ḏ rḫ tw=y i҆w nkt r pꜣy=f i҆p ḫpr=y ˹ty˺ [n] ḥ.t-wr.t wbꜣ pꜣ bꜣk

[(But) he] does what, saying(?): “I cause (normally) that property come to his account.” I happened to be here [in] Hawara responsible for the [afore]said work. [i҆w]=f i҆r i҆nḫ ḏ rḫ tw=y i҆w nkt r pꜣy=f [Und] er leistete einen Eid sagend: “Wisse! Ich rt ḫpr=y ˹ty˺ n ḥ.t-wr.t r wbꜣ pꜣ bꜣk unterziehe (deine) korrekte Amtsführung des Nekropolendienstes ihrer Überprüfung.” Ich war hier in Hawara wegen der Arbeit, [i҆w]=f 51 i҆r i҆ḫ ḏ rḫ tw=y i҆w nkt r [H]e does what? Saying (to) know (that) I cause pꜣy=f i҆p ḫpr=y ˹ty˺ [n] ḥ.t-wr.t wbꜣ property to come to his account. I came ˹here˺ [in] pꜣ bꜣk Hawara for the work (afore)-

6a

6b

7

[rn]=f ḫpr [tꜣ wꜥ]b.t n pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥr n [p]ꜣ ḥm-nṯr nꜣ nṯr.w n [mn]-nfr(?) n i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 6 ṯ [rn]=f ḫpr [pꜣ ḫ]ny n pꜣ-ty-nfr-yꜣ n ˹pꜣ˺ ḥm-nṯr nꜣ nṯr.w n [mn]ḫ n i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 6 ṯ

7a

49 50 51

There happened [the purifica]tion of Petenepheros, [th]e prophet of the gods, in [Mem]phis(?) in the second month of ꜣḫ.t, day 6. There took [genannt]en. Es trat die Störung des Petenephies, des Propheten der wohltätigen Götter, im Monat 2 der Achetjahreszeit, Tag 6, ein,

The traces do not, in my opinion, support the reading [sp]-2. The writing is quite clearly that for the noun i҆p, while the determinative is certainly not the correct one for the noun rt proposed by Pasek. I am not sure the surviving traces can be read as the third person singular suffix pronoun since the scribe seems to write this below the line as a vertical stroke (see line 2) rather than with a curve, although the latter is the case in the writing of the name Ephonychos (i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ) in line 1.

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(cont.)

Line Transliteration 7b

[rn]=f 52 ḫpr [pꜣ ẖ]ny53 n pꜣ-tynfr-ḥr n54 ˹pꜣ˺ ḥm-nṯr nꜣ nṯr.w n [mn]ḫ55 n i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t ˹sw 6˺56 ṯ

8

[s nꜣ wꜥ]b[.w …] rḫ ḳm(?) ty w[bꜣ] pꜣ lwḥ wꜥb n tꜣ [ḫꜣs].t i҆w=y (r) ḏ r nkt ꜥšꜣy [i҆.i҆r nꜣ wꜥb.w tꜣ ḫꜣs.t i҆w]=y rḫ ḳm ty ⟨pꜣ nt⟩ w[bꜣ] pꜣ lwḥ wꜥb n [tꜣ] ḫꜣs.t i҆w=y ḏ r nkt ꜥšꜣy

8a

8b

9

Translation -said (when) there happened the disturbance / muddle of Petenepheros (one?) of the prophet(s) of the beneficent gods in the second month of the ꜣḫ.t season, day 6. Took

[him the pri]est[s …] able to […] here du[e to] the impropriety of purification in the [necro]polis. I (will) speak concerning many things [der vor die Wabpriester Nekropole gebracht wurde. Ich] werde hier etwas vorbringen können bezüglich desjenigen, der für (die Untersuchung) des Sakrileges in der Nekropole die Verantwortung trägt. Und ich werde bezüglich vieler Angelegenheiten sprechen, […] rḫ ḳm ty w[b]ꜣ pꜣ lwḥ tny57 n [tꜣ […] able to explain(?) here f[o]r the accusation (of ḫꜣs].t i҆w=y ḏ r nkt ꜥšꜣy the) tax of [the necro]polis (and) I will speak about many things [… p]ꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk m-sꜣ ḫpr [i҆]w(?) k.t tny.t ḫꜣs.t [(n)-tr.t … sꜣ mꜣy]-ḥs i҆rm [… sꜣ …]

52 53 54 55 56 57

58

[… th]e prophet of Sobek. But afterwards it happened [that there ca]me(?) another tax of the necropolis [from/in the hand of58 … son of Mi]usis together with [… son of]

The reading is not certain. The word seems to be spelt with only one n since the space would not be enough to restore another one. The initial letter could be either the third or the fourth h. The sign does seem to be the writing for the preposition n. Thus Clarysse 2009. Although a date is what one might expect, the signs do not seem to entirely support the reading sw 6. The surviving signs do not seem to entirely support the reading of wꜥb, tni҆.t seems a more likely and equally plausible reading, and also more in keeping with the following line where it mentions again the tax. This restoration is contradicted by the statement made further down where they are reassured that they will not be obstructed.

81

the hawara necropolis (cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

9a

[nt i҆w=y i҆n=w i҆.i҆r-ḥr p]ꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk nt i҆w=s ḫpr [i҆n]=w k.t tny.t ḫꜣ[s.t n-tr.t mꜣꜥ-rꜥ sꜣ mꜣy]-ḥs i҆rm s[yꜣ] (sꜣ)

9b

[… p]ꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk nt i҆w=s ḫpr ˹[i҆y]=w k.t tny.t˺ ḫꜣ[s.t … sꜣ mꜣy]ḥs i҆rm s[…] (sꜣ)

[die ich bereits gegenüber] dem Propheten des Sobk vorgebracht habe. Das ist geschehen, als sie einen anderen Nekropolenanteil [durch Mare, (Sohn) des Miu]si, Sia, [… th]e prophet of Sobek, which(?) happened ˹[there ca]me(?) another tax˺ of the necro[polis … son of Mi]usis and [… son of]

10

˹sṱꜣ=w-wty˺ mꜣꜥ-rꜥ-sꜣ-sbk (sꜣ) ẖnm[…] r s 3 nt ẖ[n nꜣ] ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ nt ꜥḥꜥ wbꜣ pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥr [rꜣ]by [i҆rm] mꜣꜥ-rꜥ-sꜣ-sbk (sꜣ) ẖnmm- ˹ḥꜣ.t˺ r s 3 nt [ẖn nꜣ] ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ.w nt ꜥḥꜥ wbꜣ pꜣ-ty-nfr-yꜣ

10a

˹Stoetis,˺ Maresisukos (son of) H̱ nm-[…] making 3 men who are a[mong the] lector-priests who are responsible for Petenepheros. (Sohn) des [La]bai, und Maresisobk, (Sohn) des Chnumes, welche drei Personen un[ter den] Festrollemezitatoren ausmachen, und die für Petenefie die Verantwortung getragen haben, zugewiesen haben. […˹L]obais˺ Maresisukos (son of) H̱ nm-[…] making 3 men who are a[mong the] lector-priests who are responsible for Petenepheros

10b

[…˹l]wby˺ mꜣꜥ-rꜥ-sꜣ-sbk (sꜣ) ẖnm[…] r s 3 nt ẖ[n nꜣ] ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ59 nt ꜥḥꜥ wbꜣ pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥr

11

[s]t i҆r n p[ꜣ b]ꜣk n pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t n pꜣ s 3 [Th]ey do th[e w]ork of the overseer of the necropi҆[s …] [nꜣ nt] i҆w=w (r) rḫ i҆r=w i҆s ⟨st⟩ olis, namely the 3 men. Be[hold! …] [… As for the i҆r n-i҆m=w things which] they will be able to do them, behold, ⟨they⟩ do them! [i҆w]=tn i҆r n p[ꜣy=w b]ꜣk n pꜣ mr [Und] ihr werdet ihre Arbeit für den Nekropolenḫꜣs.t n pꜣ s 3 i҆s [pꜣ] s [3 nꜣ nt] i҆w=w vorsteher anstelle der drei Personen durchführen. rḫ i҆r=w i҆s i҆r[=w] n-i҆m=w Siehe, es sind die drei Personen, die sie ausführen können. Siehe, sie führen sie bereits durch.

11a

59

For the translation of this title as lector-priest, see CDD letter H̱ , 56.

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(cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

11b

[s]t60 i҆r n p[ꜣ b]ꜣk61 n pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t n pꜣ s 3 ˹r˺ [… p]ꜣ s 5 rḫ i҆r=w i҆s i҆r=w n-i҆m=w

they do the work for(?) the overseer of the necropolis as/namely the 3 men [… th]e 5 men are able to do them, see, they do them

12

[r]-ḏbꜣ ḫpr nꜣ wꜥb.w nt wbꜣ pꜣ pr-nfr i҆w=w ꜥš r-r=w ḏ i҆.i҆r mt bn-i҆w rmṯ sḫ r-ḥr=tn (n) mt [r-ḏ]bꜣ ḫpr nꜣ wꜥb.w nt wbꜣ pꜣ pr-ḏt i҆w=w ꜥš r-r=w ḏ i҆.i҆r mt bn-i҆w rmṯ sḫ r-ḥr=tn (n) mt

12b

[r]-ḏbꜣ ḫpr nꜣ wꜥb.w nt wbꜣ pꜣ pr-nfr i҆w=w ꜥš r-r=w ḏ i҆.i҆r mt bn-i҆w rmṯ sḫ r-ḥr=tn (n) mt

[Now] it happened that the priests who attend the Good House were assuring them, saying: “Do a thing! No man will obstruct you (in) [any] Weil es die Wabpriester, die für die Balsamierungshalle die Verantwortung tragen, sind, sie rufen wegen ihnen sagend: “Mach das Wort”! Kein Mensch hat Gewalt über euch hinsichtlich des Wortes, because the priests who are at the ‘house of rejuvination’ promise them “Perform (lit. a matter), no man will obstruct you in (the) matter

13

[nb n p]ꜣ tꜣ r-ḏbꜣ ḫpr pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr ẖn ꜥḫl šꜥ-mtw sbk pꜣ nṯr ꜥꜣ nḥm=f šꜥ ḏ.t [rn]=f ˹pꜣ˺ tꜣ r-ḏbꜣ ḫpr pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr ẖn nꜣy=f ꜥḫr šꜥ-mtw sbk pꜣ nṯr ꜥꜣ nḥm=f šꜥ ḏ.t [rn]=f 62 [p]ꜣ tꜣ r-ḏbꜣ ḫpr pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk pꜣ nṯr ẖn63 ꜥḫr šꜥ-(m)tw sbk pꜣ nṯr ꜥꜣ nḥm=f šꜥ ḏ.t

thing [in th]e world.” But the prophet of Sobek, the god, is in a state of wrongdoing until Sobek, the great god, saves him for eternity. [genannten, des] Landes. Weil der Prophet des Sobk, des (großen) Gottes, in der Verfehlung bleibt, bis Sobk, der große Gott, ihn für immer rettet. aforesaid, at all.” Because the prophet of Sobek, the god, is in sin until Sobek, the great god, saves him for eternity,

12a

13a

13b

60

61 62

63

It makes more sense to restore the 3rd person plural pronoun rather than the 2nd person plural, as Pasek does, since the writer is clearly still talking about the individuals listed in the previous line. The presence of the ‘strong arm’ determinative suggests the reading of the word as ‘duty, tax,’ but this would not agree with the preceding verb i҆r. The restoration is suggested by the presence of a long oblique stroke in the space between the lines, although it is true that the scribe in general seems to write the 3rd person singular suffix pronoun more vertically. What Pasek reads as the possessive pronoun is in reality the determinative of ẖn and it is the same as in line 16 where he does take it as such.

83

the hawara necropolis (cont.)

Line Transliteration 14

14a

14b

15

15a

[n]ꜣy(?) tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t ḫꜣꜥ i҆ir҆ -ḥr pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-⟨nṯr⟩ sẖ=y m-sꜣ rmṯ n ⟨pꜣ⟩ nt i҆r pꜣy=s bꜣk [i҆w=n] m-sꜣ tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t r ꜥḥꜥ i҆ir҆ -ḥr pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr sẖ=y m-sꜣ rmṯ n ⟨pꜣ⟩ nt i҆r n pꜣy=n bꜣk

If(?) the matter of the overseer of the necropolis [i]s(?) placed before the temple scribe, I will write against(?) a man to ⟨the⟩ one who does its business. [Wir sind] hinter dem Wort des Nekropolenvorstehers, um vor dem Tempelschreiber zu stehen. Ich habe hinter die Mumie geschrieben wegen dem, der für unsere genannte Arbeit eintritt. [i҆w=w m]-sꜣ tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t ḫꜣꜥ64 i҆ir҆ - [(and) they have a cla]im (on) the matter of the overḥr pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr sẖ=y m-sꜣ rmṯ n nt i҆r seer of the necropolis placed(?) before the temple n pꜣy=s bꜣk scribe, (and) I wrote as a man who does its work,65 [b]n-i҆w ḥtr m-sꜣ=y n pꜣ(sic) mt pꜣ tꜣ bn-i҆w pꜣ rmṯ mḥt pꜣy=k ḥtr m-sꜣ pꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ s 3 nt sẖ ḥry [rn=f bn]-i҆w ḥtr m-sꜣ=y n pꜣ(sic) mt pꜣ tꜣ bn-i҆w pꜣ rmṯ mḥ pꜣy=k ḥtr m-sꜣ pꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ s 3 nt sẖ ḥry

15b

[b]n-i҆w ḥtr m-sꜣ=y n pꜣ(sic) mt pꜣ tꜣ bn-i҆w pꜣ rmṯ mḥt pꜣy=k ḥtr m-sꜣ pꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ s 3 nt sẖ ḥry

16

[… i҆bt 2] ꜣḫ.t sw 25 […] (sꜣ) sṱꜣ=wwty nt ẖn nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ n pr-nfr i҆w r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t

64

65

Translation

[N]o fee is due from me for a thing of the earth. The man will not seize your fee except for the 3 lectorpriests who are written above. [Kei]ne Abgabe (des Sobk) ist auf mir hinsichtlich irgendeines Wortes des Landes. Die Mumie erfüllt nicht deine Abgabe hinter den Festrollenrezitatoren, den 3 oben geschriebenen Personen. [there is n]o claim for tax on me (or) for anything at all. The man will not seize your tax except for (instead of?) the 3 lector-priests who are written above. [… (in) month 2] of the ꜣḫ.t season, day 25 […] (son of) Stoetis, who is from the lector-priests who are responsible for the Good House, came to the necropolis

The writing of this verb is different from that of the verb ꜥḥꜥ which occurs both as part of the compound noun ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ and as a verb for example in line 10. Perhaps we should restore the 3rd person plural suffix pronoun. Or perhaps ‘I wrote after a man to ⟨the⟩ one who does its work’ (sẖ=y m-sꜣ rmṯ n ⟨pꜣ⟩ nt i҆r n pꜣy=s bꜣk) restoring the determinative article and maintaining the preposition n.

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(cont.)

Line Transliteration 16a

16b

17

17a

17b

18

18a

18b

Translation

[ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2] pr.t sw 28 [syꜣ] [Im Gezählten (Jahr) 20, Monat 2 der Per]etjahres(sꜣ) rꜣby nt ẖn nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ nt ꜥḥꜥ n pr-ḏt zeit, Tag 28 ist Sia, (Sohn) des Labai, der unter den i҆w n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t Festrollenrezitatoren ist und in der Balsamierungshalle steht, in die Nekropole gekommen [ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆b]t 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 28 […] (sꜣ) [In regnal year 20, mont]h 2 of the ꜣḫ.t season, day ˹lwby˺ nt ẖn nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ nt ꜥḥꜥ n pr-nfr 28 […] (son of) ˹Lobais,˺ who is among the lectori҆w r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t priests who stand in the ‘house of rejuvination,’ came to the necropolis […] nꜣ 35 n wꜥ wyṱ r bw-i҆r=s ḫpr i҆w=y i҆ir҆ -ḥr nꜣ wꜥb.w r pr-nfr i҆n=y

[…] the 35 (day festival) of wrapping, whereas it does not happen that I come before the priests to the Good House. I brought [r.ḏbꜣ.ṱ tꜣ] 35.t n wꜥ wyṱ r bw-i҆r=s [aus Anla]ss des 35. Tages der Balsamierung, das ḫpr i҆w=y i҆.i҆r-ḥr nꜣ wꜥb.w r pr-ḏt i҆n=y noch nicht stattgefunden hatte, als ich zu den Wabpriestern der Balsamierungshalle gekommen bin. Ich habe gebracht […] nꜣ 35 n wꜥ wyṱ r bw-i҆r=s ḫpr […] the 35 (days ceremony) of single (lit. a/one) i҆w=y i҆ir҆ -ḥr nꜣ wꜥb.w r pr-nfr i҆n=y wrapping, whereas it does not happen. I came before the priests at the ‘house of rejuvination,’ (and) I brought […] nꜣ mt.w rn=w i҆r-ḥr=tn bnpw=tn(?) ḥꜥt-ẖ.t(?) i҆rm=y r-ẖ wꜣḥ-mw m-sꜣ pꜣ wn n ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ pꜣy(?)

[…] the aforesaid, matters before you(pl.). You(pl.) did not investigate(?) with me in accordance with (my being) a choachyte. But it is(?) the door-keeper of a lector-priest [n=w] nꜣ mt.w rn=w i҆r-ḥr=tn bndie genannten Angelegenheiten vor euch. Bezüglich pw=tn ḥ(ꜣt)=w i҆rm=y r-ẖ.t wꜣḥ-mw ihrer Wünsche wart ihr nicht mit mir einer Meint i҆w=s pꜣ wn n ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ r-ḥry nung gemäß des (Brauches) des Wasserspenders (Choachyten), von dem gilt: es ist der Schreinträger (Pastophor) des obigen Festrollenrezitators. [m-sꜣ?] nꜣ mt.w rn=w i҆r-ḥr=tn bn[after?] the said matters before you, do not (?) with (pw)=tn ḥꜣ.ṱ-ẖ(?) i҆rm=y r-ẖ wꜣḥ-mw me as (a) choachyte who is the door-keeper among nt i҆w=s(?) pꜣ wn n ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ r-ḥry the lector-priest(s) above,

85

the hawara necropolis (cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

19

[…] nꜣ mt.w nt i҆w=w i҆n n-i҆m=w i҆ir҆ ḥr=k i҆ir҆ [pꜣ] nṯr nḥm pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆w=y (r) i҆n=w i҆ir҆ -ḥr=f ꜥn m-sꜣ [nt i҆w=f i҆r] nꜣ mt.w nt i҆w=w i҆n ni҆m=w i҆ir҆ -ḥr=k i҆ir҆ pꜣ nṯr nḥm pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆w=y i҆n=w i҆ir҆ -ḥr=f ꜥn m-sꜣ […] nꜣ mt.w nt i҆w=w i҆n n-i҆m=w i҆ir҆ ḥr=k i҆ir҆ [pꜣ] nṯr nḥm pꜣ ḥm-nṯr sbk i҆w=y i҆n=w i҆ir҆ -ḥr=f ꜥn m-sꜣ

[…] As for the matters which they are bringing them before you, should the god save the prophet of Sobek, I (will) bring them before him also after[Denn er macht] die Worte, die sie gebracht haben vor dich. Wenn der (große) Gott den Propheten des Sobk nicht rettet, werde ich sie noch einmal vor ihn bringen. Danach […] the matters which they bring before you, if [the] god saves the prophet of Sobek, I will bring them before him again. After

[nꜣ]y(?) i҆w=y (r) ḏ nꜣy r-r=s bn-i҆w ḥtr ḫpr m-sꜣ=y hb r-ẖry ˹ḫpr˺ i҆w=y ḏ nꜣy r-r=s bn-i҆w ḥtr ḫpr m-sꜣ=y hb r-ẖry […] i҆w=y ḏ nꜣy r-r=s bn-i҆w ḥtr ḫpr m-sꜣ=y hb r-ẖry

[ward]s(?). I (will) say these things concerning it. No fee will be due from me. Send down werde ich dieses in Bezug auf es sagen. Es ist keine Abgabe auf mir. Schick es hinunter […] I will say these concerning it: no tax is due from me. Write/Send down

1 1a

nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ r ḫpr ˹wbꜣ˺ nꜣy ẖr-ꜥḥ.wꜥ r ḫpr ˹wbꜣ˺ pꜣ[y=n bꜣk]

1b

nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ r ḫpr ˹wbꜣ˺ pꜣ[…]

the lector-priests to become ˹responsible for˺ zu diesen Festrollenrezitatoren, die [stehen für unsere Arbeit]. (to) the lector-priests to become ˹responsible for˺ […]

2

tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t n ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2 […]

2a

tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t n i҆w=tn i҆r [pꜣ] b[ꜣk]

2b

tꜣ mt mr ḫꜣs.t n ˹ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2˺ […]

3

ḥtr r nꜣ wꜥb.w ˹n pr-nfr˺ […]

19a

19b

20 20a 20b

Verso

the matter of (the) overseer of the necropolis in year 20, second month […] (Was) das Wort des Nekropolenvorstehers (anbetrifft) bezüglich: Ihr werdet [die] Ar[beit] durchführen. the matter of (the) overseer of the necropolis in ˹regnal year 20, second month˺ […] Exert pressure(?) upon the priests of the Good House(?)

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(cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

3a

pꜣ] ḥtr n nꜣ wꜥb.w ˹nt˺ w[bꜣ pꜣ] pr-ḏt mtw=tn

3b

ḥtr r nꜣ wꜥb.w ˹nt n pr-nfr˺ mtw=tn

[Die] Abgabe ist für die Wabpriester, die für die Balsamierungshalle die Verantwortung tragen. Und ihr seid tax to/against the priests who are in the ‘house of rejuvination,’ and you are (to)

4 4a 4b

˹nḫt.ṱ˺ m-sꜣ […] r tm ti҆.t ḫpr ˹nḫt.ṱ˺ m-sꜣ [nꜣ ẖr-ꜥḥꜥ.w] r tm=w r ti҆.t ḫpr ˹nḫt.ṱ˺ m-sꜣ […] r tm ti҆.t ḫpr

Protect me after […] so as not to permit to happen stark hinter den Festrollenrezitatoren, damit sie nicht verhindern können, dass entstehen wird protect me/him(?) after […] so as not to permit to happen

5 5a

pꜣ nt ḥwꜣ r ˹pꜣ˺ ḥm-nṯr sbk šꜥ ḏ.t pꜣ nt ḥwꜣ n [pꜣ] ḥm-nṯr sbk šꜥ ḏ.t

5b

pꜣ nt ḥwꜣ r ˹pꜣ˺ ḥm-nṯr sbk šꜥ ḏ.t

that which is evil for ˹the˺ prophet of Sobek forever. das, was (die) Ausdehnung des Propheten des Sobk ist, für immer. that which is evil for ˹the˺ prophet of Sobek forever.

6 6a 6b

[…] ḫpr i҆.i҆r=k i҆wṱ[=y i҆rm=w] (?) i҆w=y ḫpr […] ḫpr

[…] to happen Du bist zwisc[hen mir und ihnen. Ich werde […] to happen

7 7a 7b

i҆ir҆ -ḥr w[ꜥb …] wpy(?) i҆ir҆ -ḥr wꜥb [ḥr-mꜣy-]ḥs (sꜣ) s[yꜣ] i҆ir҆ -ḥr w[ꜥb …]

before a pri[est …] to judge(?) vor dem Wabpriester Harmiu]si, (Sohn) des S[ia] before a pri[est …]

8 8a 8b

pꜣ ꜥ.wy n wꜥb i҆rm(?) nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w pꜣ ꜥ.wy ˹rmṯ mꜣy-ḥs˺ [i҆rm] nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w pꜣ ꜥ.wy ˹n w[ꜥb] i҆rm˺ nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w

the house of a priest with(?) his children bezüglich des Hauses der Mumie des Miusi und seiner Kindern sein, the house/hand(?) ˹of a priest and˺ his children

9 9a 9b

šꜥ ḏ.t tw=y ˹tbḥ˺ n-i҆m=s šꜣꜥ ḏ.t tw=y [i҆r bꜣk] n-i҆m=s šꜣꜥ ḏ.t tw=y […] n-i҆m=s

forever. I am requesting(?) it. für immer. (Denn) ich [mache die Arbeit] daran. forever. I am […] it.

10 10a

my hb⟨=w⟩ n=y (n) pꜣy=k wḏꜣ my hb n=y (n) pꜣy=k wḏꜣ

Let ⟨one⟩ write to me concerning your health. Bitte schreib mir bezüglich deiner Unversehrtheit.

87

the hawara necropolis (cont.)

Line Transliteration

Translation

10b

my hb⟨=w⟩ n=y (n) pꜣy=k wḏꜣ

May ⟨it be⟩ written to me (about) your health.

11 11a 11b

ḫꜣꜥ s r ḥꜣ.ṱ=y r i҆r pꜣy=s i҆n-nfr ḫꜣꜥ=s ḥ(ꜣ.ṱ)=y pꜣ nt [i҆w=f ] i҆r pꜣy=n mnḫ ḫꜣꜥ s r ḥꜣ.ṱ=y r i҆r pꜣy=s i҆n-nfr

Place it upon my heart to do its good Mein Herz überlässt es demjenigen, der ihre Vollkommenheit macht. Place it upon my heart (= trust me?) to do its good

12

m-šs sẖ n ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 25

12a

m-šs sẖ n ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 28

12b

m-šs sẖ n ḥꜣ.t-sp 20.t i҆bt 2 ꜣḫ.t sw 28

exceedingly. Written in year 20, second month of the inundation season, day 25. Geschrieben im Gezählten (Jahr) 20, Monat 2, der Achetjahreszeit, Tag 28. exceedingly. Written in regnal year 20, second month of the inundation season, day 28.

13

bn-i҆w mt i҆w=y i҆n.i҆w.k n-i҆m=s

13a 13b

bn-i҆w mt r i҆w=y i҆n.i҆w.k n-i҆m[=s] bn-i҆w mt i҆w=y i҆n.i҆w.k n-i҆m[=s]

There exists no matter concerning which I am coming, Es gibt kein Wort, wegen dem ich kommen werde There is no matter concerning which I am coming,

14 14a 14b

gꜣ šꜥ mtw=k hb n=y gꜣ šꜥ mtw=k hb n=y gꜣ šꜥ mtw=k hb n=y

or until you send to me. oder bevor du mir schreiben wirst. or until (before?) you write to me.

[i҆.i҆r-ḥr i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ (sꜣ) pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥr] pꜣ sẖ ḥ.t-nṯr

[to Ephonychos son of Petenepheros] the temple scribe

A number of questions arise from this text. In the first place, why did the sender write to the temple scribe? Was he writing to him because of his position as representative of the temple? At Thebes, for example, temple scribes received payment of funerary taxes on behalf of other officials. Certainly the wording of the letter’s ending, and the fact that the sender proposes a course of action to the recipient, asking him to exert pressure over the priests of the pr-nfr, suggests that he was not the son of the dead man. Furthermore, the sender informs the scribe that he has petitioned the overseer of the necropolis, an official in charge of the organisation of the necropolis, according to the evidence from

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Thebes, and to whom funerary taxes were paid.66 The sender also states that the prophet of Sobek, to whom the tax was paid, assured him that he would do ‘everything,’ presumably suggesting that he would pay the money to the rightful recipients. Line 15 suggests that this fee was intended as a payment for the lector-priests and that they were, therefore, the rightful recipients. However, the sender appears to state that the necropolis tax was requested again from him, possibly by the lector-priests themselves or by the relevant authorities. This in turn raises the question of the identity of the sender. Why was he asked again for payment of this tax? The evidence from Thebes indicates that funerary taxes were paid, on behalf of the family, by the mortuary priest in charge of the deceased. This suggests that the sender was a mortuary priest in charge of the deceased Petenepheros. In addition, the fact that he seems to have been accused of regularly making unlawful payments to the prophet suggests that he was acting in a professional capacity, rather than as a relative of the deceased. The sender also indicates that there was ‘impropriety during the purification of the deceased,’ and that ‘the priests of the pr-nfr told the lectorpriests to get on with the work.’ This suggests that the lector-priests stopped working because they had not been paid, which probably resulted in further decomposition and damage to the body. This would explain the lapse of time between the payment of the fee, around the time of death, and the beginning of the final wrapping ceremony. Table 1 shows the timeline of the events as described in the letter and as they should have occurred during the normal mummification process.67 If death occurred around day 12 in the first month of the inundation season, the mummification process proper should have started on day 16 of the same month, that is, four days after death. A first stage in this process would have lasted for about ten days or so, and then the next one, known as the pr-nfr, would have started around day 28 of the same month. This would have lasted for about 16 days when the next and final stage begun, that of the 35-days wrapping ceremony. The latter should have started on day 14 of the second month of the inundation season, which means that the embalmment would have ended on day 19 of the third month of the inundation season, that is, 35 days later. Instead, the whole process appears to have been delayed by about 16 days given that the 35-days wrapping ceremony does not appear to have started until day 28 of the second month of the inundation season. If this interpretation is cor-

66 67

On this subject see Chapter 13 § 3 and Chapter 15 § 3. On the mummification stages see further Chapter 11 §3.

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the hawara necropolis table 1

Timeline of the events described in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC)

Month

Days

Events described in the letter

Timeline of mummification process

First month of inundation

Day 12

Payment was brought to the prophet of Sobek

Death of Petenepheros?

Second month of inundation

Day 16

Day on which the mummification proper should have started

c. Day 28

Day on which the pr-nfr stage should have started

Day 6

‘muddle’ of Petenepheros

Day 14

Day 28

Third month of inundation

Day 19

Day on which the 35-days wrapping ceremony should have started 35-(days ceremony) of wrapping begins? Day of burial

rect, the fact that the embalmers stopped working suggests that the payment was intended to cover both the tax amount and the actual cost of the mummification of the deceased. P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC) is the only document, outside the Theban area, in which the title of overseer of the necropolis occurs and, therefore, it remains unclear whether this should be taken as evidence for a change in the organisation of the Hawara necropolis during the last century BC, or if the fact that it is not attested outside Thebes is simply the result of accidents of preservation. As noted above, a comparable office appears to have been held by one of the god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers who bore also the title of overseer.68

68

See Chapter 4 § 1.

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Consequently, it is possible that, as was the case with the title of choachyte,69 the use of the title of overseer of the necropolis in this letter is due to the less formal character of the document. Another individual mentioned in the letter is the prophet of Sobek to whom the tax was apparently paid, although it is not clear whether he should be identified with the overseer of the necropolis, or if he was another official connected to the funerary sphere. From the petitions in the archive of the Tanis embalmers it appears that the temple had some involvement in the activities of the embalmers operating within a certain area, and that the income from this activity was managed by the prophet of Sobek in Krokodilon polis. The object of these petitions was the right to embalm and bury the deceased from Tanis, rights that had originally belonged to a certain Psenephmous, son of Paos, from nearby Philadelpheia. The latter died during the great revolt in the reign of Ptolemy IV, and his embalming rights were divided among three funerary workers of Philadelpheia. Interestingly, it appears that the embalmers received an annual fixed sum of 4000 drachmae, rather than being paid by the families of the deceased in their care. However, this situation may have been out of the norm since it is possible that the disputed embalming rights had been claimed by the temple, following the death of Psenephmous, which would, therefore, have received part of the profits.70 Nevertheless, the letter recorded in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC) does indicate that the prophet of Sobek had some involvement in the organistion of the Hawara necropolis, although its exact nature is not entirely clear from the available evidence. 69 70

See Chapter 1 § 4. Armoni 2013, 16, 21–22.

chapter 5

The Necropolises in Middle Egypt The picture emerging from the analysis of documents from Middle Egypt, limited, geographically, to Oxyrhynchus, Deir er-Rifeh, Siut, Sharunah and Akhmim, is not an entirely clear one, mainly due to the paucity of surviving evidence, and the fact that what is available is dispersed both spatially and temporally. In particular, it is not entirely clear whether the organisation of these necropolises was always distinct from that of other parts of the country and only later modelled onto that of Hawara, or if it shared parallels with the Theban necropolis at first, and then underwent changes due to the spread of influence from the Fayum southwards. The titles attested during the period under analysis are: ẖr-ḥb, ḳs, rmṯ ẖr-nṯr, ḫtmw-ꜥḥꜥ=f-n-nṯr, ḫtmw-nṯr, ḫtmw-nṯr wyt and necrotaphos, which use appears to vary both temporally and geographically within this region. For the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC the only titles attested are those of lectorpriest and embalmer, while there is no evidence for the existence of individuals performing the function of the Theban choachyte. Lack of evidence does not necessarily imply that these individuals did not exist, since it is entirely possible that no archives belonging to them have survived. However, it is equally possible that such a function was always performed by the same individuals, the lector-priests, as was the case at Hawara, although under a different professional title. During the 1st century BC the mortuary priests of Middle Egypt adopted the professional title of god’s seal-bearer, although they continued to describe their activity as that of a lector-priest. The evidence suggests that, at this time, they may also have worked as choachytes, at least with respect to the burial of a dead person, although there is no evidence with respect to their performance of the mortuary cult of the deceased. At first, the surviving sources suggest that there was a certain geographical variation in the use of titles for mortuary priests in this part of the country. This would not be entirely surprising since the area of Middle Egypt is a rather vast one, and local variations are likely to have been present. However, in view of the evidence from Lower Egypt, and the temporal change in the titles borne by the mortuary priests at Memphis, it seems possible that what is apparently a geographical variation is in reality a temporal change. The lack of evidence for the use of the title god’s seal-bearer at Siut could thus be attributed to a lack of evidence dating to the first century BC when the latter title seems to come into use at Sharunah. This may be linked to the change in the titles used by the mor-

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_007

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tuary priests, witnessed at Memphis during the 2nd century BC, and resulting from the spread of funerary practices from the Fayum northward to Memphis and southward to Middle Egypt. The adoption of the title of god’s seal-bearer in this part of the country suggests that, as was the case at Memphis, internal changes were gradually and constantly taking place within the mortuary sphere, and that the later appearance of new titles to identify the necropolis workers is to be understood as a resulting development of this process.1

1

The Head of the Necropolis

No evidence is available with respect to officials that acted as head of the necropolis, such as the overseer of the necropolis and the lesonis. The only indication available on the presence of individuals responsible for the enforcement of rules within the necropolis is the mention in P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC) of ‘the people (?) the law’ (nꜣ rmṯ.w (?) pꜣ hp) (line 2), although it does not specify any further professional title they may have held. If an overseer of the necropolis was present among these individuals, one would expect him to be mentioned, since he would be in charge of the necropolis organisation and supervision.

2

Lector-Priests and Embalmers

From the area around Siut and Deir er-Rifeh there is evidence for the use of two titles, that of ẖr-ḥb or lector-priest, and that of ḳs or embalmer. In the proceedings of a family lawsuit brought before the Laocritae in Siut, the defendant is identified as a lector-priest, as are his father and his brother.2 The same title is also used to identify their profession, as indicated by the list of a number of offices and properties recorded in P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC) which include: ‘the ⅓ share of the work as lector-priest in Siut, of which the other ⅔ share belongs to me (scil. Twt)’ (tꜣ tny.t ⅓ n tꜣ wp.t n ẖr-ḥb n sywt nt i҆w wn-mtw=y tꜣ k.t tny.t ⅔) (col. Bvii line 10), and the ‘⅓ share of my (scil. Twt) ¼ share of the work as lector-priest (in) Shaiueshetep and its (neighbouring) areas’ (tꜣ tny.t ⅓ n tꜣy=y tny.t ¼ n tꜣ wp.t n ẖr-ḥb š-i҆w=s-ḥtp i҆rm nꜣy=f mꜣꜥ) (col. Bvii line 11). The same title is attested in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), an agreement concern-

1 Cannata 2009; see also Chapter 18. 2 Thompson 1934.

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ing the provision of cloths and other items, for the mummification process, in which both parties are identified as ‘lector-priest in the necropolis of Taanch of Siut’ (ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n tꜣ-ꜥnḫ n sywṱ) (lines 10–11). The same document also mentions the title ḳs as part of the compound noun rmṯ i҆w=f ḳs, literally ‘a man who embalms’ (line 19). Papyrus fragments from mummy cartonnage found at Deir er-Rifeh, near Siut (Greek Lycopolis), provide evidence for the concurrent use of the titles of lector-priest and embalmer. This is the case in P. UC 32223 (2nd cent. BC), a Demotic household record drawn up for administrative purposes, and consisting of 21 columns in various states of preservation, which lists a large number of people arranged by profession and by household. The individual entries are headed by a professional title followed first by the names of the individuals bearing such a title, and then by the total number of persons, as well as the total of males among them. Thus column xiii lists: ‘Lector-priest(s): ˹Petearmotes˺ (son of) […], Sen-[…] his woman, Petophois son of Totoes, Tapsais his woman, Tau[…], the woman of Chapochrates, (being) five persons (of whom) two male’ (ẖr-ḥb ˹pꜣ-ty-ḥr-mtn˺ (sꜣ) […] tꜣ-šr.t-[…] tꜣy=f rmṯ.t pꜣ-ty-wp(-wꜣw.t) sꜣ twt tꜣ-pꜣ-šꜣy tꜣy=f rmṯ.t tꜣ-w[…] tꜣ rmṯ.t ꜥnḫ-pꜣ-ẖrṱ rmṯ 5 (wp-st) ḥwṱ 2). lines 321–329

Column xiv of the same document lists: ‘Embalmers: Nepheros son of Pabechis, Ire(t)djel[…], Horos son of Har[…], Tathotes his woman, Psenosiris son of Petophois, Pe his woman, Pachnoumis son of Pais, Ta-[…] his woman, Har-tj[…] son of Psen-[…], ˹T˺rase his woman, Timinis son of Pais, Tlolous his woman, Thotomous son of Imouthes, Senchnoumis his woman, […] (son of) Thotomous, Senarbekis his woman, X Pabechis son of […], X Tabekis his woman, X Ephonychos son of Har-[…], (being) 19 persons (of whom) ten male’ (ḳs nꜣ-nfr-ḥr sꜣ pa-bi҆k i҆r.(t)-ḏl-[…] ḥr sꜣ ḥr-[…] ta-ḏḥwṱ tꜣy=f rmṯ.t pꜣ-šr-wsi҆r sꜣ pꜣ-ty-wp(-wꜣw.t) pe tꜣy=f rmṯ.t pa-ẖnm sꜣ pa-ḥy ta-[…] tꜣy=f rmṯ.t ḥr-ṯ-[…] sꜣ pꜣ-šr-[…] ˹tꜣ˺-rš tꜣy=f rmṯ.t t-mn sꜣ pa-ḥy tꜣ-rlw tꜣy=f rmṯ.t ḏḥwṱ-mꜣꜥ sꜣ i҆ym-ḥtp tꜣ-šr.t-ẖnm tꜣy=f rmṯ.t […] (sꜣ) ḏḥwṱ-mꜣꜥ Tꜣ-šr.t-ḥr-pꜣ-bi҆k tꜣy=f rmṯ.t X Pa-bi҆k sꜣ […] X Ta-bi҆k tꜣy=f rmṯ.t X I҆w=f-ꜥnḫ sꜣ Ḥr-[…] rmṯ 19 (wp-st) ḥwṱ 10).3 lines 345–365 3 Clarysse and Thompson 2006a, 540–565.

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Some of these individuals are also listed in P. UC55871 (2nd cent. BC), a record of male individuals grouped by occupation, but without reference to household: ‘Lector-priest(s): Petearmotes [son of …], Petophois son of Totoes, total two. Embalmers: Nepheros son of Pabechis, Psenosiris son of Petophois […]’ (ẖr-ḥb pꜣ-ty-ḥr-mtn [sꜣ …] pꜣ-ty-wp(-wꜣw.t) (sꜣ) twt r 2 ḳs nꜣ-nfr-ḥr sꜣ pabi҆k pꜣ-šr-wsi҆r sꜣ pꜣ-ty-wp(-wꜣw.t) […]).4 Fragment 2, column iv, lines 179–185

However, there is no further published evidence from these areas concerning the titles of the mortuary priests, especially during the 1st century BC, and it is, therefore, not possible to determine whether a change in the titles used occurred here as seems to have been the case at Hutnesu, modern Sharunah.5

3

Man of the Necropolis

Another title found in documents from Middle Egypt is rmṯ ẖr-nṯr, which is used in combination with the other titles borne by the various mortuary priests, and is unattested from other parts of the country. In P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC) this title is used in the identification of the two contracting parties: the ‘necropolis man, a seal-bearer who attends the god, in the necropolis of Taachitar[…], Harpaesis, son of Thoteous and Esoeris, together with the like-(titled) Thoteous, son of Harpaesis, and Krysis, his son’ and ‘the necropolis man, a god’s seal-bearer in the necropolis in the north of Herakleopolis Magna (˹Ḥ.t-nnnsw˺), Horos, son of Heremdjertief and Senpsais.’ H̱ r-nṯr, literally ‘god’s domain’ or more generically ‘necropolis,’ occurs in a number of religious texts such P. Berlin P. 8351 (1st century AD) (col. II line 1), (col. IV line 18), P. Strasbourg 3 (1st century AD) (verso, col. x + V line 4),6 and P. Louvre N. 3279 (Late 1st century BC–1st century AD),7 while it is also found in other types of documents where it is used in apposition to the noun rmṯ. The title rmṯ ẖr-nṯr has been variously translated as ‘ghost,’ ‘one belonging to god,’ ‘deceased person’ and as ‘necropolis man.’8 In Demotic it occurs, among others, in the following documents: 4 5 6 7 8

Clarysse and Thompson 2006a, 566–579. See Chapter 5 § 5 below. Smith 1993, 24, 28, 30, 33, 40 note b with further references, 113, Pls. 2, 3 and 11. Goyon 1966, 39 note 4. Glossar 247, 386; CDD letter H̱ , 58–60.

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P. BM EA 10622 (137BC)9 P. Mallawi 602/7 (101BC)10

P. Cairo 30692 (Ptolemaic Period)11 P. Cairo 30758 (Ptolemaic Period)12 P. Louvre E 2229 (Roman period)13 This title may be synonymous with the compound noun rmṯ ḫꜣs.t, which employs the more common noun for ‘necropolis,’ thus meaning either ‘man of (the) necropolis’ or ‘foreigner,’ and/or with rmṯ (n) i҆mnt, ‘person of (the) west,’ that is, a deceased person. It is also possible that both rmṯ ẖr-nṯr and rmṯ ḫꜣs.t were used to denote magicians who frequented the cemeteries and were believed to have the power to summon the deceased and compel them to carry out their orders.14 This is probably the case in the self-dedication recorded in P. BM EA 10622 (137BC) where the title occurs as part of a list of harmful beings and evils from which the supplicant seeks protection. On the other hand, a translation of this title either as ‘deceased person’ or ‘ghost’ may not always be entirely correct. In P. Cairo 30692 (Ptolemaic Period) and P. Cairo 30758 (Ptolemaic Period) Setne has already had an encounter with a dead man who is identified as ‘great man’ (rmṯ ꜥꜣ) and who, therefore, has to be distinguished from the ‘man of (the) necropolis’ (rmṯ ẖr-nṯr) that he encounters later.15 In both these texts the emphasis seems to be on the fact that the ‘man of (the) necropolis’ can either recite(?) spells, or help Setne find a tomb. It seems possible, therefore, that the individuals thus titled were believed to have particular (magical) powers or knowledge that would distinguish them from other individuals, and that these powers would be retained after death and could be still used by their owners. Finally, the fact that this title is used in a contract, P. Mallawi 602/7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Thompson 1941, 69–71, Pl. XII, line 12. Zaghloul 1991, 261–262 note b, Pl. 75, lines 1 and 2. Spiegelberg 1908, 112–115, Pl. LI, line 11; Zauzich 1976, 79–80 and note a. Spiegelberg 1908, 145–148, Pl. LVIII, line 5; Zauzich 1976, 79–80 and note a. Johnson 1977, 60, 67, 78 note 2/11, Pl. 11, col. 2 line 19. Smith 1987, 117 note c; Smith 2005, 161 note e with further references. I am indebted to C. Adams for this information and for our discussion on this subject. See also Adams 2007, 6–19. In P. Louvre E 2229 (Late 1st century BC–1st century AD), in view of the late date of the text, the compound was probably used attributively.

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(101BC), as a title borne by a living person suggests that it could also be used as a general designation for individuals who worked in the necropolis without further specification as to their actual occupation. It may be just possible that these people worked as magicians or wise-men as well, but the documents analysed provide no evidence at all on this possibility. Another title deriving from the compound noun ẖr-nṯr is that of ẖr.ṱ-nṯr, a nisbe which, at first, denoted a ‘necropolis workman’ and later acquired the more specific connotation of ‘stone-mason.’16 Although the latter is in some cases borne by individuals who held a priestly title as well, or that were connected with the temple, this title is to be distinguished from that of ‘man of (the) necropolis,’ since the former is clearly written, in Demotic, with a ‘stone’ determinative and is generally preceded by a determinative article.17 In Demotic the title ẖr.ṱ-nṯr occurs, among others, in the following documents:18 P. Rylands IX (512BC)19 P. BM EA 10612 (175BC)20 Satet temple graffito (Elephantine) (168–164BC)21 P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC)22 New York Historical Society Mummy-label 572 (Roman Period)23

16

17

18

19 20 21

22

23

For a discussion of this title see Aufrère 1991, 76–77; Vittmann 1998, 543 note to line 15; Vittmann 1997, 273 note bb; Vleeming 1993, 58–59; Gardiner 1938; Capart et al. 1936, 174 note 1,8. See, for example, the New York Historical Society mummy-label 572 where the named individual bears the title of ‘prophet of Imouthes’ (Reich 1932), and the stela of Iuefamun (Hamburg private collection) where the individual is identified as a ‘stone-mason in the temple of Amun’ (Altenmüller 1981). The title is attested in a range of texts from different periods, such as P. Reinhardt (10th cent. BC) (Vleeming 1993), Stela Louvre C 101 (Saite Period) (Malinine 1975) and a number of the Mother of the Apis stelae (Smith 1992). Griffith 1909, 102–103, Pl. XL, col. XVIII line 15 and 16 respectively; Vittmann 1998, Vol. I, 88, 178–179. Andrews 1990, Cat. 30, 73–74, Pl. 61, line 18. Vittmann 1997, 264, 273 note bb, Pl. 37, line 7. Vittmann reads the title as ẖrṱ.w but the fact that in P. BM EA 10612 (175 BC) the tall sign is transposed to the front indicates that it is to be read as nṯr. Abd el-Aal 2003, 20–21, Pl. 4, line 10. In P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC) the title is borne by a man listed among other individuals who are part of the liturgies object of this contract. In this case, no clear connection is evident with the titles of the funerary workers analysed here, and could very well be a stone-mason without any link with the necropolis organisation. Reich 1932, 167–170, Pl. 70c, line 4 and 6 respectively. Reich had originally read the title as ḫw.

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97

Seal-Bearer Who Attends the God

P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC), from Hutnesu, provides evidence for yet another title, that of ḫtmw-ꜥḥꜥ=f-n-nṯr, ‘seal-bearer who attends the god,’ written as and unattested in any of the documents analysed from other parts of the country.24 Zaghloul suggests that the meaning of this title cannot be very different from that of ḫtmw-nṯr, or god’s seal-bearer.25 That they held a similar office is, indeed, indicated by the fact that party A, the seal-bearer who attends the god, sells to party B, a god’s seal-bearer, a funerary endowment. This being the case, the title could be understood as a local variant peculiar to the place of origin of this individual and of the necropolis to which he was attached, the location of which is unknown. However, it seems strange that the scribe should use two different titles if there were no real difference between the two offices. Another possibility is that this is a scribal error, although the writing of the second element of the title is written quite clearly, as can be see from the facsimile above. Beside the presence of this unattested title, the document presents a number of other difficulties. As noted by Zaghloul, the name of the town to which necropolis party B is attached is seemingly that of Herakleopolis Magna, Demotic Ḥ.t-nn-nsw , which lies about 60 km north of the expected Hutnesu (Ḥ.t-nsw) modern Sharunah where the Mallawi papyri were found.26 Although the evidence from Hawara shows that mortuary priests could own liturgies some distance away from their main place of residence,27 this seems too great a distance to travel and would have prevented the performance of regular funerary services at either necropolises.28 In fact, it is more likely that the scribe mistakenly wrote the place name Herakleopolis Magna instead of Hutnesu, whence some of the other documents originated. The same confusion between the two town names occurs also in P. Rylands IX (512 BC) (col. XIII line 6). In the latter case the reading of the town as Hutnesu is confirmed by its association with another place, Hartai, in the 17th Egyptian nome, but whose exact location is uncertain.29 24 25 26 27 28

29

For the names and full titles of the contracting parties see Chapter 5 §3 above. Zaghloul 1991, 262 note c. Zaghloul 1991, 256; see also below. See Chapter 4 § 4 above. Of course, it could be that the owner of the document was originally resident at Herakleopolis and then moved to the town of Hutnesu, although without knowing the location of the necropolis of Taachiar[…] , to which he was attached, it is not possible to expound further on this possibility. Vittmann 1998, 484–485 line 15; Chauveau 1986, 29 note 42.

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According to Zaghloul, P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC) and the remaining seven documents now in the Mallawi Museum30 were discovered rolled up inside a jar amongst the debris that covered the floor of a subsidiary chamber in a reused Old Kingdom rock-cut tomb at El-Kôm el Ahmar Sawâris (Sharunah).31 This seems also strange given that no apparent link exists between the various individuals mentioned in the documents, and perhaps also in view of the temporal gaps between many of them.

5

God’s Seal-Bearers

The documents from Sharunah also provide evidence for the use of the title ‘god’s seal-bearer’ in this area of Middle Egypt. The title is attested for the first time in P. Mallawi 602/11 (109BC) and is used from then on either alone or in conjunction with other titles.32 As noted above, this designation is used in combination with that of ‘necropolis man’ in P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC) and that of ‘lector-priest’ in P. Mallawi 602/9 (100BC), while in P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC) the parties are identified simply as ‘god’s seal-bearers.’33 On the other hand, the title is not used in P. Mallawi 602/10 (111 BC), nor in any of the documents from the earlier Ptolemaic Period, which suggest its gradual adoption by the mortuary priests of Middle Egypt around the end of the second and the beginning of the first century BC, possibly as a result of the spread of a Fayumic practice in this area. The title was employed in this part of the country in the same way as it was at Memphis and Hawara, to identify a mortuary priest whose office encompassed the functions performed in the Theban area by lector-priests and choachytes separately. This is clearly shown by P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC), an apportionment deed drawn up by 11 god’s seal-bearers in favour of another colleague, in which the activity to be performed is identified as ‘the offices of lector-priest of Psenharyo in the town of Psenharyo’ (nꜣ wp.wt n ẖr-ḥb ḥr-wḏꜣ pꜣ tmy ḥr-wḏꜣ) (line 1), while they appear to have also been responsible for taking the deceased to his tomb.34 30

31 32 33

34

P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC), 602/6 (92 BC), 602/7 (101BC), 602/8 (no date given), 602/9 (100 BC), 602/10 (111 BC) and 602/11 (109 BC). For the dating of the latter document see Chauveau 1991, 133. Zaghloul 1988, 137–138; see also Chapter 16 § 2 below. The title is attested in P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC), P. Mallawi 602/9 (100 BC), P. Mallawi 602/6 (92 BC) and P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC). Information on the use of the title ‘god’s seal-bearer’ in P. Mallawi 602/11 (109BC) and P. Mallawi 602/6 (92 BC), both unpublished, is given by Zaghloul (1991, 257–258), although he does not state whether they are used in conjunction with any other title. Photographs were published for only four out of the five sections which make up this doc-

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The variant title ‘god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer’ is found on stela BM 711 (100? BC) written in the hieroglyphic and Demotic scripts. Budge gives Akhmim as place of provenance of the stela, which origin is accepted by Munro, perhaps on stylistic grounds, although no further information is available on the exact place of discovery.35 The use of the title god’s seal-bearer at Akhmim is not, in itself, surprising since it is consistent with the suggestion that the adoption of this title by the mortuary priests of Middle Egypt may have been the result of the spread of a Fayumic practice southwards. However, the use of the combined title of ‘god’s seal-bearer (and) embalmer’ is attested only at Hawara and, to my knowledge, does not occur is any other document from Middle Egypt. Although it is possible that its use at Akhmim is simply evidence for scribal variation, it is equally possible that the individual was only buried there, or had a memorial stela set up in this area perhaps because of family links, and that he (had) worked at Hawara where he bore this combined title.36 A similar situation may be that attested from the hieroglyphic-Demotic stela of Pakhom, son of Lykos (22 March 18BC), from Edfu, who bears the title of ḫtm nṯr, as well as those of ꜥnṱ ‘perfum/unguent-maker’ and ḥry ꜥnṱ ‘chief perfum/unguent-maker.’37 Given that the title of ḫtm nṯr is otherwise unattested from Edfu, it is possible that the use of this title indicates that he (had) worked at Hawara in such a capacity and, consequently, was thus titled on his funerary stela set up at Edfu.

6

Necrotaphoi

The title appears to have been in use from around the end of the Ptolemaic period, throughout the Roman domination and as late as the Byzantine era, although the majority of documents in which it occurs date to the Roman period. As noted above, the evidence from the Ptolemaic Period on this group

35 36

37

ument, and their resolution is too low to allow, in most instances, a secure translation of the text. Vleeming 2004, 626; Budge 1909, 273 No. 1017; Munro 1973, 203; Derchain-Urtel 1989, 83. Personal reasons are also suggested by Derchain-Urtel as an explanation for the use of this title at Akhmim. However, although she notes that the title is also attested in the Fayum, she suggests that this may be evidence for the diffusion of a Memphite practice to Akhmim (Derchain-Urtel 1989, 245), thus omitting to note that this combined title occurs only in the Fayum and not at Memphis. That this title was not in common use at Akhmim is also suggested by the fact that it does not appear in the database produced by Depauw comprising over 800 objects originating from this area. I thank M. Depauw for allowing me access to his database. I thank M. Stadler ( forthcoming) for kindly sharing information about this stela with me.

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of funerary workers is very limited and not entirely unambiguous. The earliest document in which this title may be attested is P. Sorbonne inv. 331, dating to the second half of the third century BC. The text is a fragmentary list of names, in some cases followed by the individuals’ occupation, possibly prepared for taxation purposes, as in the case of fragment xxxvii line 393 which has been read as: [νεκρ]οτάφος Ὦρος […].38 However, because the relevant section is in a lacuna and the reading of the title of necrotaphos, suggested by the text’s editor, is only one of a number of possible restorations, this document cannot be taken as firm evidence for the existence of this profession at the beginning of the Ptolemaic period.39 The first published Ptolemaic document in which the title is clearly attested is P. Rylands 65 (57BC), possibly from the town of Oxyrhynchus, in which is recorded the judicial sentence of the Chrematistai court concerning an agreement made by all the necrotaphoi belonging to an association.40 The necrotaphoi present a petition to an official complaining about some people, possibly colleagues of theirs, explaining that all the necrotaphoi had made an Egyptian document in regnal year 14 (of an unspecified king) in which they had divided among themselves certain shares of their work. These stipulations have now been disregarded by Petosiris, Paris and their associates, who have carried away a number of corpses. In view of the fact that the accused did not appear before the judges, the latter decided in favour of the necrotaphoi who brought the plaint, stipulating that the provisions of the Egyptian contract, which they all had made voluntarily, would remain valid.41 Unfortunately it is not clear whether the accusation of having carried away corpses should be understood literally as referring to the taking charge of bodies to be embalmed, and thus to the activity of embalmers, or only figuratively and thus referring to the appropriation of liturgies. Consequently, the document does not allow to determine whether the title necrotaphos was used either as a professional designation for individuals working as both lector-priests and choachytes, or as a title designating exclusively one of the two categories of mortuary priests. From the documents recovered in the Oasis of Dush it appears that the profession was hereditary and that it was maintained within the same family. The right to exercise this profession was conveyed through donation and sale deeds. Examples of the former are P. BM EA DCCVIII (AD 247) and its copy, P. BM 38 39 40 41

Boyaval 1973, 240. Thus also Derda 1991, 27 note 76; see also Clarysse and Thompson (2006, 180) who read ‘Horos son of P…is […]’. Johnson et al. 1915, 7 note 2; Derda 1991, 27–28. Johnson et al. 1915, 7.

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EA DCCX (AD267), recording a donation by Aurelius Petosiris of ¼ of his activity as necrotaphos to Aurelius Petechons,42 and P. BM EA DCCXI (AD 244–248) with which two brothers authorise another man to make public before the authorities in Alexandria the cession made in their favour by their father of both his immovable property and his activity as necrotaphos.43 The latter shows that, at least in some instances, the necrotaphoi owned considerable wealth, thus suggesting that their activity could be quite lucrative. An example of sale is the fragmentary contract recorded in SB I 4653 and 4654–4655 (AD 244), with which two individuals transferred to the freedman Polydeukes half of their activity as necrotaphoi.44 The necrotaphoi were responsible for the burial of the deceased as clearly shown by the fact that they were the addressees on a number of mummy labels, such as SB I 5538, 5766, 5767 and SB VI 9211. They were also in charge of the transport of the body, presumably to its burial place, as shown by P. BM EA DCCXVII (AD498), a letter by Melas to Silvanus and Sarapion concerning the delivery of their brother’s body, Phibion, and the payment of transport expenses for 340 drachmae; and P. BM EA DCCXIII (c. AD127), another letter, with which a man informs another person that the body of a woman, who had been sent to the oasis by the authorities, has been handed over to the necrotaphoi.45 However, it remains uncertain whether they also performed the mortuary cult for the deceased since in some cases, during the Roman Period, this appears to have been the responsibility of slaves and freedmen as indicated by P. Rylands II 153 (AD138–161) and BGU VII 1655 (AD169). In addition, the evidence indicates that in some instances the necrotaphoi also worked as pastophoroi as shown by the mummy label SB 5538 where the necrotaphos Pseneoueris is also identified as a pastophoros of Buchis at Hermonthis.46 Moreover, P. Rylands 65 (57 BC) indicates that the necrotaphoi formed an association, as had the choachytes in the preceding periods. The documents from Dush also indicate that, although they all operated within the necropolis of Kysis, the necrotaphoi were not all residents of the town of Kosis. Some lived in nearby settlements, such as Mothis (P. BM EA 42 43 44 45 46

Grenfell and Hunt 1897, № 68, 104–105; № 70, 108–109; for this and all the other documents from the Dush Oasis see now Bagnall 2017. Grenfell and Hunt 1897, № 71, 110–114. Bingen 1964, 163–164; Sayce 1894, 301–304. Grenfell and Hunt 1897, № 77, 121–123; № 73 115–116. Spiegelberg 1901a, 340; Wilcken 1908, 254; Preisigke 1913–1915, 589. It should be noted, however, that the choachytes were only door-keepers of Amenope, while there also existed another group of door-keepers who were in the service of the gods, but did not have any links with the funerary industry (see Chapter 1 § 4).

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DCCXV, AD308), while others resided within the necropolis (P. BM EA DCCXVII, c. AD498).47 As many as 20 necrotaphoi are attested as operating within this necropolis at the same time, including some women. Evidence for this is found in P. BM EA DCCXV (AD308) (P. Grenfell 75), recording the acknowledgment by the necrotaphe Tapaous of receipt of payment from the necrotaphos Kasianus son of Kasianus for her services as nurse in the latter’s house,48 and in P. BM EA DCCXVI (AD295) (P. Grenfell 76), a divorce document stipulated between Soulis and Senpsais both of whom are identified as necrotaphoi.49 The evidence from the Oasis of Dush, the only at present available, suggests that there was at least some overlap between the profession of a choachyte and that of a necrotaphos. In addition, the fact that taricheutai are still attested in the Roman Period in contexts where it is clear that they were embalmers, as for example in P. Amherst 125 (Late 1st century AD),50 argues against the possibility that this was a professional designation for individuals working as both lector-priests and choachytes,51 and suggests that the title of necrotaphos did not refer to all funerary attendants in general, but rather that it defined an activity that corresponded largely to that of the Theban choachytes. However, this contrasts with the information provided by an unpublished contract in Greek, which, originally, was probably part of the group of papyri found in a reused Old Kingdom rock-cut tomb at El-Kôm el Ahmar Sawâris (Sharunah), and was later acquired by Leuven University.52 According to this contract, the necrotaphoi were apparently responsible for both the mummification and the burial of the deceased, and thus, it is suggested, the title was equivalent to that of god’s seal-bearer.53 Another possibility is that the Greek title necrotaphos was not a literal translation of the Demotic title (which remains unknown), but rather was used to denote a person who worked as funerary attendant, irrespectively of the exact functions (choachytal or embalming) he or she explicated in the performance of their activity. The evidence from Memphis, Hawara and Sharunah shows that the title of lector-priest remained in use throughout the Ptolemaic Period regardless of the changes that affected other titles. It is possible that the appearance of the 47 48 49 50 51 52 53

Grenfell and Hunt 1897, № 75, 118–119; № 77, 121–123. The same was also true of the Nile Valley as indicated by SB I 4651 and 4653. Grenfell and Hunt 1897, 118–119. Grenfell and Hunt 1897, 119–121. Grenfell and Hunt 1901, 150. As did the Memphite God’s seal-bearers and the God’s seal-bearer and embalmers of Hawara, for which see Chapter 3 and 4. Clarysse 2007, 185, 188. Clarysse 2007, 189.

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title necrotaphos is to be seen as another element in that series of changes that affected the funerary sphere during the Ptolemaic Period, spreading from the Fayum first northward, and then southward, and seemingly resulting in the disappearance of individuals bearing the title of choachyte. In Middle Egypt, however, the absence of any evidence for the use of the title choachyte remains unexplained, although it is possible that the paucity of documents surviving from this area is the reason for their apparent absence from the record.

7

Territorial Jurisdiction of the Funerary Priests in Middle Egypt

The surviving documentary evidence from Middle Egypt indicates that its mortuary priests formed a consortium which decided collectively on the apportionment of liturgies among themselves and that such a division was formalised by contracts. P. Mallawi 602/10 (111 BC) from Hutnesu, P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC) from Psenharyo, and P. Rylands 65 (57BC) possibly from Oxyrhynchus, provide evidence for the drawing up of apportionment deeds in which are listed the families and individuals forming part of the endowments belonging to each mortuary priest. P. Mallawi 602/10 (111 BC), a judicial sentence passed by the Laocritae court sitting in the courthouse in the temple of Hathor at Hutnesu, reports the statement made by the plaintiff, the lector priest Petenoubis son of Horos, who declares: ‘We divided our places of revenue of Hutnesu on the northern side with our fellows with a deed of cession for each companion among us’ (i҆w=n pš n nꜣy=n ꜥ.wy.w n šty ḥ.t-nsw pꜣ ꜥt mḥṱ i҆rm nꜣy=n i҆ry.w n sẖ wy r i҆ry n-i҆m=n) (lines 5–6). Similarly, P. Rylands 65 (57BC) records the judicial sentence passed by the Chrematistai court regarding a petition made ‘by all the necrotaphoi belonging to the association’ in which they made an official complaint against some colleagues of theirs who had disregarded the agreements set down in a contract concerning the division of certain shares of their work.54 An example of such a deed is represented by P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC) drawn up in favour of Pathres, son of Harpaesis and Teuoris, by 11 other mortuary priests. Following the inheritance by Pathres of his parents’ share in a number of liturgies, the mortuary priests draw up an apportionment deed specifying what portion, out of 14 shares, belonged to each of the contractual parties, comprising a total of 12 individuals. The document then details the names, patronymic and, in some cases, the professions of the people that are included in each of these shares, although it is not always clear whether these are tomb

54

Johnson et al. 1915, 7 note 2; Derda 1991, 27–28.

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owners, occupants or both. Indirect evidence for the apportionment of liturgies is found in P. BM 10561 (157BC) in which the parties agree that ‘(As for) the [˹priest˺] of Wepwawet who will die (and) the one who shall be ḳs,55 together with his 35 [days ceremony, ˹we will give˺] to the lector priest in whose charge he is [x amount of cloth (for the)] 35 [˹days ceremony …]’ (pꜣ [˹wꜥb˺] wp-wꜣwt nt i҆w=f mwt ḥnꜥ pꜣ nt i҆w=w ḳs=f s ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f 35 […] r pꜣ ẖr-ḥb nt i҆w=f n-ḏr.ṱ=f […] 35 […]). Although parts of this passage are in a lacuna, it is clear that the priests of the temple of Wepwawet fell within the competencies of specific lector-priests. In addition, a number of documentary sources from Siut indicate that its mortuary priests were not restricted to a single necropolis, but could also practice their profession in nearby cemeteries, as indeed was the case in the rest of the necropolises analysed. This is shown by P. BM EA 10575 (181 BC), which lists a share of ‘the work as lector priest of Shaiueshetep and its (neighbouring) areas’ (tꜣ wp.t n ẖr-ḥb š-i҆w=s-ḥtp i҆rm nꜣy=f mꜣꜥ.w) (line 3). In addition, individual mortuary priests could increase their endowments by purchasing liturgies from their colleagues. In P. BM EA 10575 (181 BC), recording the apportionment deed made by Petetumis for his son Tuefhapi, party A transfers a share of ‘the work as lector-priest in the necropolis of Siut (…), which I bought (…) from the woman Senuris daughter of Eba’ (tꜣ wp.t ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t sywt (…) r-i҆n=y ḏbꜣḥḏ (…) n-tr.t sḥm.t tꜣ-šr.t-ḥr ta ebꜣ) (lines 2–3). Similarly in P. Mallawi 602/7 (101BC) that records the sale of an endowment between funerary attendants. Finally, endowments could also be purchased at official auctions as indicated by P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC), where Party B is entitled to some shares in the ‘name of the woman Teuoris, daughter of Teos, your mother (…), which she bought at the auction of pharaoh’ (rn sḥm.t tꜣ-whr.t ta ḏ-ḥr tꜣy=k mw.t (…) [r]i҆n=s ḏbꜣ-ḥḏ ḥr pꜣ ꜥyš n pr-ꜥꜣ) (line 1). 55

The verb ḳs here refers to a stage of the mummification process for which see Appendix 1.

chapter 6

Female Funerary priests As can be expected, evidence for women working as funerary attendants in the Ptolemaic Period is very limited and not entirely unambiguous. Evidence from earlier periods of Egyptian history does indicate a certain involvement, albeit limited, of women in the funerary industry. A number of them are, for example, attested as ḥm.t-kꜣ or funerary priestesses, a function that may have been similar, to some extent, to that of the Ptolemaic choachytes, although it is suggested that the title possibly had a broader meaning than we currently attribute to it.1 In addition, there is one instance, from the Old Kingdom, of a woman bearing the title of overseer of the female doctors, which suggests that women exercised this profession, although further evidence for it is lacking.2 There is also some pictorial evidence that suggests a certain involvement of women in some stages of the mummification process. A representation in the tomb of Queen Meresankh III at Giza (Old Kingdom), for example, shows what appear to be two female attendants standing at the head and foot end of a funerary bed and performing some activity around this bed.3 On the other hand a depiction on a coffin (First Intermediate Period?) shows a reversal of roles in that there are two male attendants standing at the head and foot end of the funerary bed, on which the deceased rests, while a woman is attending to the body.4 This may suggest that perhaps women were involved in the mummification process of female deceased, as, especially in the case of women of a certain status, it may have been felt more appropriate to have female attendants attending her in death as others had in life. Clearly, the fact that women may have worked in the funerary sphere in these earlier periods of Egyptian history does not necessarily mean that they did so in the Ptolemaic Period, although it does set an important precedent.

1 2 3 4

Allam 1985; Fischer 2000, 26. Fischer 2000, 27. Altenmüller 2000. Lapp 1986.

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Choachytes

Women are often encountered as contracting parties in documents belonging to the choachytes’ archives where they are identified by the title of woman (using the titles sḥm.t or rmṯ.(t)) or choachyte (wꜣḥ-mw). At Thebes, in contracts written on papyrus female parties are identified by the generic title of woman (sḥm.t) regardless of their marital status.5 By contrast, the term is only rarely used in documents written on ostraca where the word generally used in Demotic is rmṯ.(t), translated as ‘wife’ or ‘woman,’ and gyne (γυνή) in Greek, also with the meaning of ‘woman.’6 In addition, it appears that the use of the term rmṯ.(t), rare in earlier Egyptian texts, increased during the Ptolemaic period.7 This, it is suggested, may have been due to the introduction of new personal taxes not present in previous periods of Egyptian history, and for which administrative practices had to be developed. By contrast to the pre-Ptolemaic period when taxes were collected in kind by the temple administration, during the Ptolemaic period taxes were paid in money and were collected by tax-farmers, private individuals contracted by the government to exact taxes in a specific area, and for a specific period of time.8 The increase in the use of this term, therefore, may be either the result of a need to find a Demotic equivalent for the Greek gyne, or represent the adoption of a more colloquial term as part of the administrative terminology.9 In her study of the position of women in documentary texts of the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods, O’Brien suggested that the change in the way in which a woman was identified in contracts and in receipts may be indicative of Hellenistic influence and the result of the different ways in which women were seen in the Greek and in the Egyptian society. Her study shows that the use of titles by women was more frequent during the Pharaonic than in the Ptole5 Although it is not possible to determine with certainty whether only married women were able to buy and sell property, it seems unlikely that this was the case given that in P. Louvre E 2410 (120 BC), for example, party B is a young girl of 11 years of age, who is identified as the sḥm.t Sachperis the younger, daughter of Osoeris and Nechouthis, thus suggesting that the noun was used as a generic title (O’Brien 1999, 75–76 and note 124). Her age can be gauged from P. Berlin P. 3113 (c. 130 BC) which gives a list of dates of birth and death, and shows that she was born on the 2nd October 132 BC (Pestman 1993, 145, 228). Although it could be suggested that her parents on this occasion acted on her behalf, the fact that she could be named as a contracting party indicates that it was legally possible for a young, unmarried woman to engage in economic transactions. 6 O’Brien 1999, 74, 60–61. 7 O’Brien 1999. 8 O’Brien 1999, 66. 9 O’Brien 1999, 66–67.

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maic period. She points out that whereas during the Late Period women in some instances used the title of choachyte, from the beginning of the Ptolemaic period they are mainly identified as sḥm.t in contracts, and as rmṯ.t in the tax receipts issued by the Greek administration.10 The evidence from legal documents shows that women had the same rights of ownership of funerary properties and liturgies as men. This is clearly indicated by the large number of contracts which see them as buyers or beneficiaries, sellers or both.11 What is perhaps unclear, and certainly still debated, is whether they actually exercised the profession themselves, or if they employed the services of a man, be it a relative or a hired labourer, to perform the religious services for the deceased in their care. Among the surviving documents there are only six examples of women being identified by the title choachyte.12 However, indirect evidence for women practicing this activity is provided by the burial tax receipt recorded in O. Berlin 9699 (254–253 BC) paid by the woman ˹Taesis˺ identified as the choachyte (tꜣ wꜣḥ-mw). Similarly in O. BM EA 5740 (246–245 BC) and O. BM EA 5753 (246– 245BC) both paid by Tabis daughter of Parates, who is possibly to be identified with Tabis, the woman (rmṯ.t) of Cherbes, who paid the burial tax recorded in O. BM EA 5767 (246–245 BC) and O. BM EA 5756 (245–244 BC). Women are also recorded as payers in the tax receipts O. Cairo 12469–12476 (256–255 BC) paid by Tchoilis daughter of Psammetichos, and in O. Bodleian Eg. Inscr. 920 (243– 242BC), paid by Senminis the woman (rmṯ.t) of Pachysis. It is of course possible that these women were acting on behalf of their fathers or husbands. This may be the case in O. Cairo 12469–12476 (256–255BC) paid by Tchoilis. In lines 5–7 the text reads ‘to you belongs the burial, while the choachyte ˹(paid?)˺ its tax of overseer of the necropolis’ (mtw=t tꜣ ḳs r pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw ˹?˺ pꜣy=f ḥḏ mr ḫꜣs.t).13 The fact that in the first instance the scribe employs a third person feminine suffix pronoun (mtw=t) which is then followed by a title with masculine determinative article (pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw) may indicate that the choachyte was a man on whose behalf she made the payment, although it would not explain why the burial is said to belong to her. Within the remaining extant documentation there is only one ostracon that suggests the possibility of representatives acting on behalf of a choachyte. This seems to be the case in TT32 (264 BC) which reads:

10 11 12 13

O’Brien 1999, 91–95. See Table A.16. See Table A.17. For a discussion on the reading of the compound sḥm.t wꜣḥ-mw see Vinson 2000, 103–104. I am unable to read the word following the title ‘choachyte,’ the reading given is suggested by the context but it is not grammatically correct.

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‘Amenrosis (son of) Totoes `the representative of Petearpres son of Es˹minis˺´ is the one who says to Chonsu˹maa˺ son of ˹Wepi˺men: you have given to me ½ kite (…) for Pa[…] son of ˹Padjuh˺ as tax of the overseer of the necropolis (…), while I will not be able to interfere with (have a claim against?) Psenenteris son of Panouphis in his name, on account of the tax of overseer of the necropolis’ (i҆mn-rwš (sꜣ) twt`pꜣ rt n pꜣ-ty-ḥr-pꜣ-rꜥ ns-˹mn˺´ pꜣ nt ḏ (n) ḫnsw-˹mꜣꜥ˺ sꜣ ˹wpy˺-mn tw=k n=y ḥḏ-ḳt ½ (…) n pꜣ-[…] sꜣ ˹pꜣ-ḏwh˺ n ḥḏ mr-ḫꜣs.t (…) i҆w bn-i҆w=⟨y⟩ rḫ sḫ ⟨r⟩ pꜣ-šr-nꜣ-nṯr.w sꜣ pa-nfr (n)-rn=f n ḥḏ mr-ḫꜣs.t). lines 1–6

Chonsu˹maa˺ son of ˹Wepi˺men is not attested in any of the other documents in the archives, and it is possible that he may have brought the payment to the relevant authorities on behalf of Psenenteris son of Panouphis, a choachyte who is known from a number of other documents.14 Given that burial tax receipts are paid in the vast majority of cases by men who are unquestionably choachytes (either because they are identified as such or known from other documents to have been door-keepers of Amenope), it is unreasonable to question the possibility of women working as choachytes, on the basis of their gender alone, when they are attested as taxpayers in the same way as men. Further indirect evidence is provided by P. BM EA 10827 (273–272 BC), P. Marseilles 298–299 (235BC) and P. Amherst 58a (153 BC). In the first document the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes Snachomneus, son of Parates and Timounis, donates a number of liturgies to his niece, the woman Tabis, daughter of Pamenis and Sachperis. The beneficiary is also granted access to another tomb beside those inherited: ‘you may go to the s.t-tomb of Merti the washerwoman, and the people of the master Amenrosis’ (mtw=t15 šm r tꜣ s.t n mrṱ tꜣ rḫṱ ḥnꜥ nꜣ rmṯ.w n pꜣ ḥry i҆mn-rwš).16 line 2

The second document, P. Marseilles 299–298 (235BC), is a contract of sale of liturgies stipulated between the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes 14

15 16

Of course it is possible that accidents of preservation are responsible for the fact that this individual is unknown from any other sources and that the two worked together (Vleeming 1994a, 361 note dd). The witness-copies B and E write mtw=w in place of mtw=t (Andrews 1990, 44 note 16). Andrews 1990, 44–45.

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Amenothes, son of Psemminis and Manmin, and the woman Tamin, daughter of Paiga and Taimen. Following the list of liturgies alienated, the seller specifies: ‘you may go to the s.t-tomb of Paibis son of Harnouphis, the prophet of Hathor (and) you may go to the s.t-tomb of Pamenis son of ˹Sesua˺ and their people; and you may go to the tomb-shaft of the royal joiners17 and their people; and you may go to the s.t-tomb of the master Nati and his people; and you may go to the s.t-tomb of Harwa in the name of (on account of) the overseer of the craftsmen and his people, and Petenephotes the priest of Montu, and (to) the s.t-tomb of Harimouthes son of Searthos which is by the s.t-tomb of Tuamunweten the washerman together with the s.t-tomb of Thotortaios son of Paibis, the ‘great-one of Thoth’18 and his people; (and) you may go to the s.t-tomb of Plous the goldsmith, (in which?) you have 3 people; and (to) the s.t-tomb of Parates son of Pais and his people’ (mtw=k (sic.) šm r tꜣ s.t n pa-hb sꜣ ḥr-nfr pꜣ ḥmnṯr ḥ.t-ḥr mtw=k (sic.) šm r tꜣ s.t pa-mn sꜣ ˹sswꜣ˺ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w rmṯ.w mtw=k (sic.) šm r pꜣ šḳꜣ n nꜣ mtḥ-nsw ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w rmṯ.w mtw=k (sic.) šm r tꜣ s.t n pꜣ ḥry nꜣṱ ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w mtw=k (sic.) šm r tꜣ s.t n ḥrwꜣ rn pꜣ ḥry ḥm-ḫt ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w ḥnꜥ pꜣ-ty-nfr-ḥtp pꜣ wꜥb mnṱ ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t n ḥr-i҆y-m-ḥtp sꜣ ṯ-ḥr-pꜣ-tꜣ nt i҆.i҆r tꜣ s.t n tw-i҆mn-wtn pꜣ yꜥy ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t ḏḥwṱ-i҆.i҆r-ty-s sꜣ pꜣ-hb pꜣ wr-ḏḥwṱ ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w i҆w=k (sic.) nꜥ r tꜣ s.t n pa-rw pꜣ ḥm-nb i҆w=k (sic.) mḥ rmṯ s 3 ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t pa-rṱ sꜣ pa-ḥy ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w).19 lines 7–9

Another example is found in P. Louvre N 3263 (215 BC) in which the choachyte Amenothes, son of Psammetichos and Touaxis, donates to his daughter Taiuiii a share of a house in Thebes and the revenues from a number of tombs and the deceased deposited therein. The same clause as in the previous documents (mtw=t šm r … ‘(and) you may/will go to …’) (line 8) is added after the list of tombs donated, thus indicating that the beneficiary would be performing the mortuary services for the named tombs herself.20 A similar case is found in P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) in which is recorded the list of liturgies bequeathed to the woman Taesis by her father Horos. The document, part of which is written in indirect discourse, specifies that Taesis ‘may go 17 18 19 20

Also attested in P. Berlin P. 3112, the term is not found in the Glossar. For this expression see Vittmann 1980, 137 note 8. For the variations between this and the cession document see Vittmann 1980, 129 lines 7– 8. Muhs 2010, 443–444; Muhs 2010/11.

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to the s.t-tomb of the land-measurers on account of (or because of) Amenothes son of Thotortaios’ (mtw=s šm r tꜣ s.t n nꜣ ḫꜣy.w ḥr i҆mn-ḥtp sꜣ ḏḥwṱ-i҆.i҆r-ty-s), and that ‘she may go to the s.t-tomb of Tateletem on account of him’ (mtw=s šm r tꜣ s.t n Ta-tꜣ-ltm ḏbꜣ.ṱ=f ) (lines 11–14), that is, because of Panoubis the blessed one who is temporarily placed there.21 The clause mtw=s šm r tꜣ s.t n PN, ‘she may go to the tomb of PN,’ is used in these documents to indicate that a mortuary priest has the right to access a specific tomb because he or she might have deposited there some of the mummies in his or her care. A similar clause is also found in P. Philadelphia XVIII (241BC), a donation deed from a brother to his sister, and in P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC), a contract of sale of a tomb. In the first document the seller specifies: ‘I am going to the said s.t-tomb on account of ˹Taratis˺ the daughter of Pabya’ (i҆w=y nꜥ r tꜣ s.t rn=s ḥr ˹ta-rṱ.t˺ tꜣ šr.t n pa-byꜣ) (line 2), while in the second instance party A states: ‘you are going inside […]’ (i҆w=k nꜥ r ẖn […])22 (line 4). However, in arguing the case against women practicing this profession, it is stated that ‘it is possible to interpret these statements not that the woman was allowed access for the express purpose of carrying out choachytal duties but precisely because she was their owner and had the right of access to her property (for whatever reason).’23 Similarly, it is also suggested that access was granted in order to maintain the right of ownership of the property, and not necessarily for the purpose of performing liturgies for the deceased placed there.24 Yet, as members of the choachytal community, women also owned a share in the Theban house.25 This is clearly indicated by the agreements recorded in P. Amherst 62b (127BC), P. Amherst 60a (125BC), P. Louvre E 2410 and 2418 (120BC), P. Berlin P. 3118 (116BC) and P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113BC). In P. Amherst 62b (127BC), an hn-agreement between the door-keeper Montuemhat, son of Herieus and Senchonsis, and the woman Taues, daughter of Chonompres and Taues, who may be his wife, it is decided that Taues will renounce the claim she has on Montuemhat and in return will receive a third of his share in the Theban house, which is said to be owned by Montuemhat and the choachytes (nt i҆wṱ=y i҆rm nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw.w).26 In P. Amherst 60a (125 BC), a division of an inheritance with a hn-agreement (bꜣk n hn), Pechites, son of Harsiesis, recorded his decision regarding his properties and heirs, Pasemios, Panas, Harsiesis, Horos

21 22 23 24 25 26

Pestman 1993, 443. Although the passage is damaged its meaning can be gathered from the context. Johnson 1998, 1409 note 72. O’Brien 1999, 108 note 37. On this house see Chapter 9 § 1. Pestman 1993, 98.

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and the woman Senamounis, each of whom received a portion of the share of Pechites in the Theban house.27 P. Louvre E 2410 and 2418 (120 BC), a sale (sẖ-ḏbꜣ-ḥḏ) and a cession (sẖ n wy) document respectively, record the sale of one of the rooms and 1/35 of the Theban house.28 The contract was stipulated between the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes Nechouthes, son of Hasoeis and Taiui-iu, and the woman Sachperis the younger, daughter of Osoeris and Nechouthis.29 P. Berlin P. 3118 (116 BC) is another hn-agreement, in this case stipulated between the children of Horos son of Horos, and which records statements made by Horos as well as that of each of his children, Osoeris, Nechthmonthes, Petosiris and their sister Taues. In the document the heirs agree that the shares of the rooms they own in the Theban house will be divided among them by casting lots for them (lines 21–22). Another document concerning the inheritance of Horos son of Horos is P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113 BC), the last to be drawn up by Horos before he died about 18 months later,30 and which shows that his daughter Taues inherited a portion of her father’s 1/7 share of the Theban house jointly owned by the choachytes. Women also appear in the list of expenses undertaken by the children of Horos son of Horos at his death, recorded in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC).31 On the recto, the document lists the expenses undertaken for the embalming and burial of Horos, while on the verso there are some lists and accounts relating to the mortuary cult of another choachyte, Harsiesis, who had died some forty years previously (c. 150BC).32 The name of the woman Taues, daughter of the deceased, appears alongside that of her brothers in relation to their personal contributions towards the necessary funerary expenses. In this instance she clearly was acting as a relative of the deceased rather than in a professional capacity, since the list concerns the payments made by the members of the family. However, clearer evidence is provided by column IV on the verso of the papyrus which begins with the statement: ‘the reckoning (of) the rations for ˹Har˺-[si]-esis due from the choachytes’ (pꜣ i҆p nꜣ ꜥḳ.w n ˹ḥr˺-[sꜣ]-i҆s.t r ꜥ.wy nꜣ wꜣḥ-

27 28 29

30 31 32

Pestman 1993, 116–117. Although Senimouthes, wife of Pechites, was also listed among the heirs she was only assigned a share of the liturgies during her lifetime (Pestman 1993, 117). Zauzich 1968, 48. Pestman suggests it is possible that her father, Osoeris, was acting on her behalf since in P. Berlin P. 3118 (116 BC) he declares he has received the said room, with his brothers, from Nechouthes son of Hasos. In addition, P. Leiden 377 (102BC) may suggest that Nechouthes and Sachperis were husband and wife, a detail that, according to Pestman, may have some connection with the present document (Pestman 1993, 146). Pestman 1993, 181. As also pointed out by O’Brien 1999, 105. Pestman 1992, 208.

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mw.w) (line 2), followed by a list of people and their contributions. In line 10 the document includes the name of the woman Senpoeris, specifying that she has given 5 rations, while line 17 begins with the words tꜣ šr.t n […]. The rest of the line is in a lacuna so that it is not possible to determine whether this should be read as the beginning of a feminine name, or literally as ‘the daughter of PN.’ Pestman notes that although these people are identified as choachytes, they were not acting as such but rather as relatives of the deceased.33 Nonetheless, whether this was the case or not, what is of relevance here is the fact that these two women are being identified as choachytes thus adding evidence to the possibility of some of them actually practicing this profession. A woman also appears in another list of accounts, possibly relating to choachytal activity, recorded in O. Uppsala 624 (Ptolemaic period). The document mentions ‘the revenue money’ (pꜣ šty ḥḏ) (line 2), which Wångstedt understands as referring to the income from choachyte’s work.34 The text also lists a number of names, followed by amounts of money, including that of the woman Senthotes (line 6). Evidence for the participation of women in the choachytal community is also found in one of the texts setting out the regulations of the choachytes’ association of Amenope, recorded in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC). One of the arguments often used against the possibility of women actually working as choachytes is their absence from the list of members of the association of Amenope.35 Nevertheless, Text D of this document, dated to 18 April 108 BC, which opens with the statement ‘the matters agreed upon by the choachytes’ (nꜣ mt.wt r-mtr nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw.w r-r=w) (line 1), also prescribes that: ‘the person among us who will withdraw in order not to act in accordance with what written above will give 1 talent to the association, 1 talent to the shrine of Montu of Medamud, (and) 1 talent before Djeme, (be it) man (or) woman (my italics), among the young persons (and) all the choachytes’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n mtw=f sṱ r tm i҆r r-ẖ nꜣ nt sẖ ḥry i҆w=f ty krkr wꜥ r tꜣ 6-nt i҆w=f ty krkr wꜥ r pr-mnṱ pr-mnṱ-mꜣtn i҆w=f ty krkr wꜥ m-bꜣḥ ḏmꜣ ḥwṱ.w sḥm.wt nꜣ ḫm-ḫl.w nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw tr=w). lines 4–7

33 34 35

Pestman 1992, 217. Wångstedt 1962, 20 and note to line 2. But see, for example, the Ghoran association (P. Lille dem. 98, 245 BC) in which male and female office holders are listed separately, thus indicating the association was divided into two separate ones, but their financial accounts were kept together (Monson 2006, 228).

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The passage indicates that women were bound by the same rules as their male counterparts, even if their names were not listed in the first document (Text A). Nevertheless, it is suggested that ‘since this passage can be understood as referring to fines applicable to all members of the choachytal community, not merely officiating choachytes, it cannot be taken as proof that women could carry out the cult.’36 Yet, the text clearly states that the fines are imposed against those individuals who will refuse to act in accordance with what has been established before. These are regulations binding the members of the association with respect to the provision of funerary materials for the embalming of deceased individuals, and the ministration of medicaments to deceased members of the association who agree: ‘not to give [cloth] to a man of Djeme who is dead, not to give ḥbs-cloth (or) i҆nw-cloth to a man who stands in (the) ˹house of rejuvenation,˺ (nor) a bed, (nor) a cover, not to administer (embalming)-medicaments to (the) dead of our house, not to turn down(?) a young person (scil. apprentice?) who lives here in Djeme’ (r tm ty.t [ḥbs] r-ḥr rmṯ ḏmꜣ i҆w=f mwt r tm ty.t ḥbs i҆nw n rmṯ i҆w=f ꜥḥꜥ r ˹pr-nfr˺ glk prḫ r tm ḥwy pẖr.(t) r mwt n pꜣy=n ꜥ.wy r tm lk ḫm-ẖl i҆w=f ꜥnḫ ty n ḏmꜣ). Text D lines 1–4

Similarly, text C of this same document prescribes, amongst other things, that:37 ‘they will not go to the ḳs.w, and (the) 35 (days) (of) the šty-ceremony besides those on the heart of (scil. chosen by) the choachyte of the house (and) besides the person whom the choachyte of the house will request’ (bn=w šm r ḳs.w ḥnꜥ 35 tꜣ šty m-sꜣ nꜣy.w ḥr-ḥꜣ.ṱ pꜣ wꜣḥ–mw pꜣ ꜥ.wy m-sꜣ rmṯ mtw (scil. nt i҆w) pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw ꜥ.wy tbḥ=f ); Text C lines 2–4

and that ‘no man at all within the association will bring doctors (scil. embalmers) to the association of Amenope besides the choachyte who goes to (the) ḳs, (the) wꜥb (and the) 35 (days ceremony) to give cloth (and a) bed (for) his

36 37

Johnson 1998, 1408 note 71. On these passages see further Chapter 11 § 3.

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šty-ceremony’ (i҆w bn.w rmṯ pꜣ tꜣ ẖn tꜣ 6-nt i҆n swnw r tꜣ 6-nt I҆mn-i҆py mtw38 bnr wꜣḥ-mw mtw=f šm r ḳs wꜥb 35 r ty ḥbs glg pꜣy= f šty). Text C lines 10–12

It is clear that these regulations do not apply to individuals who happen to be related, either by blood or by marriage, to a mortuary priest, or who have inherited funerary properties from their relatives. Rather, they concern all those persons who worked as choachytes and were responsible for the performance of liturgical services for the deceased in their care. The contracts recorded in P. Turin Suppl. 6077 A–B–C (108 BC) (a lease of land,39 a rental of a house and a lease of days of endowment respectively40) are often cited as evidence against the case of women working as choachytes. The contracts were stipulated between the door-keeper of Amun in Djeme Pichos, son of Psemminis and Senmouthis, and his younger sister, the woman Tateathuris. In the documents the brother agrees to guard the house for his sister and to carry out her cultic duties. Thus, it is concluded that, ‘although the woman owned income-producing property,’ she ‘hired men’ to do the work.41 However, these examples need not be taken as evidence for the inability of a woman to work outside the house, or that a woman could not, or did not, work as a choachyte, rather they show that it was possible for a woman to lease out her liturgical days. In this respect, it should perhaps be noted that, although accidents of preservation could account for the lack of evidence, there is not even a single document within the choachytes’ archives concerning the lease of women’s liturgies to another person. In addition, such an argument fails to take into account the receipt of lease of liturgical days recorded in P. Turin Suppl. 6103 (111BC) stipulated between Snachomneus, son of Chonsthotes, and the woman Tanouphis, daughter of Psemminis. In the document Snachomneus acknowledges receipt of payment from Tanouphis for 8 days of endowment (pꜣy hrw n sꜥnḫ 8) which she leased from him. Late Period documents indicate that some women also bore the title of choachyte and that in at least one case did work within the funerary sphere.42 In P. Louvre E 3228c (685BC), a document of withdrawal after judgment, Party

38 39 40 41 42

A comparison between the writing for mtw and that for m-sꜣ in lines 2 and 3 above suggests that this is also the reading of mtw here in line 11. This same land was later leased to another man as recorded in P. Turin Suppl. 6107 (107 BC) (Botti 1967, 197–200, Pl. XLVIII–XLIX). Botti 1967, 135–144, Pl. XXX–XXXII. Johnson 1998, 1407–1408. For the following documents see Table A.7.

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A, a man and his first wife, declare that they are far from party B, the choachyte Petobastis son of Petemenope, with respect to an amount of money paid by the latter for the acquisition of (the liturgy services for) a cultivator. The latter had been ceded to Petobastis by party A together with his sisters, the woman Nesnehemenu daughter of Chauris, and her sister the woman Hetpheus who is identified as the choachyte of the woman Meriesamun daughter of Djekara. In P. Wien D12004 (660 BC), a document of division of inheritance between two brothers and three sisters, and in P. Wien D12003 (647BC), a document of withdrawal after judgment concerning a dispute between the same people over the same inheritance, all three women are identified as (the) choachyte, (the) woman PN daughter of PN (wꜣḥ-mw sḥm.t). In P. Bibl. Nat. 216–217 (517BC) the contracting party A is identified as (the) woman choachyte (sḥm.t wꜣḥ-mw) Tasentenher daughter of the choachyte of the valley (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ i҆n.t) Esminis and Lolous, while in P. BM EA 10120A (517BC), P. Bibl. Nat. 223 (516 BC), P. Turin 2123 (512BC), P. Turin 2125 (506 BC), P. Louvre E AF9761 (494 BC) and P. Turin 2127 (491BC) she is simply identified as the woman Tasentenher daughter of the choachyte of the valley (wꜣḥ-mw n tꜣ i҆n.t) Esminis and Lolous. In P. Turin 2123 (512BC), a document recording the donation of a building plot in the necropolis, the neighbouring land on the northern side is said to belong to the woman choachyte (sḥm.t wꜣḥ-mw) Lolous daughter of Namenechiset. Her daughter is identified as the woman Lolous daughter of the choachyte of the valley (wꜣḥmw n tꜣ i҆n.t) Psennesis, son of Herirm, and Tasentenher in P. BM EA 10120B (517BC) and P. Turin 2126 (498BC), while she is titled (the) woman choachyte (sḥm.t wꜣḥ-mw) in P. Bibl. Nat. 217 (517BC) and P. Louvre E 3231a (497 BC). Even though she is not always identified as a choachyte, the fact that in the latter document she is the beneficiary of a land endowment as a foundation for the mortuary cult of the woman Teteipwer, daughter of the god’s-father Horos and Teuoris, indicates that she actually exercised this profession. Consequently, the fact that women are not often identified by the title of choachyte in documents of the Ptolemaic period needs not be taken as firm evidence for their not exercising the profession. In fact, notwithstanding the fact that, unlike women, men bear an official title, that of door-keepers of Amenope, it should be noted that in a total of about 213 documents directly relevant to their activity, or in which they are identified by their occupational title, men bear the title of choachyte in only 16.4% of the cases. On the other hand in a total of about 73 documents in which women appear as contracting parties, or are identified by an occupational title, they bear the title of choachyte in 9.6% of the cases. Thus, by comparison with the use of titles for males, the omission of the title choachyte to identify a woman cannot be taken as definite proof of them not exercising the profession.

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With respect to the necropolis of Edfu, as noted above, documentary sources are very limited and consist mainly of funerary ostraca.43 Evidence for a female choachyte is found in P. Elephantine Demotic 9 (before 223 BC), a fragmentary list of priests and their revenues, where one of the choachytes listed in this document is a woman, thus suggesting that they may have practiced this profession in the necropolis of Edfu too. Admittedly the evidence is extremely limited, but, given the paucity of sources from this necropolis, the fact that a female choachyte is listed at all may be, in itself, quite telling. On the other hand, women are often encountered as contracting parties in Memphite documents where they are identified by the titles woman (sḥm.t), choachyte (wꜣḥ-mw), and possibly, in one case, lectore-priest (ẖr-ḥb).44 The designation woman (sḥm.t) is used throughout the period under analysis to identify female parties regardless of their marital status, while the title choachyte (wꜣḥ-mw) is attested only from 305–304 to 256BC, and it is confined to the first two groups of documents surviving from this area.45 This change in the way in which women are identified in contracts is linked to the apparent disappearance from the record of individuals working as choachytes and the appearance of god’s seal-bearers. In fact, once the professional title of god’s seal-bearer is adopted by all funerary attendants in the Memphite necropolis, and despite the fact that the title of choachyte is from time to time still used historically, women are no longer identified by such a title. This is consistent with the evidence from Thebes where, as discussed above, some women bore the occupational title of choachyte but never the professional one of door-keeper of Amenope borne by men. However, as at Thebes, Memphite women clearly had the same legal entitlement to own and dispose of funerary properties and liturgies as men. This is clearly indicated by the large number of contracts which see them as owners, buyers, beneficiaries or sellers.46 The question is again whether they exercised the profession themselves, or if they employed the services of a man to perform the funerary services to which they were entitled by virtue of their endowments. The only clear indication that agents may be employed by women is provided by P. Leiden I 379 (256BC), a division document drawn up by the choachyte Petosiris, son of Imouthes and Djehorbastet, in favour of his sister, the woman choachyte Teteimouthes. In the document party A states: ‘I will not be able to stand before you and your representatives to share in the houses (and) the endowments which are above, in accordance with you[r ¼ 43 44 45 46

See Chapter 2. On the latter title see Chapter 6 § 2 below. On this subject see further see Chapter 3 § 2 above. See Table A.18.

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share] which is above, from today onwards’ (r bn i҆w=y rḫ ꜥḥꜥ ḥꜣ.ṱ=t i҆rm nꜣy=t rt.w r pš ẖn nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w nꜣ sꜥnḫ.w nty ḥry r-ẖ tꜣy[=t tni҆.t ¼] nty ḥry n-ṯ pꜣ hrw r ḥry) (line 6). However, this clause is one of the regular legal formulae used in deeds of this period and cannot be taken as evidence for the hiring of labourers by women to perform funerary services on their behalf.47 P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) clearly indicates that not all women who owned endowments performed the work themselves. In this document party A, god’s seal-bearer Amenothes son of Ptahmaacheru and Taues, declares to his half-sister, the woman Smithis daughter of Samous and Taues, that ‘(with respect to) that which is paid for a deceased person or a young deceased person together with the (burial)-places of the people whose names are written above, (and) the one who will come in their name, (and with respect to) that which is paid (to) any man at all in my name, without me having paid you for your half share in accordance with what written above, I will give you 100 silver (deben) (…) for the deceased person within five days from the said day’ (pꜣ nt mḥ ḳs ḳs.t ḫm-ẖl i҆w=s nꜣ tmy.w nt ḥry ḥnꜥ ꜥ.wy.w n nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w pꜣy=w rn sẖ ḥry pꜣ nt i҆w=f r i҆y rn=w pꜣ nt mḥ=w rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ (n) rn=y r bn-pw=y mḥ=t n tꜣy=t tny.t pš r-ẖ pꜣ nt sẖ ḥry i҆w=y ty n=t ḥḏ 100 (…) r pꜣ ḳs ẖn hrw 5 n pꜣ ssw rn=f ) (line 11 C–E).48 Had the woman carried out the work herself, her brother would not have needed to pay her a share of what he would receive as payment for his funerary services. On the other hand, clear indication for women’s entitlement to take endowments on a lease is found in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC), stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris and the woman Taimouthes.49 With respect to the Hawara necropolis, the evidence indicates that women had the right to inherit funerary endowments, although no contracts, amongst those analysed, concern the donation to, or purchase by, women of such endowments. Their right to inheritance of funerary assets is evident from P. Rendell (232BC)50 where, following a list of the endowments donated, party A

47

48

49 50

See, for example, P. BM EA 10384 (132 BC), stipulated between a god’s seal-bearer and a woman, which prescribes that in any dispute that may arise between the two contracting parties, it will be the statement of party A’s representative that will prevail (line 22). For this translation of ḳs see Cannata 2007 and Appendix 1. The compound noun ḫmẖl could also be translated as ‘servant’ (see Clarysse and Thompson 2006b, 284–285 and note 203; CDD letter Ḫ, 94) so that the clause in the contract should be understood as making a distinction between a deceased free person and a non-free person. I have chosen to translate this compound as ‘young person’ since there is no clear evidence for the existence of liturgies that were paid specifically for the mortuary cult of servants. On this see further Chapter 6 § 2 below. The date is that of the Greek docket.

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specifies: ‘To you belongs (…) all property which belonged to the woman Haonchis, daughter of the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Marres, her mother being ˹Nebettahy,˺ my mother (and) your mother’ (mtw=k (…) nkt nb nt mtw sḥm.t ḥrꜥnḫ sꜣ.t n ḫtmw-nṯr wyt mꜣꜥ-rꜥ mw.t=s ˹nb.t-tꜣ-ḥy˺ tꜣy=y mw.t tꜣy=k mw.t) (lines 7– 9). The same is suggested by the fact that the document is confirmed by the woman Haonchis, daughter of the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Marres, her mother being ˹Nebettahy,˺ mother of party A and B, and by the woman ˹Nebettahy,˺ daughter of the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Petosiris, her mother being Haonchis, sister of the two contracting parties (lines 10–12). Similarly, in P. Hamburg 2 (83BC), a sale and cession deed, the funerary endowments transferred by party A included ‘⅓ 1/15 share of everything, all property belonging to them, and that which will come in their name and which devolves upon me in the name of Taneusis the mother of our father’ (tny 1/3 1/15 nt nb nkt nb nt mtw=w nb ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt i҆w=w i҆y rn=w nt pḥ r-ḥr=y rn tꜣḥn tꜣ mw.t pꜣy=n i҆ṱ) (line 7). However, there is no specific evidence to indicate whether they actually performed these funerary services themselves or not.

2

Embalmers

Documents from Thebes, Memphis, and to some extent from Siut and Deir erRifeh, suggest the possibility that some women may have worked as embalmers. In documents from the Theban area there are two instances of a woman being identified by the title doctor (swnw), and one case when the person bears the title of female embalmer (ḳs.t).51 The latter is attested in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114 BC), although, as discussed above, such a translation has been disputed on the basis of the Greek rendering of the masculine form of the title ḳs (embalmer) in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (UPZ 180a) (113BC) (col. III line 3). Nevertheless, the palaeographical and orthographical analysis of the Demotic title shows that there is not enough evidence to warrant a reinterpretation of the title ḳs as leatherworker.52 In addition, the fact that there are two examples of women being identified by the title doctor (swnw), who, as already discussed above, were probably also involved in the mummification process, adds weight to the suggestion that, at least some, women took an active role in this process, although this may not have been a widespread practice.

51 52

See Table A.19. Cannata 2007, and Appendix 1.

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As noted above, there is one case from Memphis where a woman may have held the title of lector-priest (ẖr-ḥb).53 The latter is attested in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC), stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris and the woman Taimouthes. A share of the endowments leased, identified collectively as the ‘endowment of Tjaihekaenimu son of Kolloutes,’ is said to belong to the woman lector-priest Anchet, daughter of Tjaihekaenimu. The same document also provides clear indication that women were entitled to take endowments on a lease. The deed concerns the renewal of a lease of funerary properties originally stipulated in September 144 BC and jointly administered for 9–10 years by party B and her husband, the god’s seal-bearer Teos, son of Pasis and Smithis. In 132 BC, 12–13 years after the drawing up of the original document, the lease is renewed for a further 3 years, though the properties are now managed jointly by party B and her son Pasis son of Teos.54 However, as noted above, the contract stipulates that, should Taimouthes neglect the endowments ‘by not being there for them (or) by not performing any work of lector-priest’ during her period of tenure, she will forfeit the rent paid (r tm ḫpr wbꜣ=w r tm i҆r=w wp.t nb ẖr-ḥb) (line 19). Thus, although the properties are held jointly between her and her son, it is she who is contractually bound to perform the funerary services concerned. In addition, the lease entitles Taimouthes to the revenues ‘pertaining to the šty-revenuesource of lector-priest and choachyte and the religious-service šty-revenue of lector-priest, from year 39 (…) until the completion of three years’ (n-m-sꜣ šty ẖr-ḥb wꜣḥ-mw šms šty ẖr-ḥb ṯ ḥꜣ.t-sp 39 (…) šꜣꜥ pꜣ mnḳ n rnp.t 3.t) (line 16), thus indicating that she would be working both as a choachyte and a lector-priest. Additionally, in P. BM EA 10398 (119BC) the god’s seal-bearer Pasis, son of Teos, cedes to his younger sister Taues a number of properties and liturgies including ‘all lector-priest’s revenue-town(s).’55 Similarly, in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) the properties which the woman Taunchis, daughter of the god’s sealbearer Peteimouthes, cedes to her daughter Senamounis, daughter of the god’s seal-bearer Petosiris, include a number of shares of ‘lector-priest’s endowments, revenues and revenue-places.’56 The evidence for female mortuary priests in Middle Egypt is again quite limited and not conclusive, although it does indicate that, as in other parts of the 53 54

55 56

The signs are partly in a lacuna and the reading uncertain, although it is a possibility. See also Martin 2009, 122–123 notes dd and xx. The reason for this renewal may have been the death of party B’s husband. There appears to have been a hiatus between the joint tenure of Taimouthes and her husband, and the start of the new lease in 132 BC, and it is possible that she continued to manage the properties on her own perhaps because her son’s young age (Martin 2009, 127–128 note xxiii). Brunsch 1990, 71–77. Spiegelberg 1903, 4–6; Sethe and Partsch 1920, 737–745.

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country, women were entitled to own and dispose of funerary properties. In P. BM EA 10575 (181BC), recording the apportionment deed made by Petetumis for his son Tuefhapi, it is specified that the office of lector priest in the necropolis of Siut was purchased in 198BC from the woman Senuris daughter of Eba (lines 2–3). Additional evidence is provided by P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC), an apportionment deed concerning the division of funerary properties among various god’s seal-bearers, in which party B is said to have inherited shares not only from his father, but also from his mother (line 1). The fact that these shares were kept separate from those of her husband may indicate that she actually worked as a lector-priest, although it is equally possible that the woman had inherited them from her family and were, therefore, listed separately when handed down to her son. Further evidence may be provided by P. UC 32223 (2nd cent. BC), a fragmentary Demotic household record from cartonnage material discovered at Deir er-Rifeh. As noted above, the document lists a large number of people, organised according to profession and household, with the individual entries headed by a professional title. Of relevance here are column xiii (lines 321–329) and column xiv (lines 345–365) in which are listed lector-priests and embalmers.57 Given that this record appears to be arranged by household, as well as by profession, it is not possible to take the presence of female individuals in the list as evidence for them practicing either profession, since they may be mentioned simply as part of the household. However, in line 328 a woman is listed by herself, although she is still identified as ‘the woman of PN,’ which raises the possibility that the other women listed could be understood as also holding the title of lector-priest or that of embalmer. In trying to determine whether women worked as funerary priests or not, it is important to distinguish between their legal entitlement to exercise the profession, and their actual practice of such an activity. With regards to the first issue, there is nothing in the extant documentation to suggest that they did not have the legal right to work as such, whilst it is clear that they enjoyed the same rights of ownership of funerary property as the male members of the necropolis workers community.58 With respect to the second issue, taken together, the evidence does suggest that at least some women effectively worked as choachytes.

57 58

For these lines see Chapter 5 § 2 above. See also P. van Minnen (1998, 201–203) who argues that, despite the apparent lack of evidence, women did learn a trade outside the home in Roman Egypt, and that the limited number of apprenticeship contracts for freeborn females is due to the fact that they often learnt from their relatives at home rather than indicating that women were only prepared for marriage and childbearing, that is, domestic work.

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Despite their absence from the list of the association’s members, why would these women have been able to own liturgies, to buy and alienate them, only to be then replaced in the service itself by a male member of the household or an employee as has been suggested? Clearly these women married within the choachytal community and it is, therefore, likely that husband and wife would have collaborated with each other in the performance of the religious services for the deceased in their care. Personal circumstances would have called for different arrangements. Thus a woman may not have been able to work during pregnancy or while nursing a young baby, whilst a childless widow may not have had any choice but to personally perform the liturgical service for the deceased in her care. To some extent, the same argument applies to the possibility of women working as embalmers, although the evidence is even more limited and not entirely unambiguous. Clearly some collaborated with their husbands as indicated by P. BM EA 10384 (132BC), from Memphis, and P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–117BC), from Thebes. In the latter document the defendant Petenephotes ~ Lolous is accused by his colleague, Amenothes, to have taken away, together with his wife, deceased individuals who fell under his competence (lines 18–20).59 Although this is not proof of the woman actually working as embalmer, it does clearly indicate that the couple collaborated together in the activity of the husband. 59

Pestman 1981, 64.

chapter 7

Services, Income and Taxation of Funerary Priests Liturgies represented the funerary priests’ assets and as such they could be pledged as securities on legal deeds, including marriage agreements and loan contracts.1 This is the case in P. Louvre E 2443 (249 BC), stipulated between Patemis, son of Pchorchonsis and Eschonsis, and his wife Taketem, daughter of Lolous and Tainetem. Patemis borrows from his wife a sum of 3 deben, undertaking to pay her back within three years, and pledging as guarantee on the deed his possessions which included both real estate and a number of liturgies. A few years later the man draws up a cession document (sẖ n wy) in favour of his wife, P. Louvre E 2438 (245BC), with which he transfers to her ownership of his properties, although it is not clear from this document whether the deed was made because of the inability of Patemis to pay back the debt he contracted with his wife in 249BC, or if this contract relates to a successive debt.2 On the subject of pledges, it is interesting to note how reliance on the writings of classical authors has led Bataille, and other scholars in turn, to state that a person’s deceased relative could be given as a guarantee on a loan, although, they note, it is unclear whether the actual body would have been consigned to the creditor or not (!) (See fig. 1).3 On this subject, Diodorus Siculus writes: ‘they also have a custom of tendering the bodies of their deceased parents as security for loans; but the deepest disgrace attends one who fails to discharge the debt, and at death he himself is denied a funeral’ (Diodorus Siculus I 93). Similarly Herodotus, who states that: ‘in the reign of this king (scil. Asychis), money being scarce and commercial dealings straitened, a law was passed that the borrower might pledge his father’s body to raise the sum whereof he had need. A proviso was appended to this law, giving the lender authority over the entire sepulchre of the borrower, so that a man who took up money under this pledge, if he died without paying the debt, could not obtain burial either in his own ancestral tomb, or in any other, nor could he during his lifetime bury in his own tomb any member of his family’ (Herodotus II.136).

1 This is the reason why so much of the evidence for funerary practices originates from marriage agreements, among others. 2 Pestman 1961, 152. 3 Bataille 1952, 224–225; Chauveau 2001, 140.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_009

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figure 2

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‘Pledging granddad’s mummy on a loan’ modified from Blackman and Bell 1988

Such statements may have originated from a misunderstanding by these classical authors of the choachytes’ practice of pledging their rights to the liturgies (not to the body), hence the payments received for their care of deceased individuals, as a guarantee on their fulfilment of contractual obligations. In fact, not surprisingly, there is no evidence at all among deeds drawn up by ordinary people for this practice, since the only income the ‘bodies’ generated consisted of the payments made by the family of deceased individuals to the choachytes.4 4 See, for example, P. BM EA 10523 (295–294 BC) (Glanville 1939, 9–14) in which a woman pledges

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Definition of the Services Performed by Funerary Priests

In the Theban area three different terms are used to define the choachytes’ work and income, though no particular words are used with respect to those of the lector-priests. On the other hand, as discussed above, at Hawara, Memphis, and possibly in Middle Egypt too, the title of god’s seal-bearer and embalmer was used to denote a funerary priest whose activity corresponded to that of the choachytes and that of the lector-priests of the Theban necropolis. Because of this, it is not always possible to determine with certainty whether the terminology used refers to the income they received for performing the mummification of the deceased, for officiating in his/her mortuary cult, or for either activity without any distinction. In general terms, the activity of funerary priests, including that of lectorpriests, is defined as ‘work’ or ‘office’ (wp.t), with examples found in documents from the Theban area and Middle Egypt. Examples are found in P. BM EA 10026 (265–264BC), which opens with the heading ‘my (revenues from my) work as choachyte in the tombs that are in the necropolis of Djeme’ (tꜣy=y wp.t wꜣḥ-mw n nꜣ ḥ.wt nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ) (line 5), and in P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC), which stipulates that party B will work as choachyte in the tomb mentioned. Similarly, P. Louvre E 2429bis (292BC) (line 2) and P. Louvre E 2428 (277 BC) (line 2) identify this office as the ‘work as choachyte at Hermonthis’ (wp.(t) n wꜣḥ-mw n i҆wnw-mnṱ). In documents from Middle Egypt examples are found in P. Mallawi 602/1– 5 (79BC) (Sharuna), an apportionment deed drawn up by eleven god’s sealbearers in favour of another colleague, in which the activity to be performed is identified as ‘the offices of lector-priest of Psenharyo in the town of Psenharyo’ (nꜣ wp.wt n ẖr-ḥb ḥr-wḏꜣ pꜣ tmy ḥr-wḏꜣ) (line 1). Similarly, in P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) and P. BM EA 10575 (181BC), recording the apportionment deed made by Petetumis for his son Tuefhapi, party A transfers a share of ‘the work as lectorpriest in the necropolis of Siut’ (tꜣ wp.t ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t sywt) (lines 2–3), as well as a share of ‘the work as lector priest of Shaiueshetep and its (surrounding) areas’ (tꜣ wp.t n ẖr-ḥb š-i҆w=s-ḥtp i҆rm nꜣy=f mꜣꜥ.w) (line 3). More specific information on the activity of funerary priests is found in a number of Demotic sources from the Theban area that identify the services the choachytes rendered for the deceased as šms.w, or (religious) services (λειτουργία), and ꜥrš.w, or purificatory offerings (άγνευτικά). The term λειτουργία, origher house as guarantee on a loan. It is possible, of course, that private individuals could pledge their tombs as a security, but, if this was the case, no evidence for it survives in the textual record.

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inally used to refer to the state-service required of wealthy citizens, acquired, over time, the more general sense of service to the community, before being used to designate services provided to any beneficiary, such as cultic services performed for a divinity.5 Thus it is possible to see why it came to be used to denote the activity of mortuary priests who performed religious services for deceased persons. On the other hand, the term ꜥrš.w probably referred to the libations and burnt offerings made as part of the mortuary cult of the deceased, as suggested by its translation in Greek as άγνευτικά, from ἁγνίζω with the meaning of ‘purify, cleanse’ and ‘offer (or) burn as a sacrifice.’6 As Pestman noted, the noun ꜥrš.w is never used by itself, but always in connection with the word šms.w as the first term. Indeed, they were so closely connected that the second term, ꜥrš.w, was not separately rendered in P. London Gr. 3 and in P. Leiden Gr. 413, which are translations into Greek of P. Berlin P. 3119 (146 BC) and P. Berlin P. 5507 (136BC) respectively.7 In Demotic contracts the two terms are generally used as part of a formulaic clause at the end of the contract to specify that party B is entitled to perform the (religious) services, to make the purificatory offerings for the individuals listed in the deed, and to receive from them revenues for this work as choachyte. Thus in the clause of transfer and possession in P. Berlin P. 5507 (136 BC) the seller declares to have given to party B: ‘[the] ḥ.wt-tombs and their shafts, (and) those who rest in them, the blessed ones (ḥsy.w) and their s.wt-tombs, and those who rest in them, together with (…) their šty-revenues, their i҆ḫy-offerings (for) their religious services and their purificatory offerings’ (ḥ.wt i҆rm nꜣy=w šḳ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w ḥnꜥ nꜣ ḥsy.w nꜣy=w s.wt nꜣy=w rmṯ.w ḥnꜥ (…) nꜣy.w šty.w nꜣy.w i҆ḫy.w nꜣy.w šms.w nꜣy.w ꜥrš.w). lines 7–8

Additional information on the choachytes’ activities is perhaps provided by one of the clauses in their association’s regulations, which indicates that in particular circumstances they would receive a payment from the association. The clause stipulates that: ‘any man who goes to the tombs8 is to be given 3

5 6 7 8

Lewis 1960, 181. Liddell and Scott 1897, 11. Pestman 1993, 458. De Cenival suggests that the reading of the term ḫry, translated as ‘road, path’ in the Glossar, is here another term for tomb derived from the classical Egyptian ḫr (See Wb III, 323,9) (De Cenival 1972, 123 note 8,1).

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silver (deben), (but) he is not to go without having informed his colleagues in the village’9 (pꜣ rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ mtw=f r šm r nꜣ ḫyr.w mtw=w ty.t n=f ḥḏ 3 mtw=f tm šm i҆w bn-pw=f ty.t rḫ nꜣy=f i҆ry.w nt ḥr pꜣ tmy) (Text C lines 8–9). The text does not expand on the reasons why they would go to the tombs and receive compensation for it. An indication of the purpose of their journey to the necropolis is perhaps provided by one of the documents in the Memphite archive of the priest Hor of Sebennytos. Text 21 in this archive is a draft memorandum written by the latter in relation to the administration of the ibis-galleries. In particular, the document establishes that a payment will be made to the priests chosen for the task of inspecting the ‘sanctuary’ of the sacred Ibises and Hawks, and for ensuring its regularity.10 On the basis of this evidence, it seems possible that the choachytes were also responsible for the tombs’ inspection, perhaps to ensure that there had not been any security breach, particularly if these were located in the more remote parts of the necropolis.

2

Different Types of Revenues

In this section the income of the god’s seal-bearers will be discussed together with that of the choachytes, since there is a certain overlap between the different types of revenues of these two groups of mortuary priests.11 Funerary priests would be paid both in money and in kind for the services they rendered. P. Berlin P. 3107 (99BC), from Thebes, provides evidence for the kind of items they could receive as payment, which were: ‘bread, meat, beer, wine, libation(s) and wreath(s)’ (ꜥḳ i҆wf ḥnḳ i҆rp wtn ḳlm) (line 11). On the other hand, P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301BC) provides evidence for compensation in money since it lists ‘the choachyte: 2 kite’ (pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw ḳt 2) (line 12),12 as does P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) that lists ‘Mutmehit: 50 deben for the choachyte of Horos’ (mw.t-mḥyt · 50 pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw n ḥr) (Col. III line 23).13

9 10 11

12 13

The writing of this noun resembles that of the word tw ‘mountain,’ but the use of the topographical determinative argues for the reading of the word as tmy ‘village.’ Ray 1976, 81–84, Text 21 lines 11–18. Because the activity of the god’s seal-bearers encompassed that of choachytes and lectorpriests, the revenues of the former group are discussed both in this section and in that relating to the Theban lector-priests, for which see below Chapter 7 §3. For examples from the Hawara necropolis see below §2.7 ꜥḳ n wsi҆r. For a consecutive translation of this text see Appendix 2.

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A wide range of terms is used in the documents analysed to identify the revenues of the various funerary priests, although the distinction between them is not always clear.14 The following are the various types of revenue attested. 2.1 šty-revenue One of the most common terms for ‘revenue’ or ‘income,’ attested throughout the Ptolemaic Period, and from all parts of the country, is šty. The noun is a derivative of the hieroglyphic verb šdy ‘to take (away), to exact (taxes),’ which survives into Coptic as ϣⲓⲧⲉ ‘to demand, extort.’15 The word is translated into Greek as karpeiai or logeiai with the meaning of ‘revenue.’ The meaning of this term is apparent, for example, in P. Rendell (232 BC) from Hawara, where the payments received are identified as ‘the revenues from the ḥ.wt-tombs (and) the deceased people’ (nꜣ št.w nꜣ ḥ.wt nꜣ ḳs.w) (line 6). In the Memphite documents this word shows two different spellings: the first written with the ‘pool with lotus flowers’ as the first sign and .16 The presthe second written with simply the ‘pool’ as the initial sign ence of two different writings had already been noted by De Cenival and Reymond, who concluded that they must be two different words.17 Martin suggests that the two nouns, although both meaning ‘revenue, income,’ differ in that the first denotes a source of revenue and the second the revenue itself. The difference in spelling is attested only at Memphis where it appears from around the middle of the 3rd century BC, although its origins remain uncertain since there does not appear to be a clear hieroglyphic predecessor for the first variant of this noun which employs the ‘pool with lotus flowers’ as the first sign.18 From the available documentation, however, it is not clear whether this revenue refers specifically to payments in kind or money. According to P. Mallawi Museum 602/7 (101BC) (Sharuna) the šty-revenue consisted, at least in this instance, of ‘emmer, bread-rations (…) […] (given for the) families which we have sold to you’ (mtw=k pꜣ šty r bt ˹ꜥḳ˺ (…) […] mhꜣw r-ty=n n=k r ḏbꜣ ḥḏ) 14

15 16 17

18

The following is a list of the revenues attested for each of the necropolises discussed. Memphis: šty, i҆ḫy (var. i҆h̭y and ꜣḫy), ẖn(y), šmꜥ (var. šmꜥꜣ), gyl, hwh.t (var. wh and hwth), glflf, tmy-šty and ꜥ.wy-šty; Hawara: šty, i҆ḫy, ẖny and i҆ny; Middle Egypt: šty, i҆w, i҆ny, and ꜥḳ; Thebes: ꜥḳ n wsi҆r, šty.w, and i҆ḫy.w; Edfu: none attested. Černý 1976, 254; Crum 1939, 594a. The facsimiles are made from P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) line 14. De Cenival 1972a, 58 note 30; Reymond 1973, 118 note 9; Brunsch 1990 on the other hand read some examples as šty and others as wt, for the corrections to his readings see Martin 2009, 62 note 279. Martin 2009, 59–64.

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(lines 4–5), although the suggested readings remain uncertain because the papyrus is quite damaged at this point. 2.2 i҆ḫy-offerings (var. i҆h̭y and ꜣḫy) Another very common term for a type of revenue, also attested throughout the Ptolemaic Period and from nearly all parts of the country, is i҆ḫy, and its variants i҆h̭y and ꜣḫy, with the meaning of ‘things, offerings.’ In the documents of the Theban choachytes, dating from the 2nd century BC, the word is rendered in Greek as τὰ προσπίπτοντα ‘profits, income.’ Pestman notes that in these documents the word is never used by itself but always in connection with the word šty (revenue).19 Typically, the nouns are used in one of the contract’s clauses in which party A declares to have given to party B ‘the šty-revenues and the i҆ḫy-offerings (for) the (religious)-services (šms.w) and the purificatory offerings (ꜥrš.w).’ The same is also the case in the Memphite documents where the word is used in close connection with šty.20 A representative example is found, for instance, in P. BM EA 10381 (276–256BC), which entitles party B to the endowments listed ‘together with their šty-revenue and their ꜣḫy-offerings’ (pꜣy=w šty ḥnꜥ pꜣy=w ꜣh̭ y) (line 3). A slightly different listing is found in P. BM EA 10398 (119BC) which lists ‘any endowment, any šty-revenue, any ẖny-festival-offerings, any equipment, any places, any i҆ḫy-offerings, any šty-revenue’ (sꜥnḫ nb šty nb ẖny nb tbḥ.t nb mꜣꜥ.w nb i҆h̭y nb šty nb) (line 3); and in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) which includes ‘their šty-revenue, their i҆ny-festival-offerings, their i҆ḫy-offerings’ (pꜣy=w šty pꜣy=w i҆ny pꜣy=w i҆h̭y) (line 10).21 Among the Hawara documents it is attested only in P. BM 10604 (85 BC) in which the income generated by the endowments sold is identified as ‘their šty-revenue, their i҆ḫy-offerings, their i҆ny-festival-offerings, their ration(s), and everything at all’ (tꜣy=w šty pꜣy=w i҆ḫy pꜣy=w i҆ny pꜣy=w ꜥḳ mt nb pꜣ tꜣ) (line 5). 2.3 ẖn(y)- and i҆ny-festival-offerings Another type of revenue, attested only in documents from Lower Egypt, is ẖn(y). This perhaps is to be understood as a ‘special offering’ received on the 19 20

21

Pestman 1993, 458, 460. However, this is not the case in religious texts, where the noun i҆h̭y is also used by itself. See, for example, P. Harkness (MMA 31.9.7) (AD 61) which reads ‘Offerings will be enduring before you’ (mne i҆h̭y ẖr rꜣ=t) (col. III line 4) (Smith 2005, 66), and the parallel section in P. BM EA 10507 (Late Ptolemaic–Early Roman Period) which also reads ‘Offerings will be enduring before you’ (mne i҆h̭y ꜣh rꜣ=k) (col. XI line 21) (Smith 1987, 51). Among the Memphite documents the term is also attested in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) (line 5), P. Louvre E 3266 (197 BC) (lines 2 H, 3 C, 4 A–B, 7 R, 9 S), P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC) (line 6), P. BM EA 10384 (132 BC) (line 16), and P. Pavia 1120 (118BC) (line 6).

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occasion of festivals, as suggested by Reymond on the basis of its possible hieroglyphic equivalents: ḫn.t ‘festival offering(s)’ and ẖn.t ‘food.’22 At Memphis this type of income is attested from only three documents. In P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC) party A states that party B is entitled to ‘any endowment, any šty-revenue, any i҆ḫy-offering(s), any ẖny-festival-offering(s)’ (sꜥnḫ nb šty nb i҆ḫy nb ẖny nb) (line 3); and similarly in P. Wien ÄS 3874 (149–148 BC) which lists: ‘any endowment, any šty-revenue, any ẖny-festival-offering(s), any places, any i҆ḫy-offering(s), any (source of) šty-revenue’ (sꜥnḫ nb šty nb ẖny nb mꜣꜥ nb i҆ḫy nb šty nb) (lines 2–3).23 Finally, a very close parallel is found in P. BM EA 10398 (119BC) in which party B is entitled to ‘any endowment, any štyrevenue, any ẖny-festival-offering(s), any equipment (from) any places, any i҆h̭yoffering(s) (from) any šty-revenue-source, any revenue-place (and) any lectorpriest’s revenue-town, any money that is donated, bread that is donated, land that is donated’ (sꜥnḫ nb šty nb ẖny nb tbḥ.t nb mꜣꜥ.w nb i҆h̭y nb šty nb ꜥ.wy-šty nb tmy-šty ẖr-ḥb nb ḥḏ i҆w=f ḥnk ꜥḳ i҆w=f ḥnk pꜣ ꜣḥ i҆w=f ḥnk) (line 3).24 Among the Hawara documents ẖn(y) is found in P. Hamburg 4 + 8 (92 BC), a donation of real estate and funerary properties between a father and his son. The income generated by the funerary properties includes: ‘their share of their ration(s), their meat-(rations), their wine, their cloth, their bed, their ointment, their bandages, their portion of silver together with their copper, their wheat, their ẖny-festival-offerings (from the) field (and) the town, together with their shares of everything, every property which will be added to them and which will be given in their name’ (nꜣy=w tni҆.t nꜣy=w ꜥḳ nꜣy=w i҆wf.w nꜣy=w i҆rp nꜣy=w ḥbs pꜣy=w glḏ25 tꜣy=w mtḥ nꜣy=w sbn.w nꜣy=w tni҆.t nꜣy=w ḥḏ.w ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w ḥmt.w nꜣy=w swꜣ nꜣy=w ẖny.w sḫ.t pꜣ tmy ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w tny.w(t) nt nb nkt nb nt i҆w=w wꜣḥ r-r=w ḥnꜥ nt i҆w=w ty.t s rn=w). lines 6–8

The list found in P. Hamburg 5+6 (92 BC), another donation deed drawn up by the same man for another of his sons, written on the same day as the previous document and by the same scribe, lists almost the same items, though in a different order (lines 6–7). In particular, the latter list includes ‘corn,’ but omits mention of the ‘bandages’ found in the former document, which suggests 22 23 24 25

Reymond 1973, 118 note 9; Wb III 289/17 and 373/4 respectively; CDD letter H̱ , 42. Brunsch 1990, 75 note o. After Martin 2009, 62. A different writing is also shown by the Fayumic form of this noun in Coptic.

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that the list was not an entirely standardised inventory of items, although it was meant to include anything at all that might be given as payment by the families of the deceased in the care of these mortuary priests. The word appears to be the equivalent of the revenue termed i҆ny, attested in P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC), from Middle Egypt, and also meaning ‘festival offerings.’26 This alternative term is also attested at Hawara, although it occurs only in one document, P. BM EA 10604 (85BC), and never in the same text as ẖny. 2.4 šmꜥ- (var. šmꜥꜣ) and gyl-revenue Another term for a type of revenue, attested only in the Memphite documents, is šmꜥ, with its variant writing šmꜥꜣ, literally meaning ‘stranger.’ According to Černý the noun derives from the hieroglyphic word šmꜣ meaning ‘stranger, vagabond.’27 Donker Van Heel suggests that the connotations of this word as ‘stranger, newcomer’ may indicate it was a revenue connected with strangers dying at Memphis.28 The suggestion has been accepted by Martin who postulates that it was a revenue received in connection with ‘third parties’ that were not part of the mortuary priests’ endowments as such, but that fell within their jurisdiction because they had died in the Memphite area.29 The word is almost always preceded or followed by the hwh/wh/hwth-revenue (see below) and by the ‘undivided-revenue’ (wš-pš), and occurs in the documents of both choachytes and god’s seal-bearers. In P. BM EA 10381 (276– 256BC) in addition to the endowments’ šty-revenues and ꜣḫy-offerings, party B is entitled to ‘their hwh-revenue (and) [their] šmꜥ-revenue’(pꜣy=w hwh [pꜣy=w] šmꜥ) (line 3). Close parallels are found in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC), P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC), P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC), and P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC).30 26 27 28 29

30

Pestman et al. 1977b, 14–15 note s. Černý 1976, 244. Donker Van Heel 1998, 46 note XVIII. Martin 2009, 65–66. Martin also points out an example in P. Ashmolean D. 10 (1968.10) (98 BC) from Hawara in which the endowment transferred include ‘Petesouchos son of Paesis, his mother being Tasos […] (and?) Zoil[o]s who is dead and their women, their children and the strangers who will come in their name in order to perform for them the liturgical services of a lector-priest’ (pꜣ-ty-sbk (sꜣ) p-i҆s.t mw.t=f ta-swr […] sylꜣ[w]s r-i҆ir҆ mwt i҆rm nꜣy=w sḥm.wt nꜣy=w ẖrṱ.w i҆rm nꜣ šmꜥꜣ.w nt i҆w=w r-i҆y n rn=w r i҆r n=w štwy.w ẖr-ḥb) (lines 4–5). However, it is possible that the noun šmꜥꜣ in this document was used to indicate that the endowment included anyone who would be buried in that specific tomb, whose identity was unknown at the time the contract was drawn up, without any connotation to strangers or third parties, especially since the šmꜥ-revenue is not attested at Hawara. P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) lists ‘their hwh-revenue, their šmꜥꜣ-revenue and (…) their undivided-revenue’ (pꜣy=w hwh pꜣy=w šmꜥꜣ ḥnꜥ (…) pꜣy=w wš-pš) (line 5); P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) includes ‘their hwh-revenue, their šmꜥꜣ-revenue (and) their undivided-revenue’ (pꜣy=w

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On the other hand, P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) adds another type of revenue to this list: ‘their šmꜥ-revenue, their gyl-revenue, their wh-revenue, their undivided-revenue, their šty-revenue, their festival-offering(s) (and) their offering(s)’ (pꜣy=w šmꜥ pꜣy=w gyl pꜣy=w wh pꜣy=w wš-pš pꜣy=w šty pꜣy=w i҆ny pꜣy=w i҆h̭y) (line 10). According to Černý the noun gyl derives etymologically from the hieroglyphic word ḳ(r)i҆ ‘newcomer, visitor,’ and thus shares similar connotations to šmꜥ or ‘stranger, vagabond.’31 However, since both šmꜥ and gyl are used in the same document the two terms must refer to different types of revenue received for different ‘classes’ of deceased. An indication of who these two classes of deceased may have been is provided by the evidence of some Theban documents. In P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC), the petition presented by the lector-priest Petenephotes, son of Petenephotes, against his colleague Amenothes, son of Horos, concerns the latter’s infringement upon the territorial jurisdiction of Petenephotes. Here reference is made to a previous contract which is said to have been drawn up in the ‘city of Thebes in the agoranomos for foreigners’ (Διὸς πὀλει ξενικοῦ ἀγορανομίου) (col. I line 6), where foreigner refers to individuals not resident at Thebes.32 As part of the specification of the settlements and people which fell under the authority of each of the two lector-priests, the document includes the inhabitants of the temple of Amun at Thebes and of Psameris, as well as the ‘foreigners who sojourn in these villages and reside there’ (παρεπιδημούντων καὶ κατοικούντων ἐν ταύταις ξένων) (col. I lines 13–14).33 Finally, the petition itself concerns the accusation that the defendant performed the mummification of sufferers who had been taken to the temple of Amun, in order to be cured, and died there.34 In view of this evidence it is possible that the šmꜥ-revenue and the gyl-revenue referred to payments received for: 1. people not resident at Memphis itself, but in settlements within its districts; 2. people originally from other areas, or even countries, but who now lived in the Memphite area and were, therefore, buried there;

31 32 33

34

hwh pꜣy=w šmꜥ pꜣy=w wš-n-pš) (line 3 B). P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC) lists ‘their šmꜥꜣ-revenue, their hwth-revenue (and) their undivided-revenue’ (pꜣy=w šmꜥꜣ pꜣy=w hwth pꜣy=w wš-pš) (line 5), while P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC) lists ‘their šmꜥ-revenue, their wh-revenue (and) their undivided-revenue’ (pꜣy=w šmꜥ pꜣy=w wh pꜣy=w wš-pš) (line 3). Černý 1976, 326–327; CDD letter G, 8. Pestman 1981, 54 note 4, 74 note j. After Pestman 1981, 68, 71. It is also interesting to note that the document indicates that the Amun temple complex was considered in Greek as a kome, as was the case with the Anubieion in the Memphite necropolis (Pestman 1981, 73 note h). Pestman 1981, 72, 74 note z.

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3.

people originally from other areas, but who died in the Memphite area, perhaps during a sojourn there while making a pilgrimage to one of its temples, and were, therefore, buried there. It is not possible to be certain which ‘class’ of deceased each of the two revenues covered, but on the basis of the specific meaning of each of the two nouns, it can be surmised that the gyl-revenue was received for people not originally from, or not resident at, Memphis itself, given the connotations of ‘newcomer, visitor’ conveyed by the noun gyl. On the other hand, the šmꜥ-revenue was perhaps received for pilgrims who died during their sojourn in the Memphite area, as suggested by the connotations of ‘stranger, vagabond’ conveyed by the noun šmꜥ. 2.5 hwh.t-revenue (var. wh and hwth) Yet another term for funerary revenues attested in the Memphite documents is hwh.(t) with its variants wh and hwth, of uncertain meaning. The word shows the ‘evil’ determinative preceded by what looks like the writing of the feminine t, which the Chicago Demotic Dictionary suggests is the ‘walking-legs’ determinative.35 The possessive pronoun before the word could be read as either pꜣy=w or tꜣy=w.36 Revillout identified this noun with the Coptic word ϩⲟⲩϩⲉ, meaning ‘untimely birth, foetus, abortion,’ and translated the Demotic term as ‘foetus abortif.’37 Indeed, the presence of the variant wh, possibly linked to the hieroglyphic word why meaning ‘miscarriage,’ seems to suggest that this is the meaning of the Demotic hwh and its variants.38 The Chicago Demotic Dictionary suggests a possible connection with the hieroglyphic word hwhw ‘to scurry off.’39 However, one difficulty with understanding hwh as a type of revenue relating to foetuses and still-born babies rests with the fact that there is no evidence for the presence of a cult centering on this category of deceased.40 One possibility would be to understand the Demotic term as referring to ‘untimely death’ and,

35 36

37 38 39 40

CDD letter H, 28. Martin 2009, 66 note 308, where he notes that in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC), P. Louvre E 3266 (197 BC), P. Leiden I 380a–b (64 BC) and P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) pꜣy=w and tꜣy=w are written in the same way, while in P. BM EA 10381 (276–256BC) and P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC) there are no comparative examples of either pronouns except for that used before this word. Revillout 1882, pl. 37 col. 1; Crum 1939, 739b–740a; Černý 1976, 305. Wb II 339.16; Černý 1976, 305. CDD letter H, 28. Except, perhaps, for the reference to young deceased person(s) (ḳs.t ḫm-ẖl) in P. Louvre E 3266 (197 BC).

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therefore, relating to any individual dying prematurely, though not necessarily at birth, and who may have been the object of special veneration, perhaps in a way comparable to the blessed-ones (ḥsy.w) attested in the Theban necropolis.41 2.6 glflf-revenue Another type of revenue mentioned in one of the Memphite documents is glflf.w or food-offerings. The term occurs in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) where it is listed among other revenues and funerary structures: ‘the ḳꜣ-tombs, the glflf-food-offerings, the sꜥr.w,42 the šty-revenue, the i҆ny-festivaloffering(s), the i҆h̭y-offering(s)’ (nꜣ ḳꜣ.w nꜣ glflf.w nꜣ sꜥr.w pꜣ šty pꜣ i҆ny pꜣ i҆h̭y) (line 13). The same type of revenue occurs in a cession contract for liturgical services at a shrine at Tebtunis, P. Cairo 30620 (100–99 BC). Reymond suggests that, in view of the presence of the bread-loaf determinative, the noun perhaps denotes some type of revenue in kind, and that maybe it derives from the hieroglyphic word ḳrf with the meaning of ‘food.’43 2.7 ꜥḳ n wsi҆r (ration(s) of Osiris) The term ꜥḳ n wsi҆r, or ration(s) of Osiris, was the expression traditionally used in the pre-Ptolemaic Period to denote the revenues received by the choachytes for the religious services they performed for the dead. Among the documents analysed this specific formula occurs in one document from Thebes, P. BM EA 10827 (273–272BC), a deed of donation of a number of tombs, in which party A states: ‘they belong to you, they are your s.wt-tombs aforesaid together with their ration(s) of ˹Osiris˺’ (mtw=t st nꜣy=t s.wt nt ḥry nꜣ.w ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w ꜥḳ n ˹wsi҆r˺) (line 4).44 The noun ꜥḳ, or ‘ration,’ is used in P. BM EA 10591 (170BC), from Siut (Middle Egypt), to refer to a form of income or revenue that two lector-priests, Tuefhapi and his brother Totoes, received, perhaps in connection with services performed in the temple of Wepwawet. The term possibly occurs in P. Mallawi Museum 602/7 (101BC) (Sharuna) as well, which stipulates that: ‘to you belongs the šty-revenue consisting of emmer, bread-rations, (…) […] (given for/from 41

42 43 44

The evidence shows that the epithet ḥsy could also be applied to young children, see further Chapter 14 § 2. No archaeological evidence exists from the Ptolemaic Period for separate burial grounds in which foetuses and infants would be buried, nor is there any indication that this category of deceased was treated differently with respect to, for example, mummification procedures. The word appears to be written alphabetically and uses the pot determinative, but I am unable to suggest a translation for it. Reymond 1954, 43 note 20; CDD letter G, 60; Wb V 60/11. Vleeming 1995, 247; Pestman and Vleeming 1994, 45 with further references.

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the) families which we have sold to you’ (mtw=k pꜣ šty r bt ˹ꜥḳ˺ (…) […] mhꜣw r-ty=n n=k r ḏbꜣ ḥḏ) (lines 4–5). However, the relevant sections on the papyrus are damaged and the readings uncertain. A number of deeds from Hawara employ a longer version of this formula, one which is comparable to the same type of clause found in contracts in the archives of the Theban choachytes. In P. BM 10603 (100 BC) the items pledged as a guarantee on the marriage document include a share of funerary endowments together with ‘their ꜥḳ-ration(s), their meat-(rations), their wine, their cloth, their ointment, their linens45 and everything, every property which will be given in their name’ (pꜣy=w ꜥḳ nꜣy=w i҆wf.w pꜣy=w i҆rp pꜣy=w ḥbs tꜣy=w mtḥ pꜣy=w ꜥwꜥy nt nb nkt nb nt i҆w=w ty st rn=w) (line 5). A slightly different list of items is found in P. BM 10605 (98 BC), another marriage document, on which are pledged, among other items, a share of ‘their ration(s), their meat(rations), ˹their˺ libations,46 their silver, their copper, and everything which pertains to them’ (nꜣy=w ꜥḳ.w pꜣy=w i҆wf ˹nꜣy=w˺ ḳbḥ.w ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w ḥḏ.w nꜣy=w ḥmt.w ḥnꜥ nt nb nt ṯ r-r=w) (line 2), and which also shows that part of the payments were received in money. On the other hand, a similar list in P. BM 10606 (93BC), also a marriage document, includes a share of ‘the resin, the sywꜥ, the cloth, the ointment, [together with their portion] (of) the ration(s), the meat(rations), the wine, the ointment (and) the ˹large linen(s)˺’ (pꜣ syf pꜣ sywꜥ pꜣ ḥbs tꜣ mtḥ ḥnꜥ pꜣy=w wn pꜣ ꜥḳ pꜣ i҆wf pꜣ i҆rp tꜣ ˹ꜥꜣ.t-wꜥy˺) (line 5). Very close parallels to this formula are also found in P. Hamburg 4 + 8 (92 BC) and P. Hamburg 5 +6 (92BC) recording a donation of properties between a father and his two sons.47 Given that the ꜥḳ-ration(s) concern payments in kind, more specifically food-rations, it is possible that this type of revenue is to be understood as the equivalent of the glflf-revenue attested in one of the document from Memphis. 2.8 i҆w-income As a type of revenue, i҆w, previously transliterated as i҆sw, is attested only in Middle Egypt. The meaning of the noun is similar to that of Classical Egyptian i҆sw ‘compensation, reward,’ surviving into Coptic as ⲁⲥⲟⲩ ‘price, value,’ and variously translated as ‘payment, receipt’ or ‘compensation, reward, price.’48 Mali-

45 46 47 48

For this noun see Lüddeckens 1998, 132–133 note 19. For this reading see Quack 2000, 292. For the text see above § 2.3. ẖn(y)- and i҆ny-festival-offerings. Černý 1976, 13; Crum 1939, 18a; Glossar, 44. For literature and a discussion on the nouns i҆w and i҆swy.(t) see Pierce 1972, 60–62 § 55, and 103–109.

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nine suggested it could be a derivative of the verb i҆w ‘to come’ with the meaning of ‘to come (for the purpose of making a payment),’49 although it could also be understood as ‘(in)come’ and as referring to the actual remuneration received, which seems to be the meaning the noun has in the present context. It is possible that this noun is to be understood as an equivalent of the more common term i҆ḫy, attested throughout the Ptolemaic Period from all other parts of the country, with the meaning of ‘things, offerings,’ and rendered in Greek as τὰ προσπίπτοντα or ‘profits, income.’50 The data discussed are summarised in table 2 below.51 As already noted, the šty-revenue is the only one attested from all parts of the country, while the others are encountered only in some areas. On the basis of the foregoing analysis, it seems possible that the i҆w-income was the equivalent, in Middle Egypt, of the i҆ḫy-offerings attested in the rest of the country, while the noun i҆ny is probably to be understood as the equivalent of the noun ẖn(y), both meaning festival-offerings. However, it is surprising that no revenue comparable to these is attested from the Theban area. Given the large amount of documentation surviving from this necropolis, the lack of attestation is probably not due to accidents of preservation. Rather it is possible that at Thebes the i҆ḫyofferings included also those that would be given on special occasions, such as at festivals. Alternatively, the lack of evidence may be indicative of a difference in local customs, whereby no special payments were prescribed for particular occasions in the Theban area. The ꜥḳ-ration, a type of revenue in kind, is attested from all parts of the country except for the Memphite area, and it is possible that it is to be understood as the equivalent of the glflf-revenue, listed in only one document from the latter necropolis. The remaining three types of revenues (šmꜥ, gyl, and hwh.t) are found only in Memphite documents. Again, it is difficult to see why there should be a greater variety of revenues in this area by comparison with the rest of the country. One possibility is that these were specific to the function of the Memphite mortuary priests as lector-priests. In fact, although it is possible to determine that the lector-priests were also paid in money and in kind, no name is given for the revenues they received for their services.52

49 50 51

52

Quoted in Pierce 1972, 60 § 55; Malinine 1955, 498–499. Pestman 1993, 458, 460. The individual revenues have been arranged in this way, rather than in the order in which they were discussed, to show possible correspondences between the various terms attested from different parts of the country. On the subject of lector-priests’ revenues see below Chapter 7 §3.

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table 2

Comparative list of the revenues discussed

šty i ҆ḫy i ҆w ẖn(y) i ҆ny ꜥḳ (n wsi ҆r) glflf šmꜥ gyl hwh.t Thebes Memphis Hawara Middle Egypt

2.9 Sources of Mortuary Priests’ Income Documents from Lower and Middle Egypt, make a distinction between the sꜥnḫ and the šty in relation to funerary income, in that the first term denotes ‘income-producing property,’ while the second denotes the revenue itself.53 In addition, documents from Memphis and Middle Egypt use the noun šty, in combination with tmy and ꜥ.wy, to identify the sources whence the mortuary priests’ income originated, with the meaning of revenue-town (tmy-šty) and revenue-place (ꜥ.wy-šty). Martin translates the compound noun ꜥ.wy-šty as revenue-house, although in the specific context of P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78 BC) he suggests that ‘“house” means the “household” to which the rights were attached.’54 On the other hand, Johnson understands the noun ꜥ.wy as being an abbreviation for ꜥ.wy n ḥtp. Consequently, the ‘house-of-revenue (ꜥ.wy-n-šty) of the [oil]-(and)-wine merchant Pais son of Amenneus’ (ꜥ.wy-n-šty n šwṱ [nḥḥ] i҆rp pa-ḥy sꜣ i҆mn-i҆w) (lines 6–7) ceded in this document should be understood as referring to the ‘house of repose’ or ‘tomb chapel’ of this individual.55 However, the noun ꜥ.wy can have a range of different connotations depending on the context in which it is used. Beside its use with the regular meaning of ‘house,’ ꜥ.wy is employed in compound expressions to denote a burial place,56 while it can also designate a ‘temple,’ a ‘district’ or simply a ‘place.’57 At Memphis this compound

53

54 55 56 57

Nims 1938, 75, 77 note 1; Thompson 1934, 12 note 8; Griffith 1909, 99 note 3; Donker van Heel 1998, 44 note VIII. For the use of the noun sꜥnḫ in relation to marriage documents see Johnson 1994. Martin 2009, 150 note ii. Johnson 1986, 79–80. On these tombs see Chapter 16 § 2.6. CDD letter ꜥ, 6–18, with further examples.

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noun is found in the following three documents. In P. BM EA 10398 (119 BC) which lists ‘any šty-revenue, any ꜥ.wy-šty, any lector-priest’s revenue-town’ (šty nb ꜥ.wy-šty nb tmy-šty ẖr-ḥb nb) (line 3);58 in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) where are listed ‘the places, the lector-priest’s šty-revenue, the lectorpriest’s ꜥ.wy.w-n-šty, the lector-priest’s revenue-towns’ (nꜣ mꜣꜥ.w nꜣ šty.w ẖr-ḥb nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w-n-šty ẖr-ḥb nꜣ tmy.w-šty ẖr-ḥb) (line 2), ‘the lector-priest’s ꜥ.wy.w-nšty (and) the lector-priest’s endowments’ (nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w-n-šty ẖr-ḥb nꜣ sꜥnḫ.w ẖr-ḥb) (line 3), ‘the rest of the ꜥ.wy.w-n-šty’ (pꜣ sp nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w-n-šty) (line 7), and ‘the štyrevenues, the revenue-towns, the ꜥ.wy.w-šty’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ tmy.w-šty.w nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w-šty) (line 14); and finally in P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC) in which are transferred ‘the rest of [the] šty-revenue (and) the ꜥ.wy.w-šty, which belong to the endowment which is above’ (pꜣ sp [nꜣ] šty.w nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w-šty nt mtw pꜣ sꜥnḫ nt ḥry) (line 6). In particular, the occurrence in three of the previous examples of the compound ꜥ.wy-šty together with the compound tmy-šty indicates that the noun probably does not denote here a ‘house’ or even a ‘household,’ since such a specification would seem redundant in view of the fact that these were already implicitly listed through the expression ‘revenue-towns’ of which the houses would be a constituent part.59 As discussed above,60 the endowments of these mortuary priests comprised not only towns and villages, but also other places, such as the Anubieion, described as lying within the districts of Memphis, and separate from both the main city and the necropolis.61 Consequently, in those examples where an ꜥ.wy-šty is not identified by the name of a person a translation as ‘district,’ or simply ‘place,’ would seem more appropriate than one as ‘house’ or ‘household,’ The term ꜥ.wy-šty (revenue-place) appears also in contracts from Middle Egypt where it is used in the same way as at Memphis to identify the source whence the income of the mortuary priests originated. This is indicated by P. Mallawi Museum 602/10 [77/10] (111BC) (Hutnesu), a judicial sentence passed by the Laocritae court concerning a lawsuit between the lector-priest Petenoubis, son of Horos, who accused the lector-priest Horos, son of Pasis, of having appropriated for himself some ‘revenue-places’ (ꜥ.wy.w n šty) belonging to him.

58 59

60 61

For the corrections to Brunsch’s reading see Martin 2009, 62 note 279. It is true, however, that the expression could be used to identify specific houses within a given settlement. This further identification would be necessary if the liturgies were divided on the basis of the deceased’s origo, particularly if settlements were divided among different groups of funerary workers. See Chapter 3 § 3. On this subject see Chapter 15 § 2.

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Income of Lector-Priests and Embalmers

As discussed above, in Lower and Middle Egypt the profession of choachytes and embalmers were performed by the same individuals, and, therefore, it is not possible to distinguish between the income of each of these funerary priests. On the other hand, at Thebes the two professions remained in the hands of two different classes of mortuary priests, although, given the paucity of documents, and because of the way in which they are drafted, it is not possible to arrive at a definite figure for the actual earnings of lector-priests and embalmers. Some information on their income is found in P. Brussels 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301 BC), concerning the sale of a house to the lector-priest Harsiesis son of Panas as payment for the mummification of party A’s deceased wife and her parents. However, since the sale is intended for both the mummification (ḫꜣꜥ-[syḥ]) of the wife and the burial (ḳs) of her parents, it is not possible to determine precisely what the effective income of the lector-priest would have been.62 In P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–117BC), a petition presented by Amenothes against his colleague Petenephotes ~ Lolous, the plaintiff states that the two had stipulated a contract in which they agreed to divide the revenues they collected from villages and hamlets under their competence. Similarly, in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116BC) Petenephotes ~ Lolous presents a petition against his colleague Amenothes accusing him of having breached their agreements by taking care of a certain Herieus, son of Harbekis, a topogrammateus of Pois and a man of privileged position in the village, thus appropriating himself of a considerable patrimony. However, neither of these petitons gives specific information on the actual income of the embalmers. The only documents that provide more specific information are P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC) and P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), from which it can be surmised that the embalmers were paid both in money and in kind. In P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), recording the accounts of the two colleagues, Amenothes and Petenephotes ~ Lolous, are included payments in wheat, wine and money: (§1) ‘The reckoning of the grain: what Amenothes gave in Thebes to Lolous in regnal year 38: 18 artabas of wheat what Lolous took: all’

62

For a discussion of this text and the nouns ḫꜣꜥ-[syḥ] and ḳs see Chapter 11 §2.

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(pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ sw.w r.wn.nꜣ.w tw i҆mn-ḥtp n nw.t (r) tr.t lwlw ẖr ḥꜣ.t-sp 38 rtb sw 18 […] r-ṯ lwlw nb). lines 1–2

(§2) ‘The reckoning of the wine: what was between me and Lolous: 7½ hin what we took here in Djeme: 5 hin (and) on the day of giving medications: 2½ hin’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ i҆rp.w nt i҆wṱy i҆rm lwlw n nw.t hyn 7½ r-ṯ=n ty n ḏmꜣ hyn 5 pꜣ hrw n i҆r pẖr r-i҆r=n hyn 2½). lines 3–4

Pestman suggests that in this latter case the wine was received as payment for the care of a sick person rather than for the embalming of the body because, although embalmers may have received wine as payment for their work, this appears to be a one-off entry during the years 38 and 39, thus suggesting it does not refer to their normal activity.63 Nonetheless, it seems entirely possible that, even if their rate of payment for the embalming of a dead person had been fixed, as Pestman suggests, the commodity in which it was made may not have been. In fact, payments in wine are, for example, also found in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) (see below). The following entry lists: (§3) ‘The reckoning ⟨of the money⟩: what is due from Lolous in Hermonthis: 5 silver kite’ (pꜣ i҆p ⟨n nꜣ ḥḏ.w⟩ nt r-ꜥ.wy lwlw n i҆wnw-mnṱ ḥḏ ḳt 5). lines 5–6

Pestman suggests this may be part of the money of the ‘chief of the necropolis’ which Petenephotes ~ Lolous had received at Hermonthis part of which is due to Amenothes.64 Nonetheless, given that the money received as money of the chief of the necropolis is clearly identified as such (see below), it is best to understand this simply as a payment in money for their services as lectorpriests in the necropolis of Hermonthis.

63 64

Pestman 1981, 50–51 note h. Pestman 1981, 51 note j.

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(§4) ‘The reckoning of the money: what belonged to me from his reckoning as money of the chief of the necropolis: 35 deben; what I took out ˹up˺-to the last day of the first month of the ˹winter˺ season last (day): ˹15˺ deben, beside the grain which is in common for [regnal year 3]9’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w r.wn.nꜣ.w mtw=y ḥr pꜣy=f i҆p ẖr nꜣ ḥḏ.w n tp ḫꜣs.t ḥḏ 35 r-i҆n=y r-bnr ḥḏ ˹15 r˺-hn i҆bt 1 ˹pr.t˺ ꜥrḳy pꜣ bnr n nꜣ sw.w nt n tꜣ mtr.t ẖr [ḥꜣ.t-sp 3]9). lines 6–9

(§5) ‘The reckoning of the grain: what is due from myself for regnal year 39: 6 artabas of grain; the revenue of the ḫts-tree:65 6 artabas of wheat; what we gave `between the two of us´ to Senaroeris: 1 artaba of wheat’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ sw.w nt r-ꜥ.wy=y ḥꜥ=y ẖr ḥꜣ.t-sp 39 rtb n sw 6 pꜣ šty n pꜣ ḫts rtb n sw 6 r-ty=n n tꜣ-šr.t-ḥr-wr `i҆wṱ=n n pꜣ (s) 2´ rtb n sw 1).66 lines 9–11

(§6) ‘The reckoning of the money: what came to me here in Djeme for ⟨regnal year⟩ 39: 15 deben as money of the chief of the necropolis’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w (i҆.)i҆r i҆y r tr.t=y ty n ḏmꜣ ẖr ⟨ḥꜣ.t-sp⟩ 39 ḥḏ 15 ẖr ḥḏ n tp ḫꜣs.t). lines 11–12

According to Pestman, if one understands §6 as referring to Amenothes’s income for the first 5 months of year 39, then probably § 3 and § 4 refer to that of the entire year 38. This being the case, the income of Amenothes (and possibly of his colleague too) during both years would be of 3 deben at month.67 However, this would argue against Pestman’s suggestion that the salary of the lectorpriests was not fixed but dependant on the level of the inundation hence on the

65 66

67

The word ḫts refers to a type of tree, although its exact meaning in this context is unknown. CDD letter Ḫ, 181, and letter Š, 240; Pestman 1981, 51 note r. Pestman does not appear to comment on the identity of the woman to whom this grain was due. Was she a creditor of the two lector-priests? Does it refer to activities outside their normal profession such as the borrowing and lending of grain/money for profit? Was she a close relative whom the two colleagues were supporting? Pestman 1981, 51 note m.

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productivity of the lands for a given year.68 His understanding is based on the evidence of P. Turin 2131 (145BC), a maintenance document that Amenothes, son of Horos, drew up in favour of his mother. The contract stipulates that Amenothes is to pay her a set amount of wheat, oil, salt (every year) and a garment69 only if the inundation reaches 18 cubits in height.70 If the waters do not reach this level, Amenothes’s mother is to drink, eat, dress, sleep and explicate all her other things at his house, and that he is to give her a key(?) to the door. Pestman understands this clause as indicating that the lector-priests earned less during lean periods, though clearly not because of fewer deaths, thus suggesting that their salary was not fixed.71 However, it is also possible that their income would have been lower because in lean periods fewer people may have been able to afford the more elaborate mummification procedures. Alternatively, the clause may have been inserted because Amenothes intended to pay the maintenance solely out of any income generated by the lands he owned. If to the amount of money received in the capacity of chief of the necropolis, are added the amounts of wheat and wine recorded in paragraphs § 1 and § 2 of the accounts, then the average monthly earnings of each partner for the year 38 is not three but circa five deben.72 However, if the ‘money of the chief of the necropolis’ (ḥḏ tp ḫꜣst) is understood as the equivalent of the ‘overseer of the necropolis tax’ (ḥḏ mr-ḫꜣst), the payments received in this capacity cannot be taken as indicative of the average income of a lector-priest in any given year, since it would be only when acting in such a capacity that they would receive this money, and the evidence shows that, although the same individual could hold it for successive years, tenancy of the office was granted for a calendar year.73 Therefore, if the money received while acting as chiefs of the necropolis is detracted from the total amount, according to the accounts the two partners would have received only 36 deben or so a year, which is at the lower end of the pay scale of a labourer’s monthly wage.74

68 69 70

71 72

73 74

Pestman 1981, 38 note h. The word ḥbs.t is not found in the Glossar; CDD letter Ḥ, 96. This is the normal level of the inundation for Thebes and Djeme (Pestman 1981, 37 note d; Bonneau 1971, 263). Pestman states that this clause was rarely used even in contracts concerning the renting of plots of land (Pestman 1981, 37). Pestman 1981, 38 note h. If the 18 artabas of wheat mentioned in paragraph § 1 are understood as being in common between the two partners, then each is entitled to 9 artabas, which would amount to about 22½ deben, while the wine, 7½ hins each, valued at 2 deben per hin, would amount to 15 deben each for the entire year. On the office of the Overseer of the necropolis see Chapter 1 §1. See Clarysse and Lanciers 1989, and Table 8 infra.

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Further evidence on the income of lector-priests and embalmers is found in P. Florence 3667 (111BC), the list of funerary expenses undertaken at the death of the choachyte Horos. The beginning of the document and an undetermined section to the right of the roll is lost.75 In column 2 the text lists ‘the reckoning of the corn for the hand˹s˺ of [˹the people˺] who embalm’ followed by the amounts in artabas of wheat, and hins of oil given by each of the children as a wage to the embalmers: ‘Osoeris one artaba of wheat which makes 70 silver (deben) (and) [1] hin of (of wine?); Nechthmonthes (one) artaba of wheat, 1 (measure of) wine; Petosiris (one) artaba of wheat, 1 (measure of) wine; Taues (one) artaba of wheat, 1 (measure of) wine; (total): 4 hins of wine from Osoeris, Nechthmonthes (and) Petosiris; Nechthmonthes, Osoeris, Petosiris (and) Taues: 4 hin of resin: 30 silver (deben) [for] (each) hin of resin’ (pꜣ i҆p sw pꜣ ꜥ.wy˹.w˺ [˹nꜣ rmṯ˺].w ḳs ⟦sw 10⟧76 wsi҆r-wr rtb sw 1 nt i҆w i҆r ḥḏ 70 ⟨i҆rp⟩ hyn [1] nḫṱ-mnṱ rtb sw (1) i҆rp 1 pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r rtb sw (1) i҆rp 1 ta-wꜣ rtb sw (1) i҆rp 1 hyn i҆rp 4 n-tr.t77 wsi҆r-wr nḫṱ-mnṱ pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r nḫṱ-mnṱ wsi҆r-wr pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r ta-wꜣ hyn syf 4 ḥḏ 30 [r] hyn syf ). col. 2 lines 1–9

The total payment thus amounted to four artabas of wheat, priced at 70 silver deben each, four hins of wine, and four hins of resin at 30 silver debens each hin. Calculating the cost of the wine at just over 17 deben, it follows that the total paid for the embalmers is 417 debens. Unfortunately, without knowing the number of embalmers being paid, it is not possible to determine how much each of them would have earned for one embalmment. At Hawara, a document that could provide some evidence on the income of the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers is P. Ashmolean D. 11 + D. 12 + D. 13 which records a list of accounts relating to funerary matters.78 These accounts

75 76 77 78

Pestman 1992, 207. Following Pestman’s suggestion that this amount may be part of the now washed out original text (Pestman 1992, 218 note 11) I have left it out of the translated passage. Pestman understands this as meaning that the hins of wine were provided by the three brothers even the one supposed to have been given by Taues (Pestman 1992, 219 note 14). These accounts are discussed in this section because a number of the entries mention the mummification of the deceased, although, given that the meaning of two of the

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seemingly concern payments received for three different services, the ḳs, the npy and the pr-nfr, for the value of 1 or ¼ of an unspecified monetary unit, presumably either a deben or a kite. The orthography of the noun ḳs seems quite clear and probably refers to the burial. The second noun was read as npy by Clarysse, who left it untranslated, while Pasek read it as a noun deriving from the verbal form nꜥ, with the meaning ‘arrival.’79 Contextually, the noun ought to refer to a specific mortuary service, different from the entombment and the mummification, if the latter is the meaning of the last noun. The npy is possibly to be taken literally as mourning, and thus as referring to a ‘mourning service’ for the deceased.80 The last noun is perhaps to be read as pr-nfr, in view of its similarities with the writing of the same noun in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC), also from Hawara and also dating from the last century BC. If the reading is correct, the noun is probably to be understood as referring to the mummification of the deceased.81 What seems strange is that the values indicated for each of these ‘services’ are not always the same. 1.

79

80 81 82

[…] concerning the burial (and the?) npy ˹on˺ the š[…] ([…]82 ẖr ḳs npy ˹ḥr˺ pꜣ š[…]) nouns used is not clear, it cannot be excluded that they also refer to payments received for the performance of the mortuary cult. The accounts are written on a blank area of papyrus to the left and below a marriage document recorded in P. Ashmolean D. 11 + D. 12 + D. 13 (1968.7+ 1968.8+ 1968.11) (187–186BC), which belongs to the archive of one of the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers. The accounts themselves are undated, although a date is given for two other lists of accounts (Ash. D. 8–12 and 7–8) relating to pledges, and written in the same direction as P. Ashmolean D. 11 + D. 12 + D. 13 and D. 11 + 7 (1968.7+ 1968.8+ 1968.11) and upside down to those in P. Ashmolean D. 12– 13 (1968.8+ 1968.11). Clarysse read this date as ‘regnal year 22 which is regnal year 7, month 1’ (ḥꜣ.t-sp 22 i҆.i҆r ḥꜣ.t-sp 7.t i҆bt 1), thus dating the accounts to year 30 BC, while Pasek read ‘regnal year 22, all the things which were done in the first month’ (ḥꜣ.t-sp 22 i҆.i҆r mt.t nb.t i҆bt 1), understanding ‘regnal year 22’ as referring to the reign of Ptolemy V, the same king as that of P. Ashmolean D. 11 + D. 12 + D. 13 (1968.7+ 1968.8+1968.11) (187–186BC), thus dating all the accounts to 183 BC (Clarysse 2009; Pasek 2007, 278 note 1, 282 note 1, 289). However, the date of the two accounts is more likely to be 30 BC, particularly in P. Ashmolean D. 7 + 8 (1968.7+ 1968.8), and, therefore, the accounts recorded in P. Ashmolean D. 13–12 (1968.8 + 1968.11, upside down) should be dated to 30 BC or later since, as Clarysse noted, they partly overlay the accounts in P. Ashmolean D. 8–12 (1968.8). Clarysse 2009; Pasek 2007, 291 note 1. I follow Clarysse’s reading and, therefore, I have included only a few comments to Pasek’s transliteration and translation. It is not clear to me what this ‘arrival’ would refer to in funerary terms. Contextually it could perhaps be a fraction. On the noun pr-nfr and its possible meanings see Chapter 11 §1 and §3. I cannot see in the surviving portion of the document any clear traces for ‘nꜣ rmṯ.w’ as Pasek does (2007, 289).

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2.

[month × day × …] called Kydres the ḥwꜣ […] ([i҆bt × sw × …] ḏ n=f ḳwtrs pꜣ ḥwꜣ […]) 3. [month × day × … PN] who is called Shebet[…] ([i҆bt × sw × …] nt i҆w ḏ n=f šbt[…]) 4. third month of the ꜣḫ.t season, day 9: the son of Teos […] the man of ˹Meidum˺: npy ¼ (i҆bt 3 ꜣḫ.t sw 9 pꜣ šr n ḏ-ḥr […] pꜣ rmṯ mr-˹i҆tm˺ npy ¼)83 5. third month of the inundation season, day 22: the wife of Dje[…] ˹the portion of Wenhor˺ the man […] of ˹Meidum˺: npy 1 (i҆bt 3 ꜣḫ.t sw 22 tꜣ ḥm.t ḏ-[…] ˹pꜣ pš wn-ḥr˺ pꜣ rmṯ84 […] mr-˹i҆ I҆tm˺ npy) 6. third month of the inundation season, day 22: blessed one (?) […] the man of Ptolemais: burial 1 (i҆bt 3 ꜣḫ.t sw 22 ḥsy (?) […] pꜣ rmṯ pꜣ-sy-mꜣ ḳs 1) 7. fourth month of the inundation season, day 19: Peteuris the man of Ptolemais […] ˹together with˺: npy (1) (i҆bt 4 ꜣḫ.t sw 19 pꜣ-ty-ḥr pꜣ rmṯ pꜣ-sy-mꜣ […] ˹ḥnꜥ˺ npy) 8. fourth month of the inundation season, day 19: the son of Peteuris, the son of […] the priest of Sobek of the first phyle: npy ¼ (i҆bt 4 ꜣḫ.t sw 19 pꜣ šr n pꜣ-ty-ḥr pꜣ šr n […] pꜣ wꜥb sbk sꜣ tp npy ¼) 9. first month of the winter season day 15: Taneus the [daughter …] of Paremetjrenenet the barber/mender: npy (1) (i҆bt 1 pr.t sw 15 tꜣy-ḥn=w tꜣ [šr.t …] pꜣ-rmṯ-rnn.t pꜣ ẖꜥḳ npy) 10. first month of the winter season day 23: the son of Petesis, the son of Harsiesis, the son of Marebes the scribe ˹šty.t˺: burial ¼ (i҆bt 1 pr.t sw 23 pꜣ šr n pꜣ-ty-i҆s.t pꜣ šr n ḥr-sꜣ-i҆s.t pꜣ šr n mꜣꜥ-rꜥ-bs pꜣ sẖ ˹šty.t˺ ḳs ¼) 11. second month of the winter season day ?: Ammonios the son of […] Amenemes the measurer: burial 1 (i҆bt 2 pr.t sw ? ꜣmns pꜣ šr […] i҆mn-m-ḥꜣ.t pꜣ rmṯ ˹nt˺ ẖy ḳs 1) 12. [second month85 of the win]ter season day 25: the daughter of Ephony83

84 85

Pasek reads nꜣy n=f. Although the traces closely resemble the genitive n= with the 3rd person singular suffix pronoun f (Pasek 2007, 289–290), one would expect a monetary value here as in the other lines. The traces resemble those of the 3rd person singular suffix pronoun f more than those of the noun rmṯ. The restoration is suggested on the basis of the date in line 11 which provides a terminus ante quem for it, and in line 13 where the writing for ‘day 20’ is clear thus suggesting that the date in line 12 should be one prior to this. Given that line 14 gives ‘day 16’ this should be in the fourth month of the winter season, the writing of which is partly preserved, and is also confirmed by the date in line 15.

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14.

15.

16.

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chos, the daughter […] Petearpochrates the ẖmf 86 of Bastet: burial ¼ ([i҆bt 2 p]r.t sw 25 tꜣ šr.t i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ tꜣ šr.t […] pꜣ-ty-ḥr-pꜣ-ẖrṱ pꜣ ẖmf bꜣst.t ḳs ¼)87 [third month88 of the win]ter season day 20: Harmais […] the son of Sepeln (the) herdsman: ˹burial˺ (and?) npy 1 ([i҆bt 3 p]r.t sw 20 ḥr-m-ḥb […] pꜣ šr spln ꜥꜣm ˹ḳs˺ npy (nꜣy?) 1) [fourth month89 of the win]ter season day 16: Marres (son of) Petosiris […] Marres (son of) Paesis the priest of Sobek of the fifth90 phyle: his prnfr 1 ([i҆bt 4 p]r.t sw 16 mꜣꜥ-rꜥ (sꜣ) pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r […] mꜣꜥ-rꜥ (sꜣ) pa-n-i҆s.t pꜣ wꜥb sbk sꜣ 5 pr-nfr=f 1) first month of the harvest season day 2: Marres the son of […] door-keeper (of) Marres the priest of Shu: his pr-nfr 1 (i҆bt 1 šmw sw 2 mꜣꜥ-rꜥ pꜣ šr n […] i҆ry-ꜥꜣmꜣꜥ-rꜥ pꜣ wꜥb šw pr-nfr=f 1) [first month of the] harvest season day 25: Harmais the son of […] Sepeln (the) herdsman: burial 1 ([i҆bt 1] šmw sw 25 ḥr-m-ḥb pꜣ šr n […] spln ꜥꜣm ḳs 1).

As Clarysse noted, the payments are all made by people identified as the son or daughter, and, in one case, the wife, of a named individual. In at least one instance separate entries appear to refer to the same person. The entry in line 13 relates to the ‘third month of the winter season day 20’ and lists ‘Harmais […] the son of Sepeln (the) herdsman: ˹burial˺ (and?) npy 1,’ while the entry in line 16 is dated to the ‘first month of the harvest season day 25,’ but lists again ‘Harmais the son of […] Sepeln (the) herdsman: burial 1.’ The two entries could, therefore, refer to (part) payments received for the same deceased individual by family members at different times. Of the two individuals mentioned, the first one may be the payer and the other the deceased. This is suggested by the entries in line 4 and 5 which mention ‘the son of Teos […] the man of ˹Meidum˺: npy ¼’ and ‘the wife of Ḏ-[…] ˹the portion of Wenhor˺ the man […] of ˹Meidum˺: npy 1,’ if the name of the individual in the second entry is indeed Teos. Given that the functions of this group of funerary priests encompassed those of both choachytes and lector-priests, it is not possible to determine, on these 86

87 88 89 90

The writing of the letter ẖ seems quite clear, as is that of the letters m and f, and I cannot see how this title could be read as ꜥꜣm (Pasek 2007, 290 and note 27), perhaps read ṯnf (Clarysse 2009). Pasek reads pꜣ ꜥm ḥp (2007, 290). See note 85. See note 85. I follow Clarysse’s reading (2009) since the writing for the numeral 5 seems clear and is confirmed by a comparison with the writing for ‘first phyle’ in line 8.

figure 3

P. Ashmolean accounts. The boxes delineate the various portion of this document and their numbering Images © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; reconstruction after Clarysse 2009

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bases, what the npy-service was. If the understanding of the two other terms as ‘entombment’ and ‘embalmment’ respectively is correct, then these accounts give an idea of what they charged for these two services, although the figures seem rather low. In addition, the document also suggests that it was possible to contract the services of these funerary priests for specific services, without there being any obligation to have them arrange the entire process from mummification to burial.

4

Personal and Professional Taxation, Contributions and Exemptions

In Ptolemaic Egypt all male individuals were charged a type of poll-tax known as yoke tax (ḥḏ nḥb), replaced around Egyptian regnal year 22 of Ptolemy II by the salt-tax (ḥḏ ḥmꜣ or ἁλική) exacted from both men and women.91 Most of the information available on this subject originates from the Theban area, and shows that its funerary priests were, not surprisingly, required to pay these duties.92 In addition, the choachytes were also subject to a tax called ‘revenue of a server tax’ (ꜥḳ rmṯ-i҆w=f-šms) charged on individuals who performed religious services at the rate of 3 ½ ¼ obols.93 Funerary workers would also have been required to perform compulsory labour on the canals, dams and embankment that in Ptolemaic times all males were supposed to carry out each year.94 In at least one instance they appear to have avoided it as shown by P. Louvre Gr. 2338, probably dating to year 6 of Ptolemy III (241? BC), which is a report of the oikonomos on the corvée labour executed in the Peritheban toparchy.95 The report lists a number of people who did not perform this compulsory service either because they were exempt or because they were unable to do it. In column II lines 33–34 the text lists: Φυγάδες Χοαχύται ώσαύτως

λζ κα/νη

Exiles Choachytes in like manner

37 21/58

Thus 58 individuals, of whom 21 were choachytes, were able to avoid their compulsory service. According to Pestman, the presence of the adverb ώσαύτως, 91 92 93 94 95

Muhs 2005, 6–10, 29–51; Muhs 2011, 7–8, 21–22; on the salt-tax see also Vleeming 1994, 35– 39. Muhs 2005, 128–131. Vleeming 1994, 29–31; Muhs 2011, 91–105, especially 93–95 for a table of surviving examples of this tax. This service is named after the volume of earth, or naubia (nby.w or ναύβια), to be moved; each naubion being equivalent to one cubic meter (Muhs 2005, 57; Muhs 2011, 127–128). UPZ II 157, Wilcken 1935–1957, 15–22, No. 157.

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and the fact that the total of the exiles is added to that of the choachytes, would suggests that the latter also fled to avoid the performance of compulsory labour.96 On the other hand, Wilcken suggested that if the choachytes are not to be considered as part of the preceding category then they were probably exempt because of their cultic duties.97 Muhs understands the text as evidence for the exemption of the choachytes from compulsory labour, which, indeed, it was possible to avoid by paying a tax in its place, known as the ‘compulsory labour tax’ (ḥḏ ꜥrt in Demotic and λειτουργικόν in Greek) for 2 kite or 4 drachmae.98 On the subject of tax exaction, there are, in the choachytes’ archives, two petitions, written in Greek by the door-keeper Osoroeris son of Horos in his capacity as representative of his colleagues and addressed to the epistrategos and strategos of the Thebaid Phommous. With these documents, dated 111 BC (P. Turin Gr. 2153) and 110 BC (P. Turin Gr. 2151) respectively, the choachytes, who identify themselves as pastophoroi, lodge a complaint against a tax-official, the oikonomos of the Pathyrite area. The latter was accused of requesting undue payments thus ‘transgressing what, since remote times, has been ordered by the great rulers, that is, not to change anything.’ Phommous, the oikonomos, instructs the epistates Hermokles to ensure that the concerned officials do not attempt to exact from the said pastophoroi more than what is due in accordance with the ancient customs.99 However, the petition remained in the possession of Osoroeris thus indicating that he decided not to proceed any further. In fact, once the person made a petition before an official and the latter wrote down his decision on the document, it was the responsibility of the petitioner to take it to any other official who needed to be informed of, or was to act upon, it.100 A year later the choachytes presented another petition to the same epistrategos and strategos, who again instructed the epistates Hermokles to ensure that the petitioners are asked to pay the contributions for which they used to be liable. This time the epistates appears to have executed the instructions since his decision was noted at the bottom of the petition.101 According to Pestman, although the ordinances referred to in the document have not survived, the text indicates that the priestly class had been granted some fiscal privileges allowing them to pay their dues according to what was customarily levied upon them

96 97 98 99 100 101

Pestman 1993, 384 note 10. Wilcken 1935–1957, 21 notes to lines 33/4. Muhs 2005, 56; Muhs 2011, 127. Pestman 1992, 49–50, lines 8–10. Smith 1978, 181; Bevan 1927, 137–139; Lewis 1986, 58–59; Thompson 1934; Griffith 1909. Pestman 1992, 47, 58, 62.

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in older times. Such privileges were perhaps not restricted to the door-keepers, since it would otherwise have been indicated in the text.102 In the archives of the Theban choachytes there are also three examples of a type of document that has been defined as tax exemption, and that refer to the payment of a necropolis tax.103 P. Brussels 8256e (315 BC), the earliest of the three, was written by Kolleuthis and appears to be addressed to Petearpres son of Esminis, whom he urged not to obstruct the woman Tiuris daughter of Peteuris with regard to the ‘overseer of the necropolis tax’ (line 1). The scribe of this document is perhaps to be identified with the like-named Kolleuthis, son of Amenemes, the official of the body of the city of Thebes attested in T. BN 1892 (315–314) and P. Brussels 8256a (310BC), two receipts of payment of the transfer tax on funerary property.104 The identification of the document’s addressee, Petearpres son of Esminis, with homonyms is more problematic since both are common names in the Theban area. He is perhaps to be identified with the like-named individual, the temple scribe of P. Rylands XII–XIII (281BC), who also bears the title of ‘royal scribe’ and ‘scribe of Amun’ (and whose statue was discovered at Medinet Habu). A like-named individual is also attested in TT32 (264BC) where the overseer of the necropolis Amenrosis son of Totoes is said to act as the representative of Petearpres son of Esminis, thus suggesting that the latter may have been a lesonis of Amun. However, as noted by Depauw, this identification is doubtful since there is a gap of several years in the documentation, although it is possible that the person mentioned in the present document is a relative, perhaps the grandfather, of the scribe of P. Rylands XII–XIII (281BC).105 Finally, Depauw suggests that the woman Tiuris daughter of Peteuris could possibly be identified with the mother of the business associate of the choachyte Teos, son of Iuefau, the owner of the archive, who is called Taesis, which would explain the inclusion of the document in the present archive.106 The second document, P. Brussels 8256d (312 BC), which, it is suggested, was issued to prevent the double payment of the transfer tax on funerary property, was written by Kolleuthis and is addressed to Parates, son of Iuefau, whom he urged not to obstruct [˹the woman˺] Tahekeret and to ‘let her build the ḥ.t-tomb’ (my ḳt=s tꜣ ḥ.t) (line 1).107 The addressee of this text is perhaps to be identified with the brother of the choachyte Teos son of

102 103 104 105 106 107

Pestman 1992, 52 note j. Depauw 2000, 194–197, 205–208. Depauw 2000, 197 note (f). Depauw 2000, 195 note (a); Vleeming 1994a, 360–361 note (cc). Depauw 2000, 196 note (d). Depauw 2000, 205.

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Iuefau, and probably a choachyte himself.108 However, the fact that the document is addressed to him would indicate that in this case he was acting in an official capacity, rather than as a choachyte. Consequently, Depauw suggests that his name was perhaps written at the beginning of the text not because it was addressed to him but because it was drafted in his favour.109 Nonetheless, it is possible that Parates, son of Iuefau, was a choachyte acting in this instance in an official capacity, a possibility indicated by P. Berlin P. 3115 (109– 106BC) in which the office of lesonis of Amenope was held by the choachyte Nechthmonthes son of Horos (Text A line 5). Thus the scribe of these texts is probably to be identified with one of the clerks responsible for the collection of the tax, while the first named individual was perhaps the temple official to whom the amount was to be paid. The third person mentioned would therefore be a choachyte, or a representative thereof, responsible for the payment of both the burial and the transfer taxes on behalf of the family. The same scenario is found in P. Fayum XIII (170BC), a letter written by Elthous, tax-farmer of the beer-tax at Theadelphia, and addressed to a group of taricheutai, Psais and colleagues. Elthous writes to the latter requesting that he support Petesis, an inhabitant of Archelais, since he has received the tax due from him and has no further claim against him.110 Consequently, it is possible to see these texts as proof of payment of the tax mentioned, and as a protection for the payer from further claims. To define them as tax-exemption is probably misleading, as suggested by another document, P. Brooklyn 35.1462 (225 BC).111 The latter was written by ˹Mires˺ son of Petosiris and was addressed to Pchorchonsis whom he urged not to obstruct the daughter of Psenamounis with regard to the ‘overseer of the necropolis tax.’ At the end of the document, the sender specifies that he will collect the tax on account of the addressee (i҆w=y (r) šp=s n=k n i҆p) (line 4). Thus it is possible to understand the first two texts as having been issued in place of the normal tax receipt, or because the latter had been lost, while in the third instance the document can be seen as guaranteeing the payment of the tax due.

108 109 110

111

Depauw 2000, 206 note (a). Depauw 2000, 206 note (a). Grenfell et al. 1900, 105–106. The word taricheutes is ambiguous in this context since it could refer to either fish-salters or embalmers. Grenfell et al. suggest that either meaning is possible. I follow Muhs suggestion that the papyrus should be redated to year 23 of Ptolemy III on the basis of the scribe’s identity, who may be the same as the like-named Mires son of Petosiris attested in OIM 19333, TT373 and O. Birbeh 3, which also relate to the payment of the burial tax (Hughes et al. 2005, 7–8 and note B).

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In Middle Egypt, information on the levying of taxes on funerary workers is found in P. UC 32223 (2nd cent. BC) and P. UC55871 (2nd cent. BC) from Rifeh, which were probably produced by the civil administration to serve as the basis on which to determine tax amounts by the Ptolemaic administration, and include both lector-priests and embalmers.112

5

Other Economic Activities of the Funerary Priests

Besides those documents directly relating to the Theban choachytes’ main occupation as mortuary priests, the vast majority of contracts found in their archives concern the purchase and sale of immovable property and of building plots on either banks of the Nile. However, one of the main differences between the choachytes of the Late Period and those of the Ptolemaic Period is the limited evidence for their ownership, purchase and sale of lands during the latter period. These, in fact, amount to three documents only.113 In some instances the choachytes are also attested as lessors, as in the case of P. Berlin P. 3102 (119BC) with which Horos son of Horos leased his four arouras of land in Pestenemenophis to the herdsman and servant of Djeme Ephonychos son of Pamonthes,114 or as lessees as in the case of P. BM EA 10782 (119 BC) stipulated between the god’s father Espemetis son of Osoroeris, and the door-keeper of Amenope Nechthmonthes son of Horos and Sachperis.115 The only other contract of lease preserved in the choachytes archives is P. Philadelphia XII (277 BC) in which the woman Tabis, daughter of the choachyte Teos and Tamin, leased from her sister, the woman Tamounis, a house located in the Northern district of Thebes.116 Slightly more often they are attested as parties in loan contracts where they appear mainly as lenders.117 Given the scant evidence for ownership of immovables, it is not surprising that the economic position of the choachytes of the Ptolemaic Period is often negatively contrasted with that of their Late Period colleagues. During this time it appears to have been customary among the wealthier families to endow the 112 113 114 115 116

117

Clarysse and Thompson 2006a, 542. For these documents see Table A.20. For this document see Spiegelberg 1902, Pl. 30; and Pestman 1993, 155–156. For this document see Andrews 1990, 62–63, cat. 22. For this document see el-Amir 1959, 53–55. It may be that the lease had the scope of obtaining clear title to the recently purchased property, as indicated in the Hermopolis legal manual (Donker Van Heel 1990, col. II, lines 23–27). I thank Brill’s anonymous reviewer for suggesting this possibilty. For these documents see Table A.21.

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choachytes with a plot of land stipulating that the income it generated was to be used as payment for the funerary cult of their deceased relative(s), a practice that did not survive into the successive epoch. Indeed, it has been suggested that as a result of their changed economic position the choachytes would no longer have a guaranteed income at their disposal, rather they would be dependant on ‘the irregular payments by the families’ received for the performance of liturgies for their deceased relatives, as well as having to work as door-keepers.118 However, given the complete lack of evidence on the subject, it is impossible to make assumptions on the regularity of the payments by the family to the choachytes. In addition, although it is true that landed property is no longer part of funerary endowments to the Ptolemaic choachytes, it is important to note that there is preserved in their archives a number of contracts relating to the purchase and sale of real estate as well as to loan transactions. In this respect the loan documents listed in Table A.21 are quite important in that they show that at least some of the choachytes had enough resources at their disposable to be able to invest it in loan operations. The choachyte Nechthmonthes, son of Horos and Sachperis, for example, was able to lend, in the course of three successive years, three, nine and forty artabas of wheat respectively. When these amounts are compared with the average amount of ten artabas of wheat on which a person could live for a year,119 it becomes clear that Nechthmonthes was a wealthy individual. This is further substantiated by the fact that a few years later, in the course of only 13 days, the same individual was able to purchase from some of his colleagues the right to work as choachyte for a number of families and their deceased relatives.120 Even more impressive is the activity of Panas son of Espemetis as moneyender, which is attested from at least three loan contracts,121 P. BM EA 10823/P. BL 1201 (162 BC), P. BM EA 10613 118

119 120

121

This statement is later contradicted by the same author when, in discussing the mummies of the ‘venerable ones,’ he states “I would not be surprised if the category of ‘saints’ was a source of considerable income for the choachytes” (Pestman 1992, xix, 67). Vleeming (1995, 245), on the other hand, simply notes that the choachytes do not seem to have owned as much property as the Theban lector-priests, particularly with respect to landed properties. Préaux 1939, 134; Pestman 1981, 20; Pestman 1993, 348. The contracts are recorded in P. Turin 2130 (23rd December 99 BC), P. Berlin P. 3106 (3rd January 98 BC), P. Berlin P. 3139 (3rd January 98 BC) and P. Turin 2132 (4th January 98BC). Although P. Berlin P. 3108 (4th January 98 BC), an agreement concerning a pledge, indicates that Nechthmonthes was not able to pay at once for the liturgies sold with P. Berlin P. 3106 and 3139, the fact that the contracts were found in the buyer’s archive shows that he was able to meet his obligations (Pestman 1992, 66; Pestman 1993, 219–223). A fourth document is P. BL 1200 (192 BC), a Greek subscription referring to a sale or a loan (Muhs 2014/15, 91; Pestman 1993, 24, 85 [text 15], 292 and 294).

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(160BC) and P. BM EA 10824/P. BL 1202 (160 BC). These show that in the course of about two years he lent 690, 444 and 592 silver deben, respectively, to the herdsman, servant of Montu lord of Hermonthis, Harsiesis, son of Kerkeris and Tausiris. However, it is only through P. BM EA 10557, P. BM EA 10556 and P. BM EA 10670,122 three accounts papyri, that the true extent of Panas’ moneylending business is revealed. P. BM EA 10557 refers to accounts dating from year 2 to 11 of an unnamed king, presumably Ptolemy VI as sole ruler (180/179–171/170BC).123 During this time span, Panas made 54 money loans, 17 wheat loans and 1 mixed loan, for a total of 5736.95 deben and 236 5/6 artabas.124 Similarly, the accounts recorded in P. BM EA 10556 show that during a period of about 12 years Panas made 182 money loans and four wheat loans, for a total of 13659 deben and 42 1/12 artabas.125 Most importantly, these account papyri show that loan contracts were drawn up only for large loans, while the smaller ones were secured by guarantors, or with objects or, apparently, even without security. Without these three accounts papyri, as Muhs notes, we would have a distorted picture of the availability of credit in Egypt, and of the true extent of the economic resources and activities of this choachyte.126 Therefore, taken together these documents indicate that although the choachytes’ derived their wealth mainly from their performance of liturgical services, for which they received a revenue, this activity was capable of generating an income and, at least in some instances, a surplus that could be invested in different types of legal transactions. With respect to the Theban lector-priests, the surviving documentary sources show them engaged in the sale, purchase and lease of lands.127 In addition, in P. Turin 2139 (118BC) Amenothes son of Horos exchanged a donkey, her filly and any of the foals that would be born to them, with another donkey. Amenothes also specifies that he had acquired his donkey in 120–119 BC to have it do some work for him. Further indirect evidence for lector-priests’ agricultural activities may be provided by P. Turin 2131 (145 BC), the maintenance document that Amenothes son of Horos drew up in favour of his mother, 122

123 124 125

126 127

The latter is also an account document giving summaries of loans made during the same period as P. BM EA 10556 (see below), but it is too damaged to determine the number of loans to which it refers (Muhs 2014/15, 100–101). Muhs 2014/15, 93–94. Muhs 2014/15, 96. The accounts recorded in P. BM EA 10556 date from 170–169BC to 158–157BC, thus from both the sole reign of Ptolemy VI and his joint rule with Ptolemy VIII (Muhs 2014/15, 98– 100). Muhs 2014/15, 98, 103. For these documents see Table A.22.

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which stipulates that he is to pay this allowance only if the inundation reaches 18 cubits in height, and may suggests that Amenothes intended to pay it out of any income generated by the lands he owned. There are also three documents that show the lector-priests engaged in some loan transactions,128 while indirect evidence for loan activities is found in P. Turin 2134 (118 BC). The latter is an oath taken by a certain Imouthes in the temple of Djeme in favour of two sisters who asked him information regarding some properties owned by their father Psennesis. The former declares that Psennesis had given the house, located in Djeme, to Amenothes as payment for a loan in the presence of the lesonis and of the epistates, while no documents appear to have been redacted at the time of the original transaction. By contrast, among the surviving documents of the Memphite god’s sealbearers there is surprising little evidence for economic activities beside those concerning the transfer of funerary endowments and properties, the majority of which concern transactions between members of the same family. Lacking is also any evidence for the interaction of these mortuary priests with other members of the community, although it is not possible to be certain of the identity and profession of the other individuals attested. The few documents available belong all to the same family, that of Petesis son of Chenouphis and his descendants. This individual is first attested from two petitions, and an official copy of a letter of his, all concerning some attacks that he suffered to his person and his property, and recorded in UPZ 106–109 (99–98BC).129 A number of years later there is evidence for his son Chenouphis making an interest-free loan for 48 drachmae for ten months to a certain Peteimouthes son of Horos and recorded in UPZ 125 (89 BC). The same individual is also attested as the owner of orchards by the Aslepieion near the Pachet canal, as shown by the land survey report recorded in UPZ 117 (86–83BC). In addition, he is also attested from another legal document, P. Turin 13 (UPZ 118) (83BC), in which he has recourse to the Chrematistai to have Psentaes(?), the husband of his daughter Taues, meet his obligations towards her. Similarly, the available documentation shows the Hawara mortuary priests mostly engaged in transactions relating to funerary endowments, with very little evidence for other economic activities. The vast majority of this evidence concerns loans, either in money or in wheat, which number is rather large, given the small number of documents surviving from Hawara in general, but especially by comparison to those from Thebes.130 However, they mostly 128 129 130

For these documents see Table A.23. Wilcken 1927, 453–472; Thompson 1988, 186–187. For these documents see Table A.24. On their assests in general see in particular the various deeds published by Hughes et al. 1997 and Lüddeckens 1998.

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concern two families, and may, therefore, be an indication of financial difficulties experienced by these individuals rather than reflect the economic situation of the Hawara mortuary priests in general. Indeed, the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers come across as a well-off group, judging from the amount of property they owned, beside the commodities received as payment for their professional services. The other economic transactions attested in their archives concern the sale and purchase of properties, as well as the purchase of rights to liturgical days in a shrine dedicated to the god Anubis.131 Surprisingly, there is no evidence for the involvement of these priests in any type of agricultural activity, with the exception of the presence of loans of wheat, which could, however, consist of the payment in kind received by the families for their funerary services. For Middle Egypt most of the evidence comes from the documents in the archive of the Siut lector-priests, which shows them engaged in a range of economic activities beside their occupation as lector-priests, probably their main profession. P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) indicates that Tuefhapi and his brother Totoes, the sons of the lector-priest Petetumis, may have held other offices in the local temple of Wepwawet since they receive an income from some temple personnel.132 The contract lists the ‘⅓ share of the rations which the Chiefs of the storehouses of the temple of Wepwawet will give to us daily’ (ḥnꜥ tꜣy=k tny.t ⅓ nꜣ ꜥḳ.w nt i҆w nꜣ ꜥꜣ-šnꜥ n pr wp-wꜣwt ty.t s n=n ẖr hrw) (col. Bviii lines 19– 20); the ‘⅓ share of the rations which the door-keepers of Wepwawet will pay’ (ḥnꜥ tꜣy=k tny.t ⅓ nꜣ ꜥḳ.w nt i҆w nꜣ i҆ry.w-ꜥꜣ wp-wꜣwt r ty.t s) (col. Bviii line 20); and the ‘⅓ share of the oil and any property at all that the said men will give to us’ (ḥnꜥ tꜣy=k tny.t ⅓ n pꜣ nḥḥ pꜣ nkt nb pꜣ tꜣ nt i҆w nꜣ rmṯ.w nt ḥry r ty.t s n=n) (col. Bviii line 21). However, the document does not provide any information on the reason(s) behind these payments, nor on the nature of the services for which they were being paid. A clause in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), the embalming agreement stipulated between two groups of Siut lector-priests, contains a reference to the mummification of the priests of Wepwawet, which could indicate that 131

132

For these documents see Table A.25. Only transactions with third parties are recorded in this table, sales and/or donations of real-estate between members of the same family are excluded from this list. Unless this is evidence for funerary priests being attached to temples in this part of the country, as it appears could be sometimes the case in the Roman Period. Two temple accounts from Soknopaiou Nesos, SPP XXII 183 (AD 138) and BGU I 1+337 (AD140), indicate that in the Roman Period some embalmers were part of the temple’s personnel. In the first document one of the entries records a payment of 16 drachmas for ‘embalmers(?),’ while an entry in the second document includes a payment of 16 drachmas for the ‘embalmers at the village’ (Johnson 1936, 656, 659).

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these two lector-priests were being paid for such services. However, the fact that they received a daily payment from the Chiefs of the storehouses of the temple of Wepwawet suggests that they may have held other temple offices as well, and that it was for those that they were being paid. In particular, this could have referred to the provision of the cloth used during the mummification process, which appears to have been another of the activities in which the Siut lector-priests were engaged, although this was closely linked to their professional activity. In P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), party A states that ‘If it happens that a lector priest separates from his associate […] and makes his own storehouse, he will act in accordance with everything aforesaid’ (i҆w=f ḫpr ˹r˺ pš ẖr-ḥb n pꜣy=f i҆ry […] mtw=f i҆r wꜥ pr-ḥḏ wꜥ.ṱ=f i҆w=f i҆r r-ẖ mt nb nt ḥry) (lines 22–23).133 This indicates that the expression ‘to make his storehouse’ in this case denotes the setting up of a business concerning the provision of cloths. An interesting reference to a ‘service of the storehouses’ is found in P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC) which, among other properties, lists ‘⅓ share of the service of the storehouses of the six villages’ (⟨tny.t ⅓⟩ tꜣ bꜣk n nꜣ pr.w-ḥḏ pꜣ tmy 6) (col. Bviii lines 21–22). On the basis of P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), it is possible that this is to be understood as a reference to a service concerning the provision of cloth to individuals responsible for various stages of the mummification process. It remains unclear whether these storehouses were located in the necropolis, although it seems likely. In addition, P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) shows that the two brothers Totoes and Tuefhapi had some wealth, a large part of which consisted of landed property.134 In some years they farmed their lands themselves, while at other times they leased them out to a third party. In P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC) Tuefhapi explains: ‘the aforesaid fields are mine, (I) ploughed them with Totoes in regnal year nine. Then, in regnal year ten, I leased them to Agylos son of Lisimachos, the cavalryman, (and) they were sown for their great(er part) with clover (…). Then, in regnal year 11, I leased `my own´ ⅓ share to Heraclides, the cavalryman, while Agylos and Apylos, who are in the stratiotes, (are those) who ploughed the other ⅔ share at the request of Totoes’ (nꜣ ꜣḥ.w rn=w i҆nk s skꜣ(=y) s i҆rm twt n ḥꜣ.t-sp 9 ḫpr ḥꜣ.t-sp 10.t i҆r=y sḥn.ṱ=w n ꜣgyrws sꜣ lsymḳws pꜣ rmṯ ḥtr ḫpr-ḫr tw=w šm pꜣy=w ꜥšꜣ n ꜣtrm (…) ḫpr ḥꜣ.t-sp 11.t i҆r=y sḥn tꜣy=y tny.t ⅓ `ḥꜥ=y´ n hrgtr pꜣ rmṯ

133 134

See further Chapter 11 § 4. These were: 10 aruras of highland in the south-west of Siut in the temple domain of Wepwawet, a share of plots of land in the Siut necropolis, a share of plots of land called ‘the quay of Pahe’ extending south of Pachir of Siut, a share of plots of land of the house in the Siut necropolis called ‘the house of Petaus,’ a share of plots of land of the house in Pachir of Siut called ‘the house of Kemois,’ a share of gardens and a well in the ‘Valley of Isis’ (P. BM EA 10591, 170 BC).

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ḥtr r ꜣgyles i҆rm ꜣpylws nt ẖn nꜣ stryss.w nt skꜣ n tꜣ k.t tny.t ⅔ r ḫrw twt) (lines 1– 4). Further evidence is found in P. BM EA 10599 (169 BC), a petition presented by Tuefhapi against his brother, Totoes, where he states: ‘I went to my fields which are in the countryside in the highlands south of Siut with my cultivator in order to harvest them (but) the said man (scil. his brother) came against me and hindered me without allowing me to harvest them even though it is I who ploughed the said fields in the winter season’ (šm=y r nꜣy=y ꜣḥ.w nt n tꜣ sḫ.t n tꜣ ḳy rs n si҆wt i҆rm pꜣy=y wyꜥ r ꜣsẖ n-i҆m=w pꜣ rmṯ n rn=f i҆w r-ḥr=y sḫt=f ṱ=y r bn-pw=f ḫꜣꜥ=y r ꜣsẖ n-i҆m=w r i҆nk i҆.i҆r skꜣ nꜣ ꜣḥ.w n rn=w n pr.t) (lines 4–8). In addition, P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) indicates that Tuefhapi owned sheep- and camel-herds since both the shepherd and the camel keeper are mentioned during the legal proceedings (for example in col. Bv lines 24–25). The same document also shows they owned a number of houses in the necropolis of Siut and in Pachir, as well as a number of storehouses, the latter very likely connected with their activity as lector-priests.135 The two brothers also had a share each of the office of ‘Scribe of the divine-scrolls in the necropolis of Siut’ (sẖ mḏ-nṯr n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t si҆wt) (col. Bviii lines 23–24), which their father Petetumis had bought from the endowed woman Ephonychos daughter of Djedjehutiuefankh (P. BM EA 10575 [181 BC] line 10). Finally, from the village of Shaiueshetep, located in the vicinity of Siut,136 there survives a fragmentary contract of sale and cession recorded in P. UC55875 (153BC) and concerning some plots of land said to be located in the necropolis. The titles of the contracting parties are not preserved and it is not possible to determine whether they belonged to a family of lector-priests or to other individuals, but the location of the plots of land in the necropolis argues in favour of the parties belonging to a category of funerary priests. With respect to the town of Hutnesu very little can be determined beyond the fact that one of the lector-priests owned a house with a plot of land and a cloth-place in the eastern district of the town (P. Mallawi 602/9, 100 BC). It is possible that the cloth-place mentioned in this document relates to a place where cloth was produced and/or stored,137 thus indirectly suggesting the presence of arrangements concerning the provision of cloth for the mummification similar to those in place at Siut. 135

136 137

These were: a house now in ruins, a house built and occupied by Tuefhapi, a share of the house called ‘the house of Petaus,’ a share of the house in Pachir called ‘the house of Kemois,’ a storehouse, a storehouse now in ruins in the Siut necropolis, the storehouses in the Siut necropolis called ‘the storehouses of Matraios’ (P. BM EA 10591, 170BC). The settlement is mentioned in P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC) as one of the areas where the Siut lector-priests worked (col. Bvii line 11). Cannata 2006, 193–194 note p.

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An interesting aspect that emerges from the preceding survey is the parallelism between the Theban choachytes, and the Memphite and Hawara god’s seal-bearers on the one hand, and the Theban and Siut lector-priests on the other. In fact, the Theban choachytes were above all engaged in loan transactions, as were the Hawara god’s seal-bearers, while the little evidence surviving from Memphis sees one these funerary priests making an interest-free loan to an unrelated individual. On the other hand, both the Theban and the Siut lectopriests were mainly engaged in sale, purchase and lease of agricultural lands, some of which they farmed personally. However, given the limited evidence, it is difficult to determine whether this is just a coincidence, or if perhaps their choice was dictated by other factors.

chapter 8

Priestly Associations The following section discusses the available evidence for religious associations of mortuary priests around the country. No fixed rule or custom appears to have existed as to whether members of professions organised themselves into guilds, associations or collegia, and the available evidence, with the exception of the documentation relating to the Theban choachytes, is far from definite.

1

Association of Theban Choachytes

According to Otto and Derda, the Greek sources from the 2nd century archive do not provide any information on the choachytes’ relation with the temple, although they suggest that their standing within its hierarchy was lower than that of other priests.1 The Demotic evidence indicates that the choachytes also worked as door-keepers, as implied by their full title ‘door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes’ (i҆ry-ꜥꜣ n I҆mn-i҆py n pr i҆mnṱ n Nw.t [var. tꜣ i҆mnṱ n Nw.t]).2 The title of door-keeper was held both by priests who were attached to the shrine of a god, and by those in the service of the dead, the latter also known by the occupational title of choachytes. In 109 BC the choachytes formed an association under the patronage of the god Amenope. According to Pestman, ‘the main scope of the association was to strengthen the solidarity of the choachytes, who had many interests in common as a result of their profession, descent and intermarriages. They designated (…) a number of feast-days as “days of drinking” (…) [during which] they were supposed to have a drink together.’3 That this was one of the aims of the association is perhaps also indicated by the fact that they were supposed to make a contribution toward the mummification of a deceased member.4 However, an analysis of these regulations indicates that its purpose and scope were not limited to reinforcing the bond of solidarity of this choachytal community.

1 Otto 1905, 100–105; Derda 1991, 23. 2 Thus also Pestman 1993, 430. 3 Pestman 1993, 5. Thus also Donker van Heel (1995, 24) who sees the association as also playing an important social role, although he understands its main scope as being that of ensuring the efficient functioning of the necropolis. 4 On this see below and Chapter 13 § 1.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_010

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The regulations were set down in P. Berlin P. 3115 Texts A–E (109–106 BC). Document A identifies these as the rules with which the choachytes have agreed to comply in order to establish the association of Amenope. The first of these regulations prescribes that: ‘any man at all who will (have) reached (the age of) ten years, among the choachytes, will be brought into the association of Amenope’ (pꜣ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ nt i҆w=f r i҆r rnp.t 10.t ẖn nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw mtw=[w] i҆n.ṱ=f r tꜣ 6-nt n i҆mni҆py), line 2

while with respect to ‘any man at all among the choachytes who will (have) reached (the age of) 16 years without having gone to the association of Amenope’ (pꜣ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ ẖn nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw nt i҆w=f r i҆r rnp.t 16 mtw=f tm i҆y r tꜣ 6-nt n i҆mn-i҆py), line 2–3

the members stipulate that: ‘they are not to drink (and) eat with him (or any) member of his family, and they will not to go to the ḳs5 (and the) 35 (days ceremony) with him until he comes to the (meeting) place and those of the association decide upon a fine against him’ (mtw=w tm swr wnm i҆rm=f ḥnꜥ rmṯ n pꜣy=f ꜥ.wy mtw=w tm šm r ḳs 35 i҆rm=f šꜥ-tw=f i҆y r pꜣ mꜣꜥ mtw nꜣy tꜣ 6-nt wpy ḳns r-r=f ).6 lines 3–4

5 A stage in the mummification process, for which see Chapter 11 §3. 6 Two different readings of this passage have been given by Pestman and De Cenival. The former understood the passage as referring to ‘any son of a choachyte who has reached the age of ten years’ (Pestman 1993, 5), while De Cenival took it as a reference to the period of time a person was expected to have worked as a choachyte prior to his introduction to the association (De Cenival 1972, 103 line 2). The interpretation of the passage depends on whether one understands ẖn nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw in line 2 as being linked to pꜣ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ or to nt i҆w=f r i҆r rnp.t 10.t. On the basis of the parallel passage in line 2–3 (pꜣ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ ẖn nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw nt i҆w=f r i҆r rnp.t 16) where ẖn nꜣ wꜣḥ-mw follows pꜣ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ, I have opted for the first possibility. Although De Cenival reading is a more literal one, its implications are that a choachyte’s apprenticeship lasted ten years, which seems too long a period for the type of profession. See also below.

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Contra to the definition of these regulations as trivial,7 it is possible to interpret them as an indication of one of the purposes of the association as the means of regulating the activity of these priests and, to some extent, of exercising a certain control over their conduct, particularly towards their colleagues, in an attempt to avoid disputes among the various mortuary priests.8 This is shown by regulations stipulating that the choachyte in charge of a deceased is the only one who can attend the latter’s mummification, besides those whose help he will enlist. This choachyte is also the only one who can contact the embalmer for the mummification of the dead in his care, and that can provide the necessary materials and accessories for the embalming.9 A number of reasons have been adduced for the creation of, and/or membership in, guilds, among which are ‘low economic, social, and political status,’ as well as ‘familial instability.’ Indeed, it has been argued that guilds fulfilled an important social and economic role by filling a gap, providing members security ‘through ties of “fictive kinship” and membership in “fictive polities.”’10 It is undeniable that membership in associations provided the members with economic benefits, for example in case of economic difficulties due to fluctuation in harvest yields, or in relation to the contributions towards the cost of burial. However, understanding these simply as economic institutions lessens the importance of the ‘social relations and shared values in the formation of associations.’11 An examination of the guilds’ charters with regard to the cost of membership clearly indicates that ‘financial hardship’ cannot have been the reason for joining.12 The list of contributions paid by the members of ‘religious’ associations in the Fayum indicates that office holders made annual payments that were at times higher than the value of one year’s supply of wheat, while the contribution of the ordinary members corresponded to about a quarter of the member’s annual consumption.13 In fact, associations appear to have served a multiplicity of functions. On one hand, they allowed non-elite members of society a more accessible social and civic formal forum,14 thus further enhancing their position within the community.15 On the other hand, they could be understood, as Monson argues, as trust networks. The high cost of member7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Pestman 1993, 5. Thus also De Cenival 1972, 124 note 11,2. On these tasks see Chapter 13 § 1. Quoted in Venticinque 2010, 273, who argues against such an assumption. Monson 2006, 228–229, 233. Venticinque 2010, 274; Monson 2006, 227–228. Monson 2006, 227–228. Muhs 2001. Venticinque 2010, 274–275.

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ship fees, the obligations to help members in need, together with the fines set for antisocial behaviour, served to discourage untrustworthy individuals from joining. Moreover, the setting down of the association’s rules transformed informal ethical codes into formal norms, while the participation of all the members to religious celebrations and social activities strengthened the bond between the trust network’s members, and at the same time reinforced the division from ordinary social networks.16 Monson perceives these as the primary objectives of the association, although, over time, they would also lower the cost of transactions, making them easier and less risky, because the members could be trusted. The economic aspect is thus secondary to the social aspect, even though, over time, the economic benefits may also have served to reinforce the stability of the association.17 Pestman excludes the possibility that an association of choachytes existed before the end of the second century BC since he states that in ‘109 BC the choachytes suddenly felt the necessity of establishing regulations, whereas their forefathers for many centuries had managed without such things,’ wondering whether this was ‘because their solidarity was endangered in 109 BC’ and if it is a ‘coincidence that the archive stops in 98 BC.’18 However, in view of the fact that an association of the Theban choachytes is attested during the reign of Amasis, albeit under the patronage of another god, the deified Amenhotep son of Hapu, and on the basis of the annual founding of the Fayum religious associations, it is more than likely that an association of choachytes under the patronage of Amenope, whose regulations have not survived, existed prior to the first century BC.19 With respect to the place where the choachytes would have met P. Berlin P. 3115 does not provide any specific information. Some indication of a possible meeting place is found in other documents recording the regulations of similar religious associations in the Fayum, and by temple graffiti of the Roman period. These suggest that the association’s meetings would have taken place in a pub-

16 17 18 19

Monson 2006, 233–234. Monson 2006, 233–235. Pestman 1993, 5–6. De Cenival suggests that the last paragraph in P. Berlin P. 3115 (Text D §3 lines 1–2) does not have to be taken as definitive cessation, but rather as a yearly closure (1972, 129–130 note 1,1). The suggestion seems indeed supported by Text E which lists three people and a number of jars they have received (or were entrusted with) by the association. Fines are established in case of damage or theft of these jars (De Cenival 1972, 130–135). For the Late Period association of the Theban choachytes see Donker van Heel 1995, 24, 143–168 and De Cenival 1986; for the Fayum religious associations see De Cenival 1972, Monson 2006, Muhs 2001, and Muszynsky 1977.

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lic area, rather than in a purpose-built edifice owned by the association. The documents of the Ptolemaic Period indicate as a meeting place: 1. the temple (P. Lille 29, line 3); 2. the temple dromos (P. Cairo 31178, line 3); 3. before the god Sobek and the gods of Sobek in the resting place of the crocodile of the settlement of Tebtunis (P. Cairo 30606, line 6; P. Cairo 31179, line 6; P. Cairo 30605, line 4–5); 4. the temples of the gods in whose honour the members met during the days of drinking (P. Cairo 30619, line 3).20 The graffiti of the Roman period indicate as a meeting place: 1. the area around a small shrine behind the temple of Augustus at Philae identified as ‘the place of the association of Harpochrates’ (Demotic Graffito Philae AD36–46);21 2. the court of the temple of Kom Ombo identified as ‘the place of drinking of the porter of the gods of Sobek, god of chaos, and of the porter of the gods of Pachonsis’ (De Morgan Graffito No. 1021—Roman Period);22 3. the dromos or the terrace of the temple of Khnum at Elephantine.23 On the basis of this evidence it is, therefore, possible to suggest an area of the temple of Djeme as the probable meeting place for the association of the Theban choachytes.24 A clause in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106BC) also shows that the choachytes were expected to accept as apprentice any young person who lived in Djeme,25 and thus suggests that access to the profession was not restricted.26 In the regulations the members agree ‘not to turn down(?) a young person (scil. apprentice?) who lives here in Djeme’ (r tm lk ḫm-ẖl i҆w=f ꜥnḫ ty n ḏmꜣ) (Text D, line 4).27 In 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

27

De Cenival 1972, 177–178. Muszynski 1977, 151; De Cenival 1972, 178. Quaegebeur 1984a, 162. Zauzich 1980a, 62–63. For an alternative suggestion see Pestman (1993, 5) who identified the town of Djeme itself as the likely place of reunion of the choachytes. Thus also De Cenival 1972, 129 note 4,1. On the basis of the available evidence it is not possible to determine how often in practice this happened. A geneaological study of the choachytes’ families, based on the surviving documents, indicates that this was a close endogamous group and that the profession was maintained within the family. However, there are also a number of individuals who are only attested as payers in burial-tax receipts, thus indicating that they were choachytes, but for whom no other documentation survives. This means either that their archives have not survived, and/or that they did not originally descend from one of the known choachytes’ families. Although from Coptic it appears that the verb lk followed by a circumstantial generally

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addition, the passage indicates that they were to undergo a period of training under the supervision of one of the choachytes, although there is no indication of the length of time of this apprenticeship. The opening passage of the association’s regulations (line 2) prescribes that anybody over the age of ten practicing as a choachyte has to become a member, thus indicating that interested individuals would have started their training period at a very young age, although effectively they would not be considered to be choachytes until this age. This seems consistent with what is known of apprenticeships in other professions, where training would start at a very young age, in the majority of cases probably at home, with the craft being handed down from father to son.28 The length of the apprenticeship varied depending on the craft learned, and would have involved the carrying out, at first, of the most basic tasks. Textual evidence from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt indicates that a formal agreement would be drawn up between the parents or guardian of the young apprentice and the master. In the case of choachytal training, it not clear whether apprentices would have been trained by family members, a likely possibility given that the profession was, mostly, maintained within the same kin group, or if their training was entrusted to other members of the choachytal community.29 Finally, the list of regulations also gives an indication of the possible role of some of the choachytes during religious celebrations. Two of the members, Petosiris son of Horos and Amenothes son of Psenthotes, are identified as the porter (glg)30 who follows down after the Lesonis, and the third porter (pꜣ glg mḥ-3) respectively, possibly indicating their order during a procession, suggesting that some of them may have been responsible for carrying the chest of Amenope during the processions in his honour.31 Further information on the duties of the choachytes as pastophoroi of Amun is provided by P. Turin Gr. 2147 (117BC), in which was recorded the legal decision of the epistates following Hermias’ complaint presented to the strategos against the choachytes.

28 29

30 31

means ‘to prevent somebody from doing something,’ in this case the reading ‘to turn down’ (Glossar, 264) seems more appropriate since the implications of the first reading would be that the choachytes had the power to prevent somebody from living in Djeme, something for which there is no evidence at all. Burford 1972, 82, 87–88. There is no evidence for apprenticeship contracts from either the Ptolemaic or the Roman periods for the training of funerary workers. In the case of craftsmen, it appears that apprentices were not trained by their own fathers, even though sons often followed their fathers’ occupation and trade (Venticinque 2010, 289). The word generally indicates a funerary bed but may be used here with the extended meaning of litter (De Cenival 1972, 110 note 6,3; Doresse 1973, 113 note 5). Doresse 1973, 113 note 5.

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Hermias son of Ptolemaios, a troop commander from Omboi, presented over the years a number of petitions to the authorities claiming that the Theban house now in the possession of the choachytes belonged by right to him. In the petition, copied in the said document, he exposed once again his accusations against the choachytes, and mentions some royal ordinances concerning the transfer of the Theban taricheutai to the Memnoneia (col. III lines 21–34, col. IV lines 1–30). His accusations were attacked by the choachytes’ lawyer, Deinon, who stated that his clients were not taricheutai, rather choachytes and they did not do the same job. He explains that ‘during the days of public festivities they (scil. the choachytes) bring sand which they sprinkle on the Path of Amun and in the temple, and, on entering the temple of Mut, they do the same. During the annual crossing of Amun to the Memnoneia they perform what tasks were required of them, opening the procession and sprinkling water, and this was their privilege’ (col. VIII lines 11–22). According to the Gnomon of the Idios Logos the pastophoroi ‘may not practice officially as priests (§ 82), nor appear as such in processions, nor lay claim to their functions (§ 94), but they are free to accept private commissions.’32 The conclusion generally reached on the basis of this evidence is that the door-keepers were of lower ranking than the ordinary priests in terms of temple hierarchy, and their function was concerned not with the worship of the gods, but rather with more public oriented roles, such as the supervision of the lay temple personnel.33 However, this seems contradicted by the evidence from Demotic sources, which show the ordinary door-keepers engaged in cultic activities. Information on the door-keepers of Amun at Thebes is found in the Deir el-Medina archive, which concerns the affairs of a family of door-keepers attached to shrines of various gods.34 The income from this office was termed ‘days of endowment’ (hrw n sꜥnḫ), or liturgies, which, like the income received by the choachytes for the care of the deceased, could be bought, sold, leased and inherited. The door-keepers working in the service of the gods at Deir el-Medina performed the same services as the choachytes did for the deceased, as indicated by the fact that the texts employ the same terminology in defining their activity (šms.w, ꜥrš.w), and their income was also termed ‘revenues’ and ‘offerings’ (šty.w and i҆ḫy.w) as was the case with the choachytes. However, textual sources indicate that there was no crossover between the two groups who do not appear to have intermarried. 32 33

34

Quoted in Ray 1976, 136. Ray 1976, 136. In this case, P. Turin Gr. 2147 (117 BC) suggests that the choachytes had a higher status than the other door-keepers since they were not excluded from any official participation in processions. Botti 1967.

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The two functions were hereditary, and were maintained within the same family, or even extended kin group, as shown, by the fact that in the Deir el-Medina archive there is no evidence of them also working as choachytes. Similarly, from the choachytes’ archives there is no evidence that they also performed liturgies for the gods for which they would have received an endowment that, like the rest of their revenues, would have been the object of at least some of their transactions.

2

Association of Theban Lector Priests

With respect to the lector-priests, no direct evidence survives for the existence of an association comparable to that of the choachytes. However, in the petition recorded in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116BC) the plaintiff states that the two parties ‘agreed to abide to the clauses of the contract and stipulated that any breach will result in a fine of 30 bronze talents and the (payment?) of the damage according to the regulations’ (lines 34–36). This suggest that, despite the lack of direct evidence for the organisation of the lector-priests in associations, there may have existed some rules by which they had to abide, unless of course those referred to are the customary monetary penalties charged on the breach of any contract’s stipulations. In addition, the oath recorded in O. BM EA 26206 (153–142 BC) provides some evidence for the existence of a council of lector-priests that, not only arbitrated in matters relating to the funerary industry (as was the case with the council of choachytes and lector-priests in P. Amherst dem. 62f + g, 121 BC), but also decided collectively on the territorial division of competence among the various lector-priests. Party A claims control over (the liturgies?) of Pamonthes son of Psenthotes whom, he states ‘devolved upon Patemis son of Zmanres at the time of the division which the council (of lector-priests) made’ (pḥ=f r patm sꜣ smn-rꜥ n pꜣ hrw n pš r-i҆r tꜣ ꜥšꜣt ḥms) (lines 6–7). However, it remains unclear whether the council should be understood simply as the totality of the individuals who worked as lector-priests, and therefore shared a common interest as suggested by the heading of the oath recorded in O. BM EA 25775 (158–157BC) where they are identified as ‘the collectivity of the lector-priests of Thebes’ (tꜣ ꜥšꜣt (n) nꜣ ẖrḥ.(w) (n) nw.t),35 or if this is indirect evidence for the existence of an otherwise unattested association with specific regulations as, perhaps, suggested by P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116BC).

35

For the corrections see CDD letter H̱ , 57.

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167

Association of Memphite Mortuary Priests

Similarly, there is no surviving direct evidence for the existence at Memphis of an association either of choachytes or of god’s seal-bearers. However, the existence of rules regulating the activity of funerary priests is indicated in the agreement recorded in P. Leiden I 374 (78BC) concerning the cession of a specific endowment in the Memphite necropolis and stipulated between two groups of god’s seal-bearers. The contract includes a specific clause concerning the possibility of family members that may fall within the competence of both groups. Party A agrees that should any deceased belonging within this liturgy be given to them mistakenly they will hand it over to party B ‘with the exception of a woman who will die (and) who has a son or daughter (who falls) between her and (a man within) the revenues belonging to us, we are (then) entitled to it in accordance with the rule(s) of the lector-priests’ (nt pꜣ bnr n sḥm.t i҆w=s r mwt r wn mtw=s šr gꜣ šr.t i҆wt=s i҆wt šty mtw=n i҆w=n mꜣꜥ.w n-i҆m=s r-ẖ pꜣ hp n nꜣ ẖr-ḥb.w) (lines 14–15). This again suggests that, despite the lack of direct evidence for the organisation of the Memphite choachytes and god’s seal-bearers in associations, there may have existed some general rules which they had to respect.36

4

Associations of Mortuary Priests in the Fayum

From Hawara there is also no evidence among the sources for the existence of an association of god’s seal-bearers (and) embalmers. The surviving documents concerning religious associations consist of the regulations adopted by the members of the association of ‘Horus the Beḥdedite (Ḥr Bḥd.t) in the settlement of Sobek Pes in the district of Temistos on the southern side of the lake Moeris in the Arsinoite nome’ [P. Lille 29 (223BC) lines 2–3]; those of ‘the crocodile who meet before the god Sobek and the gods of Sobek in the place of rest of the crocodile of the Sobek town of Tebtunis, which is in the district of Polemon in the Arsinoite nome’ [P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) lines 4–5, P. Cairo 31179 (147BC) lines 4–5, P. Cairo 30605 (145BC) lines 3–5]; and the regulations of a religious association in the district of Polemon in the Arsinoite nome in a settlement whose name is not preserved, perhaps Tebtunis too, and recorded in P. Prague (137BC) and P. Cairo 30619 (137BC). In addition, P. εντευξεισ 20 (221BC) and P. εντευξεισ 21 (218BC), both petitions requesting payment

36

Pestman sees this as a reference to customary law rather than to written regulations of an association of lector-priests (Pestman 1963, 16 note i).

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of funerary indemnity, provide indirect evidence for the presence of religious associations, of which one of women, at Magdola. The title of god’s seal-bearer and embalmer, lector-priest or choachyte does not appear in any of these documents, although this does not exclude the possibility that some of the members belonged to the class of funerary priests. Nevertheless, none of the regulations listed in these agreements appear to relate specifically to the activity of this class of necropolis attendants, as was the case in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106BC) where several of the regulations listed were concerned specifically with the choachytes’ professional activity.37

5

Associations of Mortuary Priests in Middle Egypt

From Middle Egypt the only evidence for the possibility that mortuary priests belonged to religious and/or professional associations is provided by P. Rylands 65 (57BC), from Oxyrhynchus. The document records the judicial sentence passed by the Chrematistai court concerning a petition presented by a group of necrotaphoi against some individuals who are accused of having disregarded the stipulations of an Egyptian contract stipulated by ‘all the necrotaphoi belonging to the association’ (οἱ ἐκ τοῦ ἔθνους νεκροτ̣[άφοι τε]θ̣ειμένοι Αἰγυπτίαν συγγραφὴν) (col. 1 line 3). Johnson notes that the word ἔθνος was used to refer both to sacred and to secular associations, or corporations, although it is not clear what type of association it denoted in this document.38 In the petition, the plaintiffs request that the accused be brought and forced to pay the fines stipulated in the contract against those who contravene its provisions, both to the association and to the Treasury. These provisions are reminiscent of a clause found in text D of P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106BC) where, for example, it is established that a fine of one talent is to be paid to the association, another to the shrine of Montu lord of Medamud, and one talent is to be given at (lit. before) Djeme, by any of the members who refuses to act in accordance with what stipulated by the association. In addition, the mention of an association suggests the mortuary priests formed a consortium, be it an organisation formally constituted as that recorded by the Theban choachytes in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC), or simply the aggregation of individuals who performed the same profession. That such 37

38

However, in view of the limited evidence available and the fact that a large number of papyri from Tebtunis still remain unpublished, it is not possible to exclude the possibility that such an association of mortuary priests existed in the Fayum as well. Johnson et al. 1915, 7 note 3.

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an assembly decided on matters concerning the division of liturgies among the mortuary priests is indicated not only by P. Rylands 65 (57 BC), but also by P. Mallawi 602/10 (111BC) that, like the previous document, mentions an agreement stipulated, in this case, between all the lector-priests of Hutnesu, in which they divided a number of places of revenue among themselves. These show parallels with O. BM 26206 (153–142 BC) from Thebes, mentioned above, which provides evidence for a council of lector-priests that decided together on the territorial division of competence among them. Indeed, P. Mallawi 602/1– 5 (79BC), an apportionment deed drawn up between 12 mortuary priests from Psenharyo, perhaps represents an example of this kind of document relating to the division of competence among funerary priests. Therefore, in view of this evidence, it is possible that the association mentioned in P. Rylands 65 (57 BC) was a religious association formed by the mortuary priests of Oxyrhynchus and that another may have existed at Hutnesu, and possibly at Psenharyo, although that this applied also to mortuary priests from other parts of Middle Egypt can only be a surmise. As Monson argues, the associations’ rules help understand the underlying social relations, and clearly indicate that members of a trust network had access to informal assistance from other members. One such benefit concerned, for example, possible disputes among fellow members, which a number of associations’ rules stipulated that these were to be settled in-house, without resorting to state authorities.39 In the light of this, it is possible to understand the oaths recorded in O. BM EA 26206 (153–142 BC) and O. BM EA 25775 (158–157BC) from Thebes, and possibly the agreement preserved in P. Leiden I 374 (78BC) from Memphis, as resulting from this kind of in-house arbitration of disputes among fellow members. This may also have been the purpose of councils which helped in the resolution of disputes without need for recourse to a formal lawsuit. Such regulations, and particularly the rule prescribing high fines for members who resort to state authorities to resolve conflict, or to refuse to abide by the decision of the association regarding a dispute, appear to have been disregarded (if they existed) by the Oxyrhynchus necrotaphoi who petitioned the Chrematistai court concerning a dispute between them and another group of mortuary priests.40 One final point worth mentioning with respect to these associations is that of the fines imposed on members for antisocial behaviour specifically in rela39 40

This, in turn, would also strengthen the trust network, and protect it from state intrusion (Monson 2006, 235–236). Recorded in P. Rylands 65 (57 BC).

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table 3

Fines prescribed for association members in relation to funerary matters

Document

Refuse to attend funeral

Refuse to collect dead from place of death

Refuse to mourn Refuse to mourn deceased member member’s dead kin

P. Lille 29 (223BC) P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) P. Cairo 31179 (147BC) P. Cairo 30605 (145BC) P. Prague (137BC)

½ kite

4 kite 10 deben 20 deben […] deben 20 deben

5 deben 5 deben 5 deben

5 deben 2 deben 5 deben

tion to the death of one of the members, or even of his close kin. In particular, fines were prescribed for failure to mourn a deceased member or a member of his family, for refusing to accompany the funeral cortege to the necropolis, and for refusing to go to collect the body of a deceased member who dies outside their own settlement. Although in relative terms the fines set for antisocial behaviours in respect of the death of one of the members (or his close kin) are among the lowest prescribed, especially when compared with those prescribed for some of the other offences,41 in general terms they still represent fairly large amounts of money (perhaps with the exception of P. Lille 29). In fact, attendance to funerals would have furthered the development and maintenance of the bonds of trust not only among the members, but also between the members and their families. Failure to comply with these norms of behaviour, therefore, would have carried a stigma with both the members and their families, and would have marked the individual as untrustworthy.42 41 42

See Monson 2006, 232 Chart 6. Venticinque 2010, 284–285.

chapter 9

The Funerary Priests and Their Social Context An analysis of the available documents shows that, in the main, mortuary priests tended to live in settlements located within temple precincts in the necropolis. Indeed, given the nature of their work, it seems natural that they should live near or within the necropolis. One exception is represented by the mortuary priests of Thebes, both choachytes and lector-priests, who owned residential property on the west bank at Djeme and at Thebes by the temenos walls of temples.

1

Place of Residence of the Funerary Priests

In the period between 330 and 170BC the Theban choachytes lived, or at least owned houses, in the northern district of Thebes within the quarter known as the ‘House of the Cow,’ while, some of them, also owned properties in Djeme and neighbouring areas.1 That they owned properties on both banks of the Nile is not surprising since their activity required them to spend some time in the necropolis of Djeme, while many of their clients would have been residents of Thebes. What is perhaps more surprising is the fact that from about 170 BC they all appear to have moved permanently to Djeme and the neighbouring areas, since they are no longer attested as owners of properties in documents dealing with houses located in the ‘House of the Cow.’ However, this seems to contrast with the evidence of P. Turin Gr. 2149 (126 BC), a petition presented to the Chrematistai by Apollonios, a cavalryman of Diospolis Magna in the Thebaid, against the choachytes. In the document Apollonios claims ownership of part of the land over which now stood a house jointly owned by the choachytes, specifying that they are residents of the same city (lines 11–12). On the other hand, from one of the documents relating to the Hermias’ lawsuit, P. Turin Gr. 2148 (119BC), we learn that the choachytes had their domicile in the Memnoneia as they were apparently not allowed to live in Thebes (lines 13– 16). In fact, it is possible that Apollonios simply assumed the choachytes were permanently living in the said house, while Hermias, who on more than one occasion was unable to get hold of them because they had taken refuge in

1 See Tables A.26 and A.27.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_011

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Djeme, knew that their permanent residence was in the Memnoneia. The reasons for the choachytes’ move to Djeme are not immediately apparent from the documents in their archives. On the basis of P. Turin Gr. 2147 (117 BC), one of the documents relating to the disputed ownership of the house in Thebes between the choachytes and Hermias, a man from Omboi, it could be suggested that this was the result of an ordinance passed by the royal physician prescribing that, for reasons of public health, the taricheutai were no longer allowed to reside in Thebes. In the petition, the plaintiff accuses the choachytes of inhabiting this house ‘despite (the fact that) the former strategos Aineas had written to Ptolemaios, who was then epistates, to transfer these people to the Memnoneia, first, following the command of the king that Tatas, the royal physician, had reported; and with regard to the same people, the former strategos Diasthenes had written to have transferred’ (col. II lines 23–27). Nonetheless, the accusations were denied by the choachytes’ lawyer, Deinon, who having clarified that his clients were choachytes not taricheutai, and having explained what their occupation entails, stated ‘that even for the taricheutai there exists a decree through which they are protected against molestations, and that, even if it were the case, which it is not, that the taricheutai had been transferred, nobody has the right, not even Hermias, to take something from their ownership, and every one of them, being the owner of his own property, has the power to sell or to cede it to another party and to receive, (every one of) them, its price’ (col. VIII lines 22–29). Therefore, it is clear from the statement of Deinon that the royal ordinance cannot be taken as the cause for the move of the choachytes to the east bank since not even the taricheutai, to whom the decree applied, had been moved to the Memnoneia. It is possible that, since their activity required them to be mostly on the west bank, where they already owned properties, they decided to move there permanently. However, some decades later they began work on a joint property on the east bank, which suggests that perhaps a need was felt to have a base at Thebes as well. The house consisted of a number of rooms on two sides of a central vestibule, and a courtyard. The rooms were not very big and probably did not represent the owners’ main residence, although they could have been used as temporary accommodation during their stay in Thebes.2 The house was located by the river, whence the choachytes easily crossed to the other bank, and therefore represented an

2 P. Nat. Gr. 715 gives 15 m2 as the size of the room alone (Pestman 1993, 146), while another measured 11 m2 (Pestman 1993, 406). For information on the size of houses in the ‘House of the Cow’ at Thebes see Depauw (2000, 55 and note 141, 116 note f); for papyrological evidence see Husson (1983, 164–173).

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ideal location whence to carry out any business transactions.3 However, with the exception of two documents, the rest do not provide any information on how this house was used. In P. Turin gr. 2147 (117BC), the petition presented by Hermias against the choachytes, the plaintiff stressed that not only did the choachytes live in this house, but that ‘they have, in addition, deposited there some corpses, mindless of the fines pending on them, and despite the fact that the house is located near the dromos of Hera and (the dromos) of Demeter, the great goddesses to whom the deceased and those who take care of them are abominable’ (col. II lines 18–23). This is taken as evidence for the use of the Theban house as a storage place for mummies since ‘[t]his fact was not denied by the lawyer of the choachytes, and thus it is implicitly admitted (…). The small rooms certainly made excellent store-rooms, where mummies could be collected before being dispatched to the necropolis on the other bank of the Nile; and in the central court or vestibule there must have been space enough for the choachytes to perform some kind of operation with regard to the mummies.’4 The assumption that the central court or vestibule in the Theban house was used in such a way is based on P. Wien ÄS 3872 (121 BC), recording the apportionment to Horos of his share. The document specifies what his 1/7 share included: ‘two rooms (…) together with the 1/7 (of) the vestibule (…) together with the 1/7 of all the work performed within it, together with the 1/7 of everything which appertains to it’ (ry.t 2 (…) ḥnꜥ pꜣ 1/7 tꜣ ẖy.t (…) ḥnꜥ pꜣ 1/7 n pꜣ i҆r-bꜣk nb ẖn=s ḥnꜥ pꜣ 1/7 nt nb nt ṯ r-r=f ). The clause ḥnꜥ pꜣ 1/7 n pꜣ i҆r-bꜣk nb ẖn=s is understood to mean that “each of the choachytes [was] entitled to do his share ‘of all the work performed there’ (= in the central court),”5 elaborating that this must have referred to operations carried out on the mummies. Nonetheless, the text only indicates that some work was carried out within this space, which could refer to any number of activities, and entitles the contract’s beneficiary to its 1/7. Finally, additional proof for the choachytes’ use of the Theban house as a storage place for mummies, is sought for in a passage in P. Amherst 60a (125BC), a hn-agreement concerning the inheritance of Pechites, which reads ‘the house in Thebes and the revenues’ (pꜣ ꜥ.wy n nw.t i҆rm nꜣ šty.w). This, it is suggested, shows ‘[h]ow close the connection was between the Theban house

3 In P. Leiden 376 (127 BC) (Pestman 1993, 95–97), for example, the Theban house is given as the creditor’s address at which a loan of 4½ artabas of wheat and 200 copper debens is to be repaid. The loan is stipulated between the carrier of the milk-jar of Amun in Djeme Patemis, son of Esnakomneyus and Stoetis, and the woman Sachperis, daughter of Amenothes and Thathas, as the creditor. 4 Pestman 1993, 409. 5 Pestman 1993, 409.

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and the mummies.’6 Unfortunately, Pestman did not elaborate further on what he thought was the place whence these mummies are supposed to have been collected, and exactly what operations it was that the choachytes would have performed on the mummies in the Theban house. This house has continued to be seen as a temporary storage place for ‘mummies awaiting burial,’ where, despite an existing ‘rule against storing mummies within the city boundaries, bodies continued to be deposited, since it would have been difficult for an outsider to determine between mummies stored and those about to be shipped.’7 However, this assumes that the embalming was performed within Thebes, or on its outskirts, by the choachytes, something for which there is no evidence. In addition, the surviving documents provide clear evidence for the existence of specific tombs in which mummies awaiting final burial were deposited, and for the choachytes’ use of some of the large tombs dating to both the Pharaonic and the Late periods, such as that of Nebwenenef at Dra Abu el-Naga and that of Harwa at Deir el-Bahari, for the temporary storage of mummies.8 One attractive possibility is that among the ‘implements’ stored in the Theban house were, for example, ceremonial boat(s) and biers that would be used for the transport of the deceased from the town to the necropolis for embalmment. During the period between 327–326 and 181BC some of the Theban lectorpriests lived, or at least owned houses, in the northern district of Thebes within the same quarter as the choachytes, the ‘House of the Cow.’9 As was the case with the choachytes, the lector-priests seem to have left Thebes, possibly moving to Djeme or neighbouring areas, around the beginning of the second century BC. This is indicated by the fact that they are no longer attested as owners of properties located in Thebes. Again, as with the choachytes, the reasons for this move are not evident from the surviving documents. On the basis of P. Turin Gr. 2147 (117BC), relating to the series of lawsuits concerning ownership of the choachytes’ Theban house mentioned above, it would appear that this was the result of an ordinance passed by the royal physician stipulating that, for reasons of public health, the taricheutai were to leave Thebes. The ordinance is mentioned by the plaintiff who claims ownership of the Theban house, although the accusations were denied by the choachytes’ lawyer who stated that not even the taricheutai had been transferred out of Thebes. Therefore, it is clear that the royal ordinance cannot be taken as the cause for the 6 7 8 9

Pestman 1993, 409. Vleeming 1995, 247. On this see further Chapter 12 § 4. See Tables A.28 and A.29. See also Depauw 2000, 31–54 §3.5, for a list of individuals resident in the ‘House of the Cow,’ six of which were lector-priests.

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move of the lector-priests. In addition, the claim is also contradicted by the fact that the lector-priest Amenothes, son of Horos and Tashebura, owned a ‘plot of land trodden upon (so as to form the) base’ of a house (wrḥ n ꜥ.wy nt ḥwy n snṱ.t) (line 9) in the southern district of Thebes as late as 125 BC (P. Turin 2146). In P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–116BC), a petition presented by Amenothes against his colleague Petenephotes ~ Lolous, it is stated that in year 51 the two had stipulated a contract in the office of the agoranomos for foreigners (scil. people non-residents of Thebes) in Diospolis Magna (lines 6–9). However, in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC), a petition presented by Petenephotes against Amenothes, the plaintiff is identified as a ‘paraschistes, one of those from Diospolis Magna’ (lines 3–4), thus suggesting that he lived in Thebes. This seems to contrast with the fact that the original contract had been stipulated in the office of the agoranomos for foreigners, which would imply that in 119 BC, the year the document was drawn up, the two were not residents of Thebes. With respect to Djeme, there is only limited evidence for lector-priests or embalmers living, or owning properties there. Some indirect evidence is found in P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), the memorandum relating to the businesses of Amenothes and his colleague Petenephotes ~ Lolous. The relevant entries read: ‘The reckoning of the grain: what Amenothes gave in Thebes to Lolous’ (line 1), ‘The reckoning of the money: what came to me here in Djeme for the year 39’ (lines 11–12).10 From the wording of these accounts it would seem that Amenothes lived in Djeme and Petenephotes ~ Lolous in Thebes, which is consistent with the fact that the latter was identified in P. Turin Gr. 2154 (116 BC), mentioned above, as being resident in Diospolis Magna.11 On the other hand, some of the lector-priests working in the necropolis of Djeme owned properties at Pamenis and Hermonthis where it is possible that they also lived.12 Again, as was the case with the choachytes, the reasons for their apparent move out of Thebes, if indeed they did move out of the city, remain unclear, though they may, perhaps, be linked with the practice of their profession, which required their presence mostly in the necropolis. With respect to Memphis, surviving archaeological evidence indicates the presence of a number of communities living in different parts of the necropo-

10 11 12

For these accounts see Chapter 7 § 3. Thus also Pestman 1981, 50 note g. The house and courtyard sold in P. BM EA 10407 (224BC) (line 4), and possibly the lands sold in P. BM EA 10410 (224BC) although the relevant clause is in lacuna (line 5), are located ‘on the southern highland which is in the north-west quarter of Hermonthis in the enclosures,’ while the lands sold in P. BM EA 10380a (231BC) are described as being on the southern highland of Hermonthis (line 3).

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lis and in the proximity of the important cult centres, either inside or outside their enclosure walls.13 At Saqqara remains of settlement areas have been found within the Anubieion temple complex and near the ancient Abusir lake in the proximity of the Main temple complex, while structures of a seemingly domestic character are found in and around the Sarapieion temple complex.14 Similarly, at Giza, remains of habitations were found near the valley temple of the pyramid of Khafre.15 However, although it is a possibility, it remains uncertain whether mortuary priests were present in all of them, or if these settlements were mostly inhabited by other categories of necropolis workers and priests. Beside the sacred animal temple complexes, such as the Sarapieion, the Bubastieion, the Anubieion and the Main temple complex or Iseum, a number of other localities are attested in the Memphite documents. These include the Temple of Osiris of Rutiset, the Temple of the peak of Anchtawy, and the Temple of Isis Lady of Anchtawy.16 The temple of Osiris of Rutiset (pr-wsi҆r-rꜣi҆s.t), is attested, among the documents analysed, only in P. Leiden I 380 a–b (64BC) where it is identified as the ‘Peak of Osiris of Rutiset (in) the districts of Memphis’ (thny n wsi҆r-rꜣ-i҆s.t nꜣ sḥn.w n mn-nfr) (line 6).17 The same place name is attested in P. Brooklyn 37.1839B (201BC), a cession deed concerning a house, outbuildings and plots of land which are said to be located in the ‘temple of Osiris of Rutiset, on the southern side of the dromos of Osiris of Rutiset’ (line 3), while on the western side the house is bordered by the ‘great road’ (line 4).18 The latter, it is suggested, may correspond to the axial wadi road that from the Abusir Lake led to the Sarapieion, which run almost parallel to the sacred way leading off from the Main temple complex.19 Similarly, in P. Cairo 30602 and P. Cairo 60603 (116–115 BC), two donation deeds in which party A is identified as ‘a merchant, a man from the temple of Osiris of Rutiset,’ the house and its outbuildings object of the transaction are also said to be located in the ‘temple of Osiris of Rutiset, on the southern side of the dromos of Osiris of Rutiset’ (lines 6–7).20 The fact that this location is identified as temple (pr) in the same way as the Anubieion and the Sarapieion were, the presence of a dro13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

See Davies and Smith 1997; Martin 1981; and Macramallah 1940. Jeffreys et al. 1988; Jeffreys et al. 1991, 7; Martin 1981 and Macramallah 1940. Hölscher 1912, 86–89. The location of this temple remains uncertain. For a discussion of the different conjectures concerning their location see Martin 2009, 49–50 §3–4. See further Martin 2009, 163 note xi, 47–48 § 1, and 51–52 §10. Reich 1933, 45, 108–117; Pestman et al. 1977a, 25–30; Pestman et al. 1977b, 29–35; Martin 2009, 48–49 § 2. Davies and Smith 1997, 116 and Fig. 3; Martin 2009, 48–49 §2. Spiegelberg 1908, 3–14; Martin 2009, 48–49.

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mos within it and the fact that it was mentioned alongside these other temple complexes, suggests that this too was a discrete complex, rather than a small temple inside one of the other sacred enclosures. Its identification as a ‘peak’ may indicate that it was located at the northern end of the Saqqara plateau, near Abusir.21 However, the presence of two large structures, possibly temples, was revealed north of the Sarapieion Way during the geophysical survey of the Saqqara necropolis.22 It may be possible that these are to be identified with (or part of) the temple of Osiris of Rutiset, which would then be located in the area between the Main temple complex, with the other surrounding catacombs, to the north and the Sarapieion Way to the south. The textual sources indicate that the Memphite mortuary priests lived in the necropolis, in and around the main temple complexes, while there is no evidence that they owned houses at Memphis itself, although this cannot be excluded given the paucity of documentation from the main city. In this they show parallels with the Hawara funerary attendants who clearly owned, and lived in, properties located in the necropolis settlement by the same name. There are also some parallels with Thebes where choachytes and lector-priests owned properties at Djeme on the west bank, within what once was Ramses III’s mortuary temple. That some of the Memphite mortuary priests lived in the necropolis, more specifically in the Anubieion, is suggested by P. Leiden I 378 (160BC) and P. Louvre E 3268 (73BC) in which they are identified as contracting parties and/or owners of neighbouring properties.23 Two houses, a cloth-place and storehouses, also located in the Anubieion on the south side of the Dromos of Anubis, are listed in another of the documents belonging in the archives of the Memphite god’s seal-bearers, P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC). Another house, this time belonging to a god’s seal-bearer, is mentioned in P. Sallier 3 (186–185 BC), a public protest document addressed by the god’s seal-bearer Pasis, son of Teos and Arsinoe, to the woman Haonchis daughter of Pais and Terous. According to Devauchelle, the house is located in the Asklepieion on the southern side of the dromos of Anubis.24 Nevertheless, it would seem more logical for the house to be located in the Anubieion if the dromos mentioned were that of Anubis, since the dromos of the Asklepieion was called ‘the dromos of Imouthes son of Ptah’ as indicated by P. Louvre E 2412 + P. Bibl. Nat. 226 (305–304BC). However, it is possible that these mortuary priests did not see themselves as actually living in the necropolis, since the Anubieion, 21 22 23 24

Martin 2009, 48–49. Ian Mathieson† personal communication (2006). See Cannata 2007a, especially Figs. 8–10, and Cannata 2006. Devauchelle 1998b, 24–25.

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for example, is said to lie in the districts of Memphis.25 In P. Leiden I 380a–b (64BC) some of the revenues are identified as pertaining to the ‘lector-priest šty-income (in) Memphis, (in) the districts (of) Memphis (and in) the Memphite Necropolis’ (šty ẖr-ḥb mn-nfr nꜣ sḥn.w mn-nfr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr) (line 4), while others are identified as ‘pertaining to the endowment which is above, in the Anubieion (and the) Peak of Osiris of Rutiset (in) the districts of Memphis’ (m-sꜣ pꜣ sꜥnḫ nt ḥry n pr-hn-i҆np thny n wsi҆r-rꜣ-i҆s.t nꜣ sḥn.w n mn-nfr) (line 6).26 Thus the evidence indicates that the districts of Memphis, and therefore the temple complexes, were distinct from the main city itself and the necropolis proper, although the latter would have been virtually on their doorstep. This seems, indeed, logical in view of the fact that there was a settlement inside this temple complex, which was, therefore, distinct from Memphis and any other community living within the latter’s districts.27 No clear evidence is available with regard to the place of residence of earlier generations of mortuary priests identified in contracts by the title of choachyte. In P. Louvre E 2412 + P. Bibl. Nat. 226 (305–304BC) the properties transferred include a share of the ‘courtyard which is north of the house of the choachyte Amenothes son of P˹choilis˺ aforesaid (…) which is in (the) peak of Anch˹tawy˺ outside the (?) of the peak on the southern side of the dromos of Amenothes son of Ptah, the great god’ (i҆nḥ nt i҆r mḥṱ n pꜣ ꜥ.wy n pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw i҆y-m-ḥtp pꜣ-˹gyr˺ nt ḥry (…) nt ḥr thny ꜥnḫ-˹tꜣ.wy˺pꜣ bnr (?) thny ḥr pꜣ ꜥt rs ḫfṱ-ḥ i҆y-m-ḥtp sꜣ ptḥ pꜣ nṯr ꜥꜣ) (line 4).28 Therefore, it is possible that they too lived in the Temple complexes located in the Memphite necropolis. With respect to the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers, textual sources indicate that their main place of residence was Hawara itself, although they also owned properties in some of the other towns in which they held funerary endowments. Two different locations are given in the Demotic contracts with regard to the houses at Hawara: within the precinct of the temple of

25

26 27 28

That the Anubieion was considered part of the districts of Memphis, and therefore probably distinct from the necropolis, is indicated by P. Brooklyn 37.1796 (108BC) (line 13), P. Brooklyn 37.1802 (108 BC) (line 14), P. Brooklyn 37.1803 (108 BC) (line 11), P. Louvre E 3268 (73 BC) and P. BM EA 10075—P. Bodleian MS. Egypt. a. 41(P) (64BC) (line 1). See also Martin 2009, 163 note xi. This is also consistent with the evidence from Thebes which indicates that the Amun temple complex was considered in Greek as a kome, see Chapter 7 §2.4, and Cannata 2007a. Another example is possibly found in P. Brussels E 6033 (276–275BC) which mentions a structure whose neighbours to the south and to the north are the places (ꜥ.wy) of two different choachytes, while to the west there is a garden of Serapis the great god. The rest of the specification is in a lacuna and it is, therefore, not possible to determine whether the places mentioned are funerary structures or houses, or exactly where they were located.

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Sobek, and at Hawara itself. In P. O.I. 25262 (292 BC) the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Achomneuis, son of Peteneneteris, donates to his son Petosiris ⅔ of a share in a house located inside the precinct of the temple of Sobek, as well as ⅔ of a house at Hawara. In this instance, although Achomneuis also owned endowments in two other necropolises, he apparently did not own a house in these two other settlements. In P. Rendell (232BC) the son of Petosiris, Achomneuis the elder, donates to his brother Achomneuis the younger his half share in the house at Hawara, perhaps the same as that inherited by their father with the previous contract, as well as ‘the half of the path (…) the half of this courtyard (…) the half of the bench’ ([tꜣ pš] n tꜣ ẖry.t (…) tꜣ pš n pꜣy i҆nḥ (…) tꜣ pš (n) tꜣ nsy.t) (line 3), and ‘the half share of (the) places and the plots of land which are among them’ (tꜣ pš n (…) mꜣꜥ.w nꜣ wrḥ.w nt ẖn=w) (line 5).29 On the other hand, the seal-bearer and embalmer ˹Mare˺phaues, son of Nechsouchos, owned only a share in a house with courtyard at Hawara, although he also had funerary endowments to the south in the district of Herakleopolis and to the north in the area known as Persea.30 From P. BM EA 10603 (100 BC), a marriage document, we learn that the seal-bearer and embalmer Pemsais, son of Kelol, owned a share in a house, a ḫtm-enclosure and a courtyard at Hawara, as well as a share of a ruined house and a share of a plot of land in the Sobek town of Rataheny which was called Ptolemais Hormou. He also owned funerary endowments in further five settlements, the names of which are in a lacuna, but the text does not specify whether he also owned a house in these other localities as well. This was certainly the case of the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Harmais, son of Maresisukos, who owned a share of a house with courtyard, a share of a house in construction, and a share of some plots of land and appurtenances, all of which were located at Hawara, where he also held some funerary endowments. In addition, he also owned a share of a plot of land in the northern quarter of the village of Ptolemais Hormou, where he had some funerary endowments as well, and a share of another ruined house located in the southern quarter of the village of Rataheny.31 In discussing the letter recorded in S.B. I 5216 (1st century BC), Derda suggests that the statement of the chief physician Athenagoras that his deceased subordinate was: ἐν ταῖς παρ’ ὐμεῖν νεκρίαις (line 5) indicates that the stolistai lived and maybe even worked in the necropolis.32 A comparison between the Demotic contracts and the Greek subscriptions, indicates that 29 30 31 32

For the translation of ẖry.t as ‘path, lane’ see Hughes et al. 1997, 67 note F, and 68 note N for this translation of line 5. For these see P. BM EA 10606 (93 BC). For these see P. BM EA 10605 (98 BC), P. Hamburg 4 + 8 (92BC) and P. Hamburg 5+6 (92 BC). Derda 1991, 22.

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‘the Labyrinth’ was a term that referred not only to the necropolis but also to the town of Hawara itself. This is, for example, indicated in P. O.I. 25255 (245 BC), a contract of sale of a share of a house said to be located at Hawara, stipulated between the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Pateris, son of Achomneuis, and the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Sobekhotep, son of Paues. However, in P. O.I. 25260 (245BC), the official acknowledgement in Greek of payment of the tax on the sale of the same house, the property is said to be located in the Labyrinth.33 This is due to the fact that the town of Hawara partly overlay the remains of the mortuary temple known as the Labyrinth. Thus the sources indicate that the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers lived in the town itself, rather than in and around the necropolis proper, as in the case of the Memphite mortuary priests living in the Anubieion. The limited amount of textual sources available from Middle Egypt does not permit to determine with certainty where the mortuary priests were customarily resident. In general, it seems that it varied from town to town, but this could be simply the result of accidents of preservation of the documents. The documents from Siut indicate that at least some of the lector-priests lived on the necropolis itself. This is shown by P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC), a deed of division between the lector-priests Totoes and Tuefhapi, his brother, which lists, among other properties, some plots of land belonging to a house now in ruins located in the necropolis of Siut ‘opposite the house which is built and roofed by me (and) in my own occupation’ (wbꜣ pꜣ ꜥ.wy nt kt ḥbs n-tr.t=y ẖr-[r]-ḥr=y ḥꜥ=y) (col. Bviii line 9). These two lector-priests owned another house, now in ruins too, with surrounding plots of land, and also located on the necropolis of Siut. The fact that no mention is made in these documents of any house in the town of Siut suggests that this family of lector-priests lived on the necropolis since, had they owned a house in Siut, one would expect it to have been listed with the other properties. The impression one gets from these documents is that there was a community living on the necropolis of Siut, perhaps comprising individuals at least in part linked with the funerary sphere. Unfortunately, none of the owners of the neighbouring properties are identified by a title, and thus it is not possible to determine further the character of this community. The aforementioned family of lector-priests also owned a house and lands in a locality known as Pachir. These properties are first listed in P. BM EA 10575 (181BC), the deed of donation drawn up by Petetumis for his son Tuefhapi, where they are described as ‘the house of Kemois and its lands which I purchased (…) from Totoes son of Eba the elder’ (pꜣ ꜥ.wy i҆rm nꜣy=f wrḥ.w r-i҆n=y

33

For these documents see Hughes et al. 1997, 38–48.

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ḏbꜣ ḥḏ (…) n-tr-t twt sꜣ ebꜣ pꜣ ꜥꜣ) (line 8). The same are then listed, a number of years later, in P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) where they are defined as ‘the house, which is called the house of Kemois, and the plot(s) of land which neighbour it (and) which are in the town of Pachir of Siut’ (pꜣ ꜥ.wy nt i҆w=w ḏ n=f pꜣ ꜥ.wy n gm-mys i҆rm nꜣ wrḥ nt pꜣy=f ḳty nt n tmy pꜣ-h̭ yr n si҆wt) (col. B viii lines 11–12). No mention is made of a necropolis attached to this settlement where these lector-priests may have been working, thus it is possible that they lived in this area when working on their land.34 With regard to the town of Shaiueshetep, the evidence is too limited to determine whether its lector-priests lived on the necropolis located at nearby Deir er-Rifeh, or in the town itself.35 Thompson, who first described the contents of P. UC 32223 (2nd cent. BC), suggested that the individuals listed may have been connected with a temple dedicated to the local god, Khnum, perhaps located at Shaiueshetep itself.36 On the other hand, the later editors of this document suggested the civil administration as its source because of the presence of laymen amongst the individuals listed.37 Alternatively, it is also possible that the document originated from a temple community, possibly similar to that attested at the Anubieion in the Memphite necropolis, that would perhaps include lay groups and that could be considered in Greek as a kome. However, even if this was the case, the question of where the lector-priests of Shaiueshetep resided remains open since the location of this conjectured temple is not known. Finally, P. BM EA 10575 (181 BC) attests to the presence of some of the Siut lector-priests working there, since it lists a share of ‘the work as lector priest of Shaiueshetep and its (surrounding) areas’ (tꜣ wp.t n ẖr-ḥb š-i҆w=s-ḥtp i҆rm nꜣy=f mꜣꜥ.w) (line 3), thus also indicating that the latter’s necropolis served a larger catchment area than just the town itself. On the other hand, at least one of the lector-priests of Hutnesu probably resided in the town itself as suggested by the fact that he owned a house there. This is shown by P. Mallawi 602/9 (100BC), a deed of not hindering with regard to repairs or building works to be carried out in a house, plot of land and cloth-place,38 stipulated between the lector priest (and) god’s seal-bearer, Djehorpahapi, son of Petosiris and Tetosiris, and his like-titled colleague Harpaesis,

34 35

36 37 38

For the landed properties of the Siut lector-priests see Chapter 7 §5. That the extensive burial grounds around modern Deir er-Rifeh may be the location of the necropolis of Shaiueshetep is also suggested by the mention of this town on a fragmentary contract (P. UC 55875, 153 BC) also part of the cartonnage material recovered there. Thompson 1907, 33 item E1. Clarysse and Thompson 2006a, 542. Contra to the translation given by El-Aguizy (1989, 95 note i) who accepts the reading of the word ḥ.t-nwṱ as ‘mill’ proposed by Reymond. See Cannata 2006, 193–194 note p.

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son of Horos and Tetosiris(?). The house, plot of land and outbuilding are said to be located in ‘the eastern district of Hutnesu’ (tꜣ i҆wy i҆ꜣbṱ ḥt-nsw) (line 6).

2

The Funerary Priests and Their Families

It has been commented that, on the basis of the low state of the door-keepers in the temple hierarchy, the choachytes of the Ptolemaic Period were less respected than in earlier times.39 Such a statement is probably based on the assumption that the choachytes of the Ptolemaic period were forced to work also as door-keepers in order to supplement their income.40 However, whatever their position within the temple hierarchy, it is doubtful whether this would have had a bearing on the way they were perceived amongst the rest of the population, particularly in view of the necessary and important service they performed for the deceased and their families. Nevertheless, it is also true that, as discussed above, their archives provide very little evidence for interaction with individuals outside their professional circle. By contrast, the Theban embalmers appear to have had a greater participation in community life, as shown by P. BM EA 10523 (295–294) and P. Turin 2143a (124 BC), both of which concern loans (money and wheat respectively) made by a lector-priest to another party. On the other hand, P. Turin 2133 (118 BC) shows a lector-priest renting a plot of land from a clerucos, while, together with the choachytes, they formed a council before whom public agreements, such as P. Amherst 62 f + g (121BC), were made. These findings are, in part, consistent with the evidence for the Siut lector-priests whose documents also indicate a greater interaction with the local community. This is shown by the statement made in P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) by the lector-priest Tuefhapi who explains that he leased their fields to some individuals who, on the basis of their names, appear to have been from a Greek ethnic background. In addition, the same individual mentions in the petition recorded in P. BM EA 10599 (169 BC), a cultivator who was apparently in his employ and who, it could be surmised, was probably not a mortuary priest himself. The evidence with respect to the possible social interaction of the mortuary priests from Middle Egypt is certainly very limited in extent, space and time. However, the fact that some is at all available, despite the small number of documents on which to base such an analysis, may suggest that the interaction between the local community and their mortuary priests was indeed greater

39 40

Pestman 1992, xix. See Chapter 1 § 4.

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than that attested at Memphis and Hawara, where the surviving documentation, limited though it is, is still more abundant than that from Middle Egypt. In fact, there is no evidence for any economic transactions between the Memphite god’s seal-bearers and the rest of the community. Similarly, the Hawara god’s seal-bearers and embalmers appear to have interacted either within their professional group or, at most, with other temples’ personnel. Geneaological data from legal deeds, and particularly marriage agreements between spouses, show that the funerary workers around the country were a very close endogamous group. In fact, the marriage documents preserved in the archives of the Theban choachytes clearly show that a majority of their offspring married the sons and daughters of their colleagues.41 Moreover, the data from the choachytes’ legal deeds, which allows to reconstruct part of the settlement area in which they lived, shows that they often married the offspring of their next-door neighbours.42 According to Muhs’ analysis of marriage and inheritance patterns, economic factors were probably at the root of the mortuary priests’ endogamy. In particular, the custom was probably influenced by the frequent practice of patrilocal residence, which saw the sons taking over the household and the daughters marrying out of such an household, as well as the division among both male and female offspring through radical partable inheritance. Once the daughters inherited and married out of the household the latter would see its assets diminished. However, by marrying within the same professional group, the mortuary priests’ total assets would not progressively diminish, rather they would be redistributed since both spouses inherited shares of their family’s funerary revenues, thus compensating for the loss of revenues received by the daughters.43 The same level of endogamy is attested among the funerary priests of Memphis, Hawara and Siut, although, given the limited number of documents surviving from these areas, the possibility that some of them did marry outside their professional circle cannot be discounted. A comparison between these documents and those from the Theban choachytes shows a difference in terms of marriage documents’ typology. According to the clauses they include, marriage documents are classed as Type A, B and C.44 Type A (sẖ n sḥm.t), was a unilateral deed in which the husband states that he has given his wife a gift, or consideration (šp n sḥm.t), and under-

41 42 43 44

For a list of these documents see Table A.30. Or within one of two properties (Muhs 2005a, 187–188). Muhs 2005a, 188–189. Following Pestman’s (1961) classification of marriage deeds.

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takes to provide her with an annual maintenance.45 In Type B the woman presents a gift to the husband (ḥḏ n i҆r ḥm.t) who undertakes to use this sum to provide her with maintenance for the duration of the marriage at specified daily, monthly, and annual rates.46 In Type C deed, just as in type B, the woman gives a sum of money to the husband who undertakes to provide her with maintenance at specific rates. However, two deeds are drawn up in this case, one in which the receipt of such a gift is acknowledged (sẖ ḏbꜣ-ḥḏ) and another (sẖ n sꜥnḫ) in which the husband’s obligations for the maintenance of the wife are set out.47 The choice between the three types of agreements rested with the couple and may have depended on the presence of children from different marriages, or on the wish to leave matters unsettled until a later stage.48 By contrast to marriage documents of the theban choachytes, most of which were of Type A, those belonging to the mortuary priests of Memphis,49

45 46

47

48

49

The document would have become effective once given to the woman who, by accepting it, acknowledged its exactness (Pestman 1961, 32). Smith 1995, 49. In case of dissolution of the marriage the man would have had to return the sum received, or, if unable to repay the entire amount at once, he would have had to continue paying maintenance until payment was settled in full. In this case the wife would still be in possession of the marriage deed, thus proving that the man has not fulfilled his obligations. The document would be returned only after the complete payment of the sum (Pestman 1961, 36–37). Smith 1995, 48–49. With the sẖ ḏbꜣ-ḥḏ, drawn up either within the contract or as a separate deed, the husband sells his entire property to the wife. However, the latter is only used as security, and is not a complete transaction, since no title of ownership has been transferred for which a sẖ n wy would be needed. The latter would only be drawn up after divorce should the husband fail to fulfil his obligations, that is, the repayment in full of the sum received from his wife (Pestman 1961, 39–40). Indeed, a main difference between type B and type C deeds appears to be the insertion, in the latter, of a clause regulating the inheritance of property by the children of the couple. The regulations may concern the exclusion of children who have been, or may be, born outside the marriage with the woman for whom the deed has been drawn up. Similarly, they may include stipulations regarding the division of the couple’s assets between offspring from different marriages. The fact that these types of clauses are not included in type B deeds may suggest that all children born to the man would have had an equal right to a share (Pestman 1961, 48–49). It is also possible that such a choice was, to some extent, influenced by economical factors such as the cost of drawing up two documents in place of one in the case of Type C marriage documents. Of the five surviving marriage documents, only one gives the profession of the woman’s father (P. Leiden I 373a), in two of them the relevant section is in lacuna (P. Leiden I 381 and P. BM EA 10229), one of them is unpublished (P. Louvre E 3265+P. Louvre E 2419), while the last one omits it (P. Bibl. Nat. 224–225), although the father-in-law’s profession, as in other instances, is known from other sources. Another interesting aspect highlighted by these data is the fact that at Memphis choachytes and lector-priests clearly intermarried.

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Hawara50 and Siut,51 were all of type C and some of Type B.52 Although accidents of preservation can, to some extent, account for this phenomenon, the evidence suggests that the latter types of marriage documents were overall more common in Lower and Middle Egypt than they were in the south of the country.53 A possible factor underlying the choice of document type, and the consequent predominance of type C and B marriage documents, may be linked to a desire to limit the fractioning of immovable property, and particularly of houses.54 In fact, the same risk of fragmentation that affected the mortuary priests’ funerary revenues, would also interest immovable property such as houses. Portion of houses could, naturally, be acquired through purchase, or by buying out other heirs, as well as by marrying the son or daughter of the next-door neighbour. As with funerary revenues, real estate would move from one household to another, but would still remain within the same professional group.55 Another way of dealing with this problem among the Hawara mortuary priests was to limit the number of heirs, and hence of fractions in which houses would be divided, by giving daughters a dowry rather than a share in the house. This may be linked to the predominance of Type C marriage documents at Hawara, in which the wife gives the husband a substantial sum of money, who undertakes to provide her with an annual allowance for the rest of her life.56

50

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52 53 54 55 56

At present there are twelve known marriage documents for the Hawara mortuary priests, of which ten were stipulated between members of the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers’ families. The only exceptions are represented by P. O.I. 25256 (243 BC) in which the woman Sheti, daughter of Pashuty and Haonchis, marries the fisherman of the lake and servant of Sobek Semtheus, son of Pashemetere and Onchasis; and by P. BM EA 10605 (98 BC) in which the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Harmais, son of Maresisukos and Taesis, marries a woman, Terpos (daughter of Pelaias and Tasos), whose father’s profession is not given. Divorce seem to have been a fairly common occurrence since there are three divorce documents, P. Hamburg 7 (99 BC) [Hawara XIII], P. Cairo 50131 (90–88BC) [Hawara XVIII] and P. Hamburg 3 (67 BC) [Hawara XXIII], in a total of six marriage documents preserved in the archive published by Lüddeckens (1998). There are only two marriage documents surviving for the Siut mortuary priests, P. BM EA 10594 and 10593 (172BC), stipulated between the lector-priest Pachysis and Teteimouthes, daughter of the lector-priest Petetumis. It is certainly true that the evidence is far too limited to be considered representative, and it is therefore possible that this was by no means the rule among the mortuary priests of Middle Egypt, but it remains a strong possibility given that it was the custom among all other funerary workers countrywide. See Tables A.31–33. This is based on the charts produced by Pestman (1961, Charts A, B, C). Muhs 2008, 189. Muhs 2005a, 189, 192. Muhs 2008, 188–190.

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Thus, as Muhs convincingly argues, endogamy was one of several measures that these mortuary priests actively took to prevent, or counteract, the increasing fragmentation of their movable and immovable property through radical partable inheritance, which would have resulted in the impractical fractioning of assets.57 57

Muhs 2005a, 193–194.

part 2 Death, Mummification and Burial



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Death Life [is] an incurable disease which always ends fatally.1

∵ The same view was held by the Egyptians too, although, in their perception, this was a state of illness from which the deceased could be treated. This is shown by a passage in P. BM EA 10507 (Late Ptolemaic—Early Roman Period) in which the deceased states: ‘I am well by virtue of my remedies, and recovered from my illness’ (nfr=y n nꜣy=y pẖr.w ꜥn=y n pꜣy=y šny)2 col. II line 14

while in the embalming ritual (P. Boulaq 3, P. Louvre 5158, P. Durham 1983.11 + P. St. Petersburg 18128 [Roman Period]) the body is said to be ‘filled with medicament(s)’ (mḥ m pẖr.t) (Chapter x + VI (x + 3.14)).3 The process of mummification itself is referred to using the euphemism ‘to give medicaments’ (i҆r pẖr), an expression used to refer not only to prescriptions administered by doctors to cure the sick, but also to the mummification materials employed by the embalmers to treat the deceased in the ‘place of embalming’ (ꜥ.wy (n) i҆r pẖr).4 Thus in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC) party A, an embalmer, states: ‘I am to complete him (scil. the deceased) (with) medicament(s)’ (mtw=y mnḳ=f pẖr); a line 9, b lines 7–8

1 2 3 4

Parkes et al. 1998, 7. Smith 1987, 37. Töpfer 2015, 337–338. Smith 1987, 69–70, line 14 note e. See also Pestman 1981, 50–51 note h; de Cenival 1972, 128 note 3,1; and Spiegelberg 1928.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_012

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while in P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), a personal account of two lector-priests, Amenothes, one of the two associates, writes: ‘the reckoning of the wine (…) what we took (…) on the day of giving medications: 2½ hin’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ i҆rp.w (…) r-ṯ=n (…) pꜣ hrw n i҆r pẖr r-i҆r=n ḥn 2½).5 lines 3–5

The same expression is found in P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC), which also uses this indirect expression to refer to the mummification process: ‘he (scil. the embalmer) will complete him (scil. the deceased) with medicaments’ (mtw=f mnḳ=f n pẖr.w). line 2

An actual amphora (CCLXXXII) once containing these medicaments was found in the embalmers’ cache in the shaft tomb of Menekhibnekau at Abusir, and is inscribed in hieratic with the phrase ‘beer medicament, (the) first’ (pẖr.t ḥnḳ.t mḥ-1).6 The noun ‘medicament’ (pẖr.t) occurs also on some potsherds, such as the hieratic docket from a rim sherd of a burnished bowl which reads ‘the medicament for/of embalming’ (tꜣ pẖr.t wty).7 Death itself was often referred to indirectly using such terms as ‘to be far’ (wꜣi҆), ‘to go forth’ (pri҆), ‘to land’ (mni҆, smꜣ tꜣ), ‘to leave’ (ḫꜣꜥ), or ‘to go away’ (ḫpi҆).8 Indeed, textual sources show that the Egyptians had a seemingly ambivalent attitude to death, mummification and the afterlife. On the one hand, funerary literature presents mummification as the means to restoring the physical faculties to the dead and to resurrection, with the deceased even being assured a place among the gods in the afterlife.9 On the other, death can be described as the ‘evil day,’10 while a number of sources present a view of the netherworld as

5

6 7 8 9 10

For a different view see Pestman (1981, 50–51 note h) who understands this as a reference to lector-priests working also as doctors for the sick. It is true that a link between doctors (swnw) and embalmers may have existed in earlier periods of Egyptian history, although it is not clear whether the two professions overlapped, or if the two professionals collaborated on some particular cases. On this see further Nunn 1996, 43–44. Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 176. Martin et al. 1988, 9. A Demotic example was found among the inscribed potsherds from the Saqqara Animal Necropois, for which see Ray 2013, 291–292, O. Saqqara 298. Zandee 1960. For an example from the end of the Ptolemaic Period using the verb mni҆ see Stela BM EA 147 (Reymond 1981, 165–177). See Smith 2005, 103, and the examples in col. II, 16, 29–30, 34–35. Glossar 278.

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a place of darkness and solitude.11 Even the process of mummification could have a negative aspect as a result of the bandages enveloping the deceased in a dark gloom and obstructing any freedom of movement.12 Yet the seemingly opposing views are simply two different perspectives, one from the point of view of this world, in which the wrappings prevent movement, and the other from that of the afterlife, in which they represent not only a protective cocoon on the journey to the underworld, but they also signify the fine clothing that the dead are promised in funerary texts.13 Death was perceived as a transitory stage, and the associated rituals as the necessary prerequisites for the resurrection of the deceased in the afterlife. The entire process from death to burial was a highly ritualised one, and was divided into a number of discrete stages, which, overall, appear to have remained remarkably constant throughout the course of history, even if varying in detail during different periods.14 Using representations from the 18th dynasty, particularly those from the tomb of Rekhmire, Hays identifies seven main funerary ritual complexes: 1. Journey and arrival at the Necropolis ‘landing’ (dw/rdjt r tꜣ, smꜣ tꜣ) ‘disembarking’ (prt ḥr tꜣ) 2. Procession to the Embalming Place ‘approaching the god’s booth’ (spr r sḥ-nṯr) three-day purification in the i҆bw-tent or in the god’s booth (sḥ-nṯr) 3. Embalming and Mummification mummification in the wꜥbt or pr-nfr ‘wrapping’ (wt) 4. Post-Embalming Rituals vigils and rituals 5. Procession to the Tomb ‘funeral’ ( jrt ḳrst nfrt) 6. Opening of the Mouth ritual ‘opening of the mouth’ (wpt rꜣ) 7. Mortuary Service ‘voice offering’ (prt-ḫrw)15

However, even if never part of the funerary decorative scheme, there is another stage that precedes these seven ritual complexes, that is, the moment of death itself, and any accompanying rite performed while the deceased was still in

11 12 13 14 15

See, for example, Smith 2009, texts 1, 12 and 13; Smith 2005, col. II, 32; Reymond 1981, 165– 177 (Stela BM EA 147). Smith 2005, 103. Smith 2005, Introduction (section 10), and 103 with further references. On the Egyptians’ ambivalent attitude to death see also Stadler 2016. Assmann 2005, chapter 13. Adapted from Hays 2010, 2–3. For a more detailed list see Theis 2011, 40.

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the home. These may have included the public notification of death by family members, even through wailing and lamentations as suggested by Herodotus’ account (II.85), and the donning of mourning attire.16 The following sections are devoted to the analysis of these stages using, above all, the extant documentary sources from the Ptolemaic Period, but also drawing on other sources both cross-temporally and cross-culturally.

1

The Mourning Period

Probably already from the Old Kingdom the Egyptians possessed an elaborate mythology of mourning and a complex set of funerary and mortuary liturgy and rituals, which endured for most of their civilization. The mythological archetypal for the dead and the bereaved family was represented by the myth of Isis and Osiris. The dead were associated with the god Osiris, which represented a model for the attainment of the afterlife, while the family was associated with Isis, which embodied the model for the mourning and revivification of the departed. In Western societies three particular states, and their related sets of emotions, are associated with a death: bereavement, grief and mourning. Bereavement denotes the state of loss following the death of a loved one, while Grief is the emotional reaction to such a loss, and Mourning the social expression of grief-actions and grief-rituals that reflect one’s culture and/or social group.17 In Egypt, death marked the beginning of a formal mourning period, which lasted until the day of burial,18 although no direct evidence survives on the 16

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18

Watson (1988), for example identifies nine main elements in Chinese funerary rituals, of which the first two include the public notification of death, through wailing and the posting of banners, and the wearing of mourning attire. Schut et al. n.d. http://www.deathreference.com/Gi‑Ho/Grief.html accessed 28/01/2020. However, something one needs to bear in mind is that while in western culture a distinction exists between grief and mourning, the same is not true of others. In fact, there are languages which do not have the equivalent of our term grief (for example Japanese), and death may elicit instinctual responses which are different from those that are termed grief in western culture. For example, while in the west death generates a sense of loss, separation and even trauma, in other cultures it generates a sense of pollution or powerlessness (Klass n.d. http://www.deathreference.com/Gi‑Ho/Grief‑and‑Mourning‑in‑Cross ‑Cultural‑Perspective.html accessed 28/01/2020). See for example the Stela of Annos (Stela Cairo 31099 (73BC)) in which it is specified that ‘they made for him a great and fine mummification and burial according to that which comes in writing from the 6th Epiphi to the end of the mourning, he having entered his house of rest’ (i҆r=w w(sic) n=f ꜥꜣ.t nfr.t r-ḥ pꜣ nt i҆y n sẖ ṯ i҆bt 3 šmw sw 8 šꜥ–tw n hrw i҆w=w ty

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actual mourning period, its extent and what it entailed for the bereaved family. The extant documentary evidence provides hardly any information on this stage of the death rites, and consists mainly of the terminology used to refer to this particular moment. Indeed, the Egyptians possessed a rich lexicography of grief and mourning, although, being culturally embedded, their exact meaning, and the difference between them, if any, is at times somewhat elusive. The terms attested in the documents analysed are the verb ꜣrb, literally ‘to enclose, seclude,’ and the compound noun ꜥḳ nhpy or ‘mourning rations.’19 The first term is found in a number of religious associations’ regulations from the Fayum, which establish that, should one of their members pass away, the other members will mourn (ꜣrb) him. Thus in P. Prague (137BC) the members agree that: ‘As for the man among us who dies (…) we will also mourn him (…) we will take 10 mourning rations [˹to his house˺]’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆w=f r mwt (…) i҆w=n r ꜣrb r=f ꜥn (…) i҆w=n ṯ ꜥḳ nhpy 10 [˹r pꜣy=f ꜥ.wy˺]?).20 lines 24–25

However, a range of other terms existed in the Egyptian vocabulary to refer to mourning, including hrw n ḥbstn and hrw ḥb,21 both with the meaning of ‘day of mourning;’ ḥbs tp ‘mourning,’ or more literally ‘covering the head;’22 ꜣḳm ‘to mourn, to be sad,’23 ks ‘to mourn;’24 nhp also meaning ‘to mourn,’ whence the expression šp n PN nhp ‘to mourn for someone;’25 snm m-sꜣ [PN or suffix] ‘to mourn [someone];’26 and šnyny ‘to mourn.’27 The first two expressions are self-explanatory in that it is clear that they refer to an occurrence, the day of mourning, which perhaps could be also understood as referring to the beginning of the mourning period. On the other hand the verbs ꜣḳm, ks, nhp, šnyny, as well as the expressions šp n PN nhp and snm m-sꜣ [PN or suffix], probably

19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

ḥtp=f r pꜣy=f ꜥ.wy-ḥtp) (line 9) (Griffith 1900, 29–30 note 25; Rowe 1938, 177; and Shore and Smith 1960, 291). CDD letter Ꜣ, 43, and letter ꜥ, 146; Sethe and Partsch 1920, 428 §61. Variants of this clause are also found in P. Lille 29 (223BC), P. Cairo 30606 (157BC), P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC), and P. Cairo 30605 (145 BC). CDD letter Ḥ, 80; Smith et al. 2011. CDD letter Ḥ, 94; Smith 1993, 60 note b to line 13. CDD letter Ꜣ, 89–90. CDD letter K, 37. The verb nhp survives in Coptic as ⲛⲉϩⲡⲉ, CDD letter N, 98. CDD letter S, 35. CDD letter Š, 173; Smith 2005, 134, note b to line 1.

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denoted the actual ‘action’ as well as the resulting ‘state’ of (being in) mourning. If this interpretation is correct, then it is possible to understand ḥbs tp and ꜣrb as perhaps referring to the set of cultural behaviours which are expected from the bereaved during the mourning period. One of the mourning practices encountered among many cultures is, for example, the use of special clothing and/or armbands of culturally defined colours, while the period itself can be marked by specific practices, such as the withdrawal of the bereaved from social events.28 If the same was true among the Egyptians, then it may be possible to understand ḥbs tp29 as denoting the practice of wearing mourning clothing, and the verb ꜣrb as referring to a custom observed by the bereaved family— that of not leaving the house for the entire mourning period.30 Therefore, the statement by the association’s members that they would ‘enclose themselves for him (scil. the deceased),’ probably means that they would seclude themselves from society like the bereaved family, thus indicating that they shared in the same level of sorrow and grief as the deceased’s family. One way in which grief appears to have been expressed is through the practice of fasting, attested, for example, among some of the worshippers of the Apis Bull. In particular, there appears to have been a fast for the first four days following death, and a partial fasting for the remaining seventy days of the embalmment.31 An echo of this is probably found in the writings of Diodorus Siculus, who reports that the bereaved did not consume any ‘food worth mentioning’ (91.1). Linked to this custom may be the practice of bringing food for the bereaved family.32 This tradition was, for example, attested amongst the Copts,33 and in some villages in Southern Italy even today, where the family should not be concerned with food preparations, which is instead brought in by relatives, friends and neighbours.34 Indeed, P. Prague (137BC) and P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) indicate that the association’s members would take to the house of the deceased mourning rations (ꜥḳ nhpy).35 These appear to be distinct from 28 29 30

31 32

33 34 35

Rando, www.deathreference.com/Me‑Nu/Mourning.html, accessed 28/01/2020. CDD letter Ṯ, 168; letter Ḥ, 94; see also below. According to Giamberardini (1965, 39), the custom was also prevalent among the Copts at least during the last century. Indeed, the custom is still observed in Sicily, at least in the smaller villages where people all know each other and public opinion matters. Vercoutter 1962, 42, 125. Food may have been brought to the family following the period of fasting, or for consumption by those family members who were not fasting (for example children and the elderly). At least until the 1950s and 60s when Giamberardini (1965) conducted his study in Egypt. On the Coptic custom see Giamberardini 1965, 40–41. Although in P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) these are identified simply as ‘rations’ (mtw=n ty ṯ=w

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the contributions that the members agree to make towards the ḳs and the prnfr of the deceased,36 and it is, therefore, possible that the mourning rations were intended to be consumed by the deceased’s family. Linked to this, may be also the practice of comforting the relatives of a deceased member by offering them a drink. Thus in P. Prague (137BC) the members stipulate: ‘(…) we will take the son of the said man, or his father, his brother, his brother-in-law to drink with him to appease his heart’ ((…) i҆w=n ṯ pꜣ šr n pꜣ rmṯ rn=f gꜣ pꜣy=f i҆ṱ pꜣy=f sn pꜣy=f šm r swr i҆rm=f r ty nfr ḥꜣ.ṱ=f ).37 line 25

Similarly, in P. Berlin P. 3115 (Text A 109BC), the Theban choachytes agree that: ‘they will assign to his (scil. the deceased) people two days of drinking (while?) in the house of rejuvenation (pr-nfr), within the association, (while for) the burial one day (will be) assigned within the association of the children of Pechytes’ (mtw=w šp ḏr.t nꜣy=f rmṯ.w hrw 2 n swr n pr-nfr ẖn [tꜣ] 6-nt tꜣ ḳs wꜥ hrw n šp ẖn tꜣ 6-nt nꜣ ẖrṱ.w n pꜣ-ḫṱ).38 Text A col. 3 lines 5–7

The same regulations also apply to the death of one of the members’ close kin. A representative example is again found in P. Prague (137 BC), where the members stipulate that: ‘As for the man among us whose father or mother, brother, sister son, daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law or wife dies (…) we will all mourn with him and (…) we will take for him ten mourning rations, and we will take him to drink to appease his heart’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆.i҆r pꜣy=f i҆ṱ gꜣ tꜣy=f mw.t pꜣy=f sn tꜣy=f sn.t pꜣy=f šr tꜣy=f šr.t pꜣy=f šm tꜣy=f šm.t tꜣy=f ḥm.t r mwt

36 37 38

n=f ꜥḳ 8), its meaning appears to be the same as in P. Prague (137BC) on the basis of the parallels between the two clauses. For which see below Chapter 11 § 3 and Chapter 13 § 4. Variants of this clause are also found in P. Lille 29 (223BC), P. Cairo 30606 (157BC), P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC), P. Cairo 30605 (145 BC) and P. Prague (137BC). De Cenival (1972, 189) understood this to mean that two days of drinking will be offered to the family of the deceased inside (my italics) the embalming place. However, because of the presence of the adverbial phrase ẖn tꜣ 6-nt, I have understood the passage as meaning that two days of drinking will be offered to the deceased’s family while he is in the house of rejuvenation and one following the burial itself (see also chapter 2). I am not certain of how to interpret the reference to ‘the children of Pechytes.’

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(…) i҆w=n ꜣrb r-r=f tr=n i҆w=n ty pḥ=f tꜣ ḫꜣs.t i҆w=n ṯ n=f ꜥḳ nhpy 10 i҆w=n ṯ pꜣ rmṯ rn=f r swr i҆rm=f r ty nfr ḥꜣ.ṱ=f ).39 lines 23–24

As with the family of a deceased member, mourning rations were to be taken to the latter in case of death of one of his close relatives.40 In addition, in P. Lille 29 (223BC) the members stipulate: ‘As for the man among us whose father, whose mother, whose brother, whose sister, whose father-in-law, whose mother-in-law will die (…) we will receive himself into the “house,” and we will cause that he drinks and we will cause that his heart is pleased’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆.i҆r pꜣy=f i҆ṱ tꜣy=f mw.t pꜣy=f sn tꜣy=f sn.t pꜣy=f šm tꜣy=f šm.t r mwt (…) i҆w=n šp ḥꜥ=f r pꜣ ꜥ.wy i҆w=n ty swr=f i҆w=n ty nḏm ḥꜣ.ṱ=f ). lines 19–20

Three of the surviving regulations also include a clause concerning the possibility of one of the members loosing a son at a very young age. In P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) and P. Cairo 31179 (147BC) the relevant clause establishes that: ‘As for the man among us whose son dies at very young age we will drink beer with him and we will appease his heart’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆.i҆r pꜣy=f šr r mwt i҆w=f sbk n ms m-šs i҆w=n swr ḥnḳ i҆rm=f i҆w=n ty nfr ḥꜣ.ṱ=f ). lines 16–17 and 19 respectively

In P. Cairo 30605 (145BC), mention is made of guests who may be allowed to join in, since the members decreed: ‘As for the man among us whose son will die, he being of a very young age, we will drink beer with him and we will appease his heart together

39 40

Variants of this clause are found in P. Lille 29 (223BC), P. Cairo 30606 (157BC), P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC), P. Cairo 30605 (145 BC), and P. Cairo 30619 (137BC). (Mourning) rations are also mentioned in P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) in the same context. It is possible that these ‘mourning rations’ were actually monetary contributions towards the cost of mummification and burial, but the fact that they are specifically identified as relating to mourning would suggest that this is the phase to which they relate. However, if they were monetary contributions, I cannot see what expenses they would cover in relation to mourning. See also below Chapter 11 § 3 and Chapter 13 §4.

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with the rest of the people whom those of the “house” agree that they will drink beer with him’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆.i҆r pꜣy=f šr r mwt i҆w=f sbk n ms mšs i҆w=n swr ḥnḳ i҆rm=f mtw=n ty nfr ḥꜣ.ṱ=f ḥnꜥ pꜣ sp rmṯ nt i҆.i҆r nꜣy=w pꜣ ꜥ.wy mt r-r=w r swr ḥnḳ i҆rm=f ). lines 16–17

As mentioned above, another aspect of mourning, common to many cultures, is the tradition of wearing particular mourning clothing. Lexicographical terms again provide some evidence for the existence of this practice among the Egyptians. The term used to denote ‘mourning clothing or linen’ is pk.t (var. pgy),41 also employed in the following expressions: ḥbs.w n pky ‘clothing of mourning linen,’42 (var. ḥbs pgy ‘mourning clothes’), ẖ pk.t ‘wearing mourning clothes,’ and ṯ pk.t ‘put on mourning clothes.’43 Another associated item is the pyr-band, long, narrow strips of cloth used for the wrapping of mummies.44 The same band could also be wound around the neck as a sign of mourning, and worn, for example, by the mourners of the deceased Apis, as well as its embalmers.45 In P. Leiden T 32 (V, 20–21) an interesting distinction is made between the men-pꜥ.t, wearing a band around the head, and the men-rḫy.t, with a pyrband around the neck,46 which, it is suggested, may have marked a difference between individuals simply accompanying the funeral cortege and those more closely involved with a person’s embalmment.47 Consequently, it is possible that the expression ḥbs tp ‘covering the head,’ mentioned above, indicated this practice of wearing a particular item of clothing worn over the head as a mark of mourning.48

41 42 43 44

45 46 47 48

CDD letter P, 172. CDD letter Ḥ, 96. CDD letter P, 172. Collombert 2006, 235 and note 4. See LRL 35, 13–15 ‘you shall send some cloth (…) and they shall be made into pyr-bandages with which to wrap up men’ (pyr.w r wt rmṯ i҆m=w) (Wente 1967, 52–53). Vercoutter 1962, 44–46 (See Collombert 2006, for corrections to the reading proposed by the editor); P. Wien ÄS 3873 rº I, 2–3 (Vos 1993, 43, 72–73). Herbin 1994, 61, 208. Collombert 2006, 236–237. Similar practices were, for example, attested in Britain and in Southern Italy during the last century. In addition, Islamic women are forbidden from wearing decorative clothing or jewelry for the entire mourning period, which lasts for four months and ten days (Rando n.d. www.deathreference.com/Me‑Nu/Mourning.html, accessed 28/01/2020). It cannot be excluded, of course, that the expression refers to the practice of placing mud over the head as a sign of mourning.

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In addition, all societies have specific rules on how grief should be shown and handled—in fact, it could be said that ‘societies police grief.’49 Even within the same culture there may be totally opposing rules on how one should express grief emotionally. A cross-cultural comparative project between Egypt and Bali, both Islamic cultures, revealed, for example, that while in Bali women were strongly discouraged from crying, in Egypt they would be considered abnormal if they did not express their grief with incapacitating weeping.50 Some information on the Egyptians’ negotiations of grief and ‘practices’ can be gathered from the often quoted passage in Herodotus’ Histories in which it is recounted that: [w]henever any household has lost a man who is of any regard amongst them, the whole number of women of that house forthwith plaster over their heads or even their faces with mud. Then leaving the corpse within the house they go themselves to and fro about the city and beat themselves, with their garments bound up by a girdle and their breasts exposed, and with them go all the women who are related to the dead man, and on the other side the men beat themselves, they too having their garments bound up by a girdle; and when they have done this, they then convey the body to the embalming. Herodotus II.85

While Diodorus Siculus relates that: [W]henever anyone dies among them, all his relatives and friends, plastering their heads with mud, roam about the city lamenting, until the body receives burial. Nay more, during that time they indulge in neither baths, nor wine, nor in any other food worth mentioning, nor do they put on bright clothing. Diodorus 91.1

Such expressions of grief are but rarely attested among Egyptian textual material, although the account shares clear parallels with the funerary imagery found on tomb walls and funerary papyri of earlier periods of Egyptian history. A number of these show women, some bare breasted, crying and praying, hands raised, or placing mud over their heads, or simply resting a hand over 49 50

Klass n.d. www.deathreference.com/Gi‑Ho/Grief‑and‑Mourning‑in‑Cross‑Cultural‑Per spective.html, accessed 28/01/2020. Klass n.d. www.deathreference.com/Gi‑Ho/Grief‑and‑Mourning‑in‑Cross‑Cultural‑Per spective.html, accessed 28/01/2020.

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the head, in a clear gesture of grief and sorrow.51 Additional evidence is found in one of the Letters to the Dead, P. Leiden 371 (19th dynasty), in which a husband, writing to his dead wife, relates how he wept in the street with the rest of the household. Considering the strength and endurance of Egyptian religious and funerary beliefs, one may be justified in assuming that Ptolemaic mourning practices were not substantially different from those of earlier periods. It is, therefore, possible that such dramatic expressions of grief were still common at this period. Confirmation for this is provided by the second Setne story that describes the funeral procession of a rich man who was being carried to the cemetery amidst very loud wailing.52 In addition, similar displays of intense grief are also attested from representations of the prothesis on Greek vases from different periods. Here women are shown lamenting the dead, tearing their hair, beating their head and breasts.53 The term grief has its origins in pre-modern French, where it was used with a range of meanings including: ‘a suffering, a distress, a wretchedness, a pain, a burden, a wound,’ and could also refer to injustices perpetrated against a person by others.54 A range of terms referring to grief is also present in the Egyptian vocabulary, including: ḥꜣ.t ‘grief, care,’55 i҆ḥm ‘grief, mourning,’56 nḫy ‘lamentation, mourning,’57 snm ‘grief, sorrow,’58 šnn ‘sorrow, grief,’59 and tyṱ ‘to cry out, mourn, jubilate.’60 In particular, the last term may be quite informative in that it may give an indication of the practice of expressing grief in a loud manner, crying out in sorrow for the loss of a loved one. On the other hand, indirect 51

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53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Lüddeckens 1943, 15–188. Depictions of mourners are, for example, found in the tomb of Mereruka at Saqqara (VI Dynasty), Pahery at el-Kab (XVIII Dynasty), Ramose (TT55) (XVIII Dynasty) and Ameneminet (TT277) (XIX Dynasty) at Thebes, Khonsuemheb (Ramesside period), Khonsu (Gourna) (XIX Dynasty), Roy (Dra Abu el-Naga) (XVIII Dynasty); on a relief (ca. 1330BC) from Saqqara now in the Louvre, on a limestone painted relief (381– 343 BC) now in the Brooklyn Museum (Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 1998.98); on an ostracon (n. 5886) now in the Manchester Museum; on the coffin of Amenemipet (BM EA 22941) (XXI Dynasty), and on Ani’s Book of the Dead (EA 10470/3) (XIX Dynasty) both now in the British Museum. Lichtheim 1980, 139. However, given that the story is based in the reign of Ramses II, it could, conceivably, reflect New Kingdom funerary customs (I thank Brill’s anonymous reviewer for making this point). Kurtz and Boardman 1971, 144; Garland 2001, 28–29. Kastenbaum, n.d. www.deathreference.com/Gi‑Ho/Grief.html, accessed 28/01/2020. CDD letter Ḥ, 43. CDD letter I҆, 206. CDD letter N, 113. CDD letter S, 268. CDD letter Š, 173. CDD letter T, 102. The verb survives into Coptic as ⲧⲟⲉⲓⲧ.

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evidence for the practice of not washing as a sign of grief is perhaps provided by P. Oxyrhynchus III 528 (second century AD), in which a man writes to his sister (and probably wife) who has gone away, wishing for her return. The man writes ‘I assure you that ever since you left me I have been in mourning, weeping by night and lamenting by day. Since we bathed together on Phaophi 12, I never bathed nor anointed myself until Athyr 12,’61 thus indirectly indicating that such a practice was still current during the Roman Period. One last aspect that needs to be addressed is the question of what happened with respect to the deceased during this initial stage of the mourning period. The sources clearly indicate that mummification did not start until after the fourth day after death,62 but no indication is given on whether the body was kept at home during this time, or if it was moved to the necropolis immediately following death. In Greece, during the classical period, a deceased person would be bathed, anointed with oil, and dressed, by the women of the household, and then displayed on a bed, couch or kline. This custom was known as prothesis and took place at the home of the deceased (although in earlier times perhaps it took place in the courtyard in front of the house) on the day after death. Its purpose was to confirm death and to allow friends and family to pay their last respects to the deceased. On the third day, before dawn, the deceased would be taken in a funeral cortege to the necropolis for internment.63 With respect to Egypt, some indirect evidence is provided by Herodotus’ assertion that high status women would not be taken to the embalmers until the third or fourth day after death (Herodotus II.89), which may mean that the body was kept at home until then. Certainly the custom of keeping the dead at home for a varying period of time following death is one shared by many cultures, and it is entirely possible that this was also the case among the Egyptians.64

2

Arranging for the Services of Funerary Priests

Presumably as soon as death occurred the family would need to take steps to arrange for the mummification and burial of the deceased, although there is no extant direct information as to how this process was organised. As discussed in Part 1, in Upper Egypt the funerary priests involved in the entire process of 61 62 63 64

Grenfell and Hunt 1903, 263–265. On this topic see Chapter 11 § 3 below. Kurtz and Boardman 1971, 144. However, Solonian laws later prescribed that the prothesis was to last for only a day (Garland 2001, 26). See further Chapter 11 § 3.

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mummification and burial were the choachytes and the lector-priests (including embalmers and doctors). The same was also the case in Lower and Middle Egypt until the apparent reorganisation of the necropolises, which meant the adoption of the new professional title, along the same lines as at Hawara where the God’s seal-bearers performed the functions of both choachytes and lectorpriests since at least the Late Period. In those areas where choachytal and embalming services were performed by separate groups of mortuary priests, the family was free to choose any choachyte, whose services they could hire for the organisation of the entire process. In some instances one could already be in charge of the mortuary cult of other deceased family members. However, the family did not have a saying on who would be embalming their dead, since the lector-priests divided among themselves the various areas over which they had jurisdiction. Consequently, the family had to employ the services of the embalmer in whose jurisdiction death had occurred. In some cases, the family made arrangements directly with the relevant embalmer, while in other instances it was perhaps their choachyte who would approach the embalmer. On the other hand, where the choachytal and the embalming services were performed by the same individuals, the family would probably have no choice at all, since the God’s seal-bearers also divided among themselves the areas over which they had control. Given that these individuals performed both services, it seems logical to assume that the same person would be acting as both choachyte and embalmer for the family. However, it is also true that families appear to have been free to decide whether to make use of the services provided by these mortuary priests or not, with the less wealthy citizens perhaps opting to prepare the corpse themselves and then take it to the necropolis for burial.65

3

Transport of the Deceased to the Necropolis

Whether on the day of death, or at the end of the four-day period, the dead person would have to be carried to the necropolis for mummification and then burial. The documentary sources are again silent on this aspect, but the decorative programme of a number of Pharaonic tombs shows that the deceased was carried from the house to the necropolis inside a coffin.66 That this was still the 65 66

On this see further Chapter 18. Although, apparently, this was not the coffin in which s/he would be buried (Theis 2011, 43). A similar practice is attested for the medieval period, whereby individuals who could not afford their own, would borrow a parish coffin. Here the deceased lay during the time

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custom in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt, is indicated by the second Setne story, in which are described the funeral procession of a rich man and that of a poor one—while the former was being carried to the cemetery inside a coffin, the latter was simply wrapped in a mat.67 Once the body reached the river bank, it would have to be taken across the Nile to the west bank. This is the first of the funerary ritual stages, of which individual episodes were depicted in a number of tombs of the Pharaonic Period. In the captions to these reliefs the boat is, in some cases, identified as the neshmet barque, a papyrus boat with high prow and stern, fashioned in the shape of papyrus heads or blossoms. The coffin is depicted on a lion-bier under a baldachin, with statues of Isis and Nephthys at the head and foot. The deceased is accompanied by mourners. The boat is shown as being towed by a normal boat with both sails and oars. The use of a ceremonial boat, as well as the accompanying inscriptions, indicate that the river crossing was also perceived as a ritual riverine procession.68 The documentary sources provide no clear information on the procedures relating to the transport of the body to the place of mummification, but it seems natural to assume that a river crossing would be involved in all those cases in which the necropolis was located on a different bank from that of the city. Among the Theban documents, a reference to the cost of transport is found in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) recording the breakdown of the expenses undertaken by the offspring of the choachyte Horos, at his death, with regard to his mummification and burial. In column II the text reads: ‘20 silver (deben) for the cost concerning the transport’ (ḥḏ 20 n ꜣsy ẖr pꜣ fꜣy) (line 20). Unfortunately part of the previous line is in a lacuna, while the entry in line 21 does not refer to the transport, and, therefore, it is not possible to determine who in this case would have been in charge of this operation. In O. Cairo 12470–12478 (253–252 BC), a burial tax receipt, the official in charge states: ‘(…) you have given me ½ kite for the tax of the overseer of the necropolis (in the) name of ˹Haronnophris˺ son of Amenothes whom you have brought to the necropolis’ ((…) tw=k n=y ḳt ½ n ḥḏ mr ḫꜣs.t (n) rn ˹ḥr-wnnfr˺ sꜣ i҆mn-ḥtp r-i҆n=k r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t). lines 2–3

67 68

s/he spent in the church until the end of the funeral, and then the body would be laid in the grave simply wrapped in a shroud. Lichtheim 1980, 139. Assmann 2005, 304–305.

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This could suggest that, in some instances, the choachytes would be responsible for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis. However, the document records the payment of the tax due on the actual burial of the deceased, following its embalmment, thus the phrase ‘whom you have brought to the necropolis’ is probably to be understood as meaning ‘whom you have brought in order to (be buried in) the necropolis.’ Consequently, such a statement would have no relevance to the question of who first brought the dead person to the necropolis in order to be mummified. In P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC), an agreement between an embalmer and the father of a deceased person concerning the provision of some embalming materials, party A states: ‘I am to complete him (with) medicament(s) (and) I am to place it in the care (lit. hand) of your choachyte `by the 72nd day´’ (mtw=y mnḳ=f pẖr mtw=y tw=s n-ḏr.t pꜣy=k wꜣḥ-mw `r hn pꜣ hrw mḥ-72´). A lines 8–10; B lines 7–10

Thus the document indicates that, following the mummification of the body, the choachyte was responsible for its removal to the tomb as was the case with the previous document. On the basis of P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–116 BC), a petition of the paraschistes Amenothes son of Horos to the epistates Ptolemaios against his colleague Petenephotes ~ Lolous son of Petenephotes, it could be suggested that, at least in some cases, the transport was undertaken by the lector-priests themselves. The plaintiff accuses the defendant stating that the latter ‘contravening the clauses of the contract, is taking away, together with his wife, some deceased (persons)’ which belong to him and requests that he be forced to respect the clauses of their previous agreement (lines 19–20). However, the sentence could also be understood to mean that the couple was taking charge of deceased who were not part of their liturgies, rather than literally as referring to the collection and transport of the dead to the place of embalming. Yet, P. BM EA 10528 (291BC), a tax-farming agreement, possibly suggests that one of the duties of the overseer of the necropolis was that of supervising the transport of the deceased to the cemetery. In this document, Pelaias, acting in the capacity of overseer of the necropolis, declares: ‘I am to go to the district of Thebes with the men whom you will give to me to go out with me’ (mtw=y šm r pꜣ tš nw.t i҆rm nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w=tn r ty.t st n=y r i҆y r bnr i҆rm=y) (line 4), although no mention is made of any other attendant who may also have been in charge of this operation.69 69

As discussed in Part 1, at Thebes, during the Ptolemaic Period, the overseer of the necropolis was drawn from among the lector-priests.

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From the Memphite area, there are only two documents mentioning, directly or indirectly, the transport of the deceased to the necropolis: P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78BC) and P. Saqqara 71/2 DP 136 (350–275BC). In the first document party A renounces claim over the place-of-revenue of the oil-and-wine merchant Pais son of Amenneus and his household and agrees that: ‘the person among them who will die and will be brought [to us] to a ḳꜣtomb, ḥ.t-tomb (or any) place [of ours] in the necropolis of Memphis, we will give him to you within four days, without us having caused you [to give] money (or) property for him’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=w nt i҆w=f r mwt mtw=w i҆n.ṱ=f [n=n] r ḳꜣ ḥ.t mꜣꜥ [mtw=n] ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr i҆w=n r ti҆.t s n=tn ẖn hrw 4 i҆w bn-pw=n ti҆.t [ti҆]=tn ḥḏ nkt r.r=f ). lines 9–10

The second document, P. Saqqara 71/2 DP 136 (350–275BC), is a brief letter sent by a man, Petetumis, seemingly to a subordinate of his, Teos son of Petesis, concerning the transport of some deceased from the Quarter of the Greeks presumably to the necropolis. The sender states: ‘See to the gods of the people (of) the Quarter of the Greeks who are ˹brought˺ up’ (my nw r nꜣ nṯr.w n nꜣ rmṯ.w (n) tꜣ i҆wy.(t) n nꜣ wꜣny nt i҆w=w ˹i҆n˺ r-ḥry). lines 2–5

Neither of the individuals is identified by a title and the exact meaning of the document is not entirely clear, but it suggests the existence of people who would be responsible for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis. Among the Fayum documents, the clauses included in the regulations of religious associations, and some petitions concerning members of these associations, indicate that the members were expected to arrange for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis and to accompany him there. In P. Lille 29 (223BC), for example, the members agree that: ‘(as for) the man among us (scil. a member) who will die in the aforesaid settlement within the aforesaid days, we will cause him to reach the necropolis’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆w=f mwt n pꜣ tmy nt ḥry r nꜣ sw.w nt ḥry i҆w=n ty pḥ=f r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t), lines 17–18

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while, ‘(as for) the man among us who will die outside the aforesaid settlement,—(within) two miles to the south, the north, the east (and) the west—we will ˹equip˺ five men (from) within the “house” (and) we will cause that they go after him [to cause that he reaches the necropolis]’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆w=f mwt pꜣ bnr n pꜣ tmy—ꜣr 2 r pꜣ rs pꜣ mḥṱ pꜣ i҆ꜣbṱ pꜣ i҆mnṱ— i҆w=n ˹sbt˺ rmṯ s 5 ẖn pꜣ ꜥ.wy i҆w=n ty šm=w m-sꜣ=f [r ty pḥ=f r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t]).70 line 20

Similar agreements can be inferred from P. εντευξεισ 20 (221 BC), from Magdola, where a certain Crateia presents a petition against Philippos, a priest of a religious association (thiase), and Dionysios, president of that thiase, stating that at the death of his brother, Apollodotos, member of the same association as the accused, did not attend his funeral nor did they accompany the deceased to his burial, as prescribed by the association’s regulations, and thus requesting that they pay an indemnity. In addition, a further two documents, also recording the regulations of religious associations, prescribe that the same conduct be reserved for the deceased relatives of one the members. In P. Prague (137 BC) the members establish: ‘as for the man among us whose father or whose mother, whose brother, whose sister, whose son, whose daughter, whose father-in-law, whose mother-in-law, (or) whose wife will die, we will cause that he reaches the necropolis’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=n nt i҆.i҆r pꜣy=f i҆ṱ gꜣ tꜣy=f mw.t pꜣy=f sn tꜣy=f sn.t pꜣy=f šr tꜣy=f šr.t pꜣy=f šm tꜣy=f šm.t tꜣy=f ḥm.t r mwt i҆w=n ty pḥ=f tꜣ ḫꜣs.t).71 line 23

In particular, in the last document the members specify: ‘[we] will receive, ˹(in) person,˺ the group of his family (lit. body of his people) who will cause that ⟨he⟩ reaches ˹it˺ (scil. the necropolis) together with the group from his village’ (i҆w[=n] šp ẖ.t ˹ḥꜥ˺ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w nt i҆w=w ty pḥ=⟨ f ⟩ ˹r-r=s˺ i҆rm tꜣ ẖ.t n pꜣy=f tmy) (line 8). Here, ‘to cause the deceased to reach the necropolis’ probably refers to the arrangements they would make to have the body transported to the necropolis, while the family and the other members would also accompany the deceased there in a funeral cortege. 70 71

Variants of these clauses are also found in P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) (lines 13–15), in P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC) (lines 15–16), and in P. Cairo 30605 (145BC) (lines 13–14). The same clause is also found in P. Cairo 30619 (137 BC) (lines 7–8).

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P. Carlsberg 37a and b (220BC) indicate a certain involvement by the deceased’s family in arranging for his transport to the necropolis. In the first document the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Achomneuis son of Pasis, declares: ‘I am to call before Tesenouphis the god (…) on account of the burial of Pasis son of Pnepheros (…) who is dead (…) (and) whom you had brought to Hawara’ (mtw=y ꜥš ḥꜣ.t tš-nfr (…) ẖr tꜣ ḳs.t n p-si҆y sꜣ pꜣ-nfr-ḥr (…) nt mwṱ (…) r-ty=t i҆n=w s r ḥ.t-wr) (line 5). While in the second, P. Carlsberg 37b (220 BC), the withdrawal of complaint of misconduct relating to the previous document, suggests a more involved role by the deceased’s wife, since she states: ‘I will bring him to you for (the burial in) the ḥ.t-tomb of (…) my father’ (i҆w=y i҆n.ṱ=f n=k r tꜣ ḥ.t (…) n pꜣy=y i҆ṱ) (lines 5–6).72 The fact that in the documents concerning the regulations of religious associations the clauses referring to the transport of a dead member to the necropolis employ a construction with the causative verb ty (i҆w=n ty pḥ=f tꜣ ḫꜣs.t), as is also the case in P. Carlsberg 37a (220BC) (r-ty=t i҆n=w s r ḥ.t-wr), may suggest that the family, or the associations’ members, would be requesting the services of somebody to transport the deceased to the necropolis. Whether this person was one of the mortuary priests, or another individual who specialised in such a task, is not clear from the extant documentation. From Middle Egypt there is very little evidence regarding the arrangements for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis. Some indirect indication is provided by P. Mallawi 602/10 (111 BC), P. Rylands 65 (57BC), and P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC). P. Mallawi 602/10 (111BC) reports a statement made by the plaintiff Petenoubis, son of Horos, who explained that ‘Thotmais son of Petosiris died while I was out of town, and in addition Horos son of Pasis, the lector priest, took him to his […]’ (ḏḥwṱ-m-ḥb sꜣ pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r mwt i҆w=y r bnr pꜣ tmy r wꜣḥ ḥr sꜣ pa-sy pꜣ ẖr-ḥb ṯ.ṱ=f r pꜣy=f […]) (line 7). Unfortunately, the end of the line is too damaged and it is not possible to determine where the deceased was taken, but it seems probable that, whatever the place, it was in order to perform his mummification and thus claim the compensation due for this service. Similarly, in P. Rylands 65 (57BC) a number of necrotaphoi accuse the defendants of having breached the agreements they all voluntarily made as to the division of liturgies, carrying away a number of corpses. Although not clearly stated, it seems likely that the plaintiff referred to the taking charge of bodies to be embalmed, and thus to the misappropriation of liturgies, or payment, due for their services, since compensation would only be received for services rendered. Finally, in P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC) it is stated that one of the duties of 72

However, given that, in this particular instance, the funerary attendant in charge was being accused of misconduct by the wife of the deceased, it is possible that this is not an entirely representative case.

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the lector-priests with respect to the deceased was to ‘take him to the ḥ.t-tomb’ (ṯ.ṱ=f r tꜣ ḥ.t) (line 2), where, presumably, the mummification would be carried out.73 Taken together the evidence available does not give clear information on how, if at all, the transport of the deceased to the necropolis was organised, and whether there were particular arrangements and customs to be respected. In the Theban area, P. Turin Gr. 2160 (119–116BC), P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC), and to some extent P. BM EA 10528 (291BC) and O. Cairo 12470–12478 (253–252 BC), suggest that the lector-priests were, in some cases, in charge of the transport of the body from the house to the place of embalming in the necropolis,74 while the choachytes were in charge of the transfer of the mummified body from there to its final resting place. At Memphis, P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78 BC) indicates that the body of a deceased person could be taken to the necropolis by a person other than the mortuary priest(s) responsible for him/her, presumably by the relatives or somebody employed by them, who may not know exactly to which group of god’s seal-bearers it should be entrusted. This in turn could be taken to mean that there were individuals specifically responsible for the removal of the deceased to the necropolis, although without further evidence this can only be a surmise. On the other hand, the documents from the Fayum suggest that the family, or the associations’ members, would be requesting the services of somebody to transport the deceased to the necropolis, while in Middle Egypt mortuary priests would be taking charge of the person at his/her death and thus they may also have been responsible for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis. Therefore, with the possible exception of P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78BC), the remaining documentation, limited as it is, indicates that there did not exist a separate group of funerary attendants specifically responsible for the transport of deceased individuals from their place of residence to the necropolis. In fact, it is very likely that the transport did not entail more than the hire of a boatman who would tow the ceremonial boat, on which the deceased lay, to the other bank, if the family could afford such elaborateness. In this case, a specialised boat might be hired for the purpose as indicated by P. Hamburg 74 (Roman Period) and PSI 967 (Roman Period) which mention a πλοῖον νεκρηγόν and a πλοῖον τῶν νεκρῶν respectively.75 A symbolic depiction of this river jour-

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Abd el-Aal 2003. The document is virtually unpublished since hardly any information on its contents is given by the author, while the photographs of the papyrus (one of which is missing) are published at very low resolution. On the subject of the place of mummification, see Chapter 11 § 1. On this see further Chapter 11 § 1. Bataille 1952, 240; Marzagora 1929, 120; Drexhage 1994, 172.

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ney is perhaps found on the coffin of Mutirdis, which shows Osiris sitting on the Neshmet boat with a goddess on either side of him.76 In the vast majority of cases, however, the dead would simply be rowed across without much pomp or ceremony. This is confirmed by the shipping agreement recorded on O. Strassburg 189 (Roman Period) stipulated between a ferryman and the son of a deceased man. The ferryman states ‘you have paid me the fare for Imouthes, your father. I am to transport his embalmer and his choachyte’ (mḥ=k ṱ=(y) n tꜣ ḥm.t n i҆y-m-ḥtp pꜣy=k i҆ṱ mtw=y ṯ-yr n pꜣy=f swnw pꜣy=f wꜣḥ-mw) (lines 3– 6).77 Once on the other bank, the deceased, laying on a more or less elaborate bier, depending again on the family’s financial means, would be transported by family and friends to the embalming place. Wealthy individuals may have been able to hire the services of porters for this task, as perhaps suggested by the funerary expenses recorded in P. Fayum 103,3 (3rd century AD).78 Representations on tomb walls and papyri from the Pharaonic period indicate that the funeral cortege would proceed amidst much mourning and lamentation. Again, depending on the socio-economic status of the deceased’s family, professional mourners could be hired for this purpose.79 76 77 78 79

The coffin is in the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim. The depiction is not found on the coffin of Djebastetiuefankh which is in many respects nearly identical. Vinson 1998, 176–177. Grenfell et al. 1900, 250. Derda 1991, 33.

chapter 11

Mummification Mummification, hence the preservation of the body, was an essential element of Egyptian funerary practices and beliefs, since it was to the preserved body that the ka, or double, would return to partake in the offerings presented to the dead. In fact, as noted above, death was perceived as a state of illness from which the deceased could be cured by means of the mummification materials used by the embalmers during the embalming process.1 However, this was not merely a technical process, it also had a most important ritualistic aspect that sought to re-enact the stages of the first mummification: that of the deceased Osiris. On a religious level the entire process was to last 70 days, a period of time linked with the Sothic cycle and the phases of the Dog Star Sirius. In practice, however, the time spent in the mummification place was not standardised, and variations in length are attested throughout Egyptian history, including the Ptolemaic Period.2

1

The Embalming Place: the pr-nfr and the wꜥb.t

The places traditionally associated with the mummification are the pr-nfr (pernefer), or place of rejuvenation,3 and the wꜥb.t (wabet), or (place of ) purification. The evidence from the Pharaonic Period indicates that in theory these were two separate areas where different stages of the mummification would take place. The wꜥb.t was the place where the evisceration and possibly the natron treatment would be performed, and the pr-nfr the area where the corpse would be rejuvenated by means of rituals.4 In practice it appears that either term could be used to denote the place of embalming of the deceased, and in particular that the use of the term wꜥb.t predates that of the noun pr-nfr. In the Middle Kingdom the wꜥb.t was part of the pr-nfr, while from the New Kingdom onward both terms are used.5 That during the Ptolemaic and Roman Period the two terms may not have been synonymous is perhaps suggested by a passage in 1 2 3 4 5

In Egyptian identified by the noun pẖr or medicaments. See further Chapter 10 above. See further Chapter 11 § 3 below. For this translation of the noun pr-nfr see Donohue 1978, 148. Shore 1992, 232. Frandsen 1992, 56.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_013

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P. Cairo 30646 (Ptolemaic Period), The Story of Setne Khamwas (Setne I), in which it is said that the deceased would be granted an entry into the pr-nfr ‘of 16 day(s)’ or ‘in 16 day(s)’ (n hrw 16).6 Consequently, if this really was the case, there must have been another structure (or another area therein) where the dead person would have stayed from the day of death until s/he was taken to this structure. The existence of separate places is also suggested by P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic), which indicates that the Apis Bull at his death was first taken to the ‘house of purification’ (ḥ.t ḳbḥ.t), where it underwent a ritual washing, perhaps until the fourth day from decease, and then it was moved to the ‘house of embalming’ (wꜥb.t) where it stayed until the 68th day. Within the latter building there were, according to the text, three separate areas: a ‘great hall’ (wsḫ.t ꜥꜣ.t), a ‘slaughter room’ (ꜥ.t nmꜥj.t) and a ‘šst-room’7 (ššt).8 In this case it is clear that all of the main operations were carried out in the ‘house of embalming’ since here was also the ‘slaughter room’ where the evisceration took place. However, as noted above, the noun wꜥb.t does not occur in the documentary sources analysed with the same meaning as in P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic).9 In this respect it should be noted that the term pr-nfr is not attested in P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic) and that, in fact, the two terms do not appear to have been used within the same document to refer to embalming structures,10 or even separate areas within them, which may suggest that, at least during the Ptolemaic and Roman Period, they were used as synonyms when referring to a physical place.11 The two nouns are but rarely mentioned in the documentary sources of the Ptolemaic Period where their exact function is never made explicit. In fact, the available evidence poses more questions than it solves. In the first place it is necessary to determine whether the two terms denote a physical place, a stage within the mummification process, or both. If they designate a structure, are they synonymous and do they, therefore, refer to the same type of building? Or do they denote separate buildings where different stages of the mummification

6 7 8 9 10 11

On this passage see further Chapter 11 § 3. Apparently a place for sacred animals within a temple. For the correction to the editor’s reading see CDD Š, 218 with further references. Vos 1993, 30–34. Another term used in P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic) to refer to the embalming place is the pr-wr (Vos 1993, 162–164). Although both terms are found in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), they appear to refer to a process rather than to a structure. Note, however, that they are both used on the coffin of Petesemtheus (Cairo JE 31566) where they are used as synonyms (Shore 1992, 232). The texts on the coffin were published by Rowe 1938, 188–189 text XX, 191 text XXV.

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process would take place, or even different parts of the same structure? Where was this structure located? On the other hand, if the terms are used to denote a specific stage in the mummification process, do they refer to the same, or to different phases? Does one follow the other? And if so, how long did each of these stages last and what did it entail? The term pr-nfr occurs in eight of the documents analysed: P. Florence 7127 (264BC), P. Florence 3667 (111BC), P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC), P. Turin 2132 (98BC), P. Lille 29 (223BC), P. Cairo 30606 (157BC), P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC), P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC) and in P. Cairo 50127 (1st cent. BC). On the other hand, the term wꜥb.t is attested only in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC) and P. Florence 3667 (111BC). In P. Florence 7127 (264BC), apparently an agreement concerning revenues from mummification work, a group of embalmers take an oath promising that, should they be proved culpable of any misconduct, or if they fail to report to party B within ‘day four (of the) (or: four day(s) of the) pr-nfr’ (hrw 4 pr-nfr) during a prescribed period of three months, they will be liable to pay a fine.12 In P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) a section of the list of burial expenses for a deceased is labelled ‘the list of the properties that (came) out for his pr-nfr (in) his places of ˹embalming˺’ (pꜣ wn nꜣ nkt.w r bnr wbꜣ pꜣy=f pr-nfr nꜣy=f ꜥ.wy.w ˹ḳs.(t)˺) (col. III line 2).13 In P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) the choachytes agree to assign to the family of a deceased member ‘two days of drinking of (the) pr-nfr within the association’ (hrw 2 n swr n pr-nfr ẖn [tꜣ] 6-nt) (Text A line 6); and ‘not to give ḥbs-cloth (or) i҆nw-cloth to a man who stands in (the) ˹pr-nfr,˺ (nor) a bed, (or) a cover’14 (r tm ty.t ḥbs i҆nw n rmṯ i҆w=f ꜥḥꜥ r ˹pr-nfr˺ glk prḫ) (Text D lines 2–3). In P. Lille 29 (223BC) the members of the association agree to pay for ‘the price of his (scil. the deceased member) ˹pr-nfr˺]: 50 rations’ (pꜣ swn pꜣ[y=f ˹pr-nfr˺] ꜥḳ 50) (line 18). In P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) the members stipulate: ‘we will give

12 13

14

See also Chapter 11 § 3 below. It is not clear how the clause pr-nfr nꜣy=f ꜥ.wy.w ˹ḳs.(t)˺ (col. 3 line 2) should be understood since this could be translated as ‘the pr-nfr (in) his places of embalming’ with the preposition n omitted, or as ‘the pr-nfr (and) his places of embalming’ with an omitted conjunction. In the first instance, the noun pr-nfr would apparently refer to a stage within the embalming process, while in the second it could denote one of the places where the deceased was taken during various stages of his/her mummification. On the basis of word order I have understood the pr-nfr to have been, in this specific example, a process rather than a place. De Cenival (1972, 128 note 2,3), I believe correctly, suggests that ‘the man who stands in the pr-nfr’ probably refers to a person working there, rather than to a deceased individual, given that the preceding clause stipulates that no cloth will be given for a dead man and would therefore be a repetition.

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for him (the) dues [which those of the association will agree to give for his ḳs.t and his pr-nfr]’ (mtw=n ty n=f pꜣ ḥḏ ꜥl [nt i҆.i҆r nꜣy=w pꜣ ꜥ.wy mt r=f ty st wbꜣ tꜣy=f ḳs.t ḥnꜥ pꜣy=f pr-nfr]) (line 15). In P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC) the members agree: ‘we will give for him our personal(?) dues which those of the house will agree to give for his ḳs.t and his pr-nfr’ (mtw=n ty n=f pꜣ ḥḏ rmṯ ꜥl nt i҆.i҆r tꜣ 6-nt mt r=f ty st wbꜣ tꜣy=f ḳs.t ḥnꜥ pꜣy=f pr-nfr) (line 14). In P. Turin 2132 (98 BC) an additional clause at the end of the document specifies that ‘If we do not find the tents […] which are(?) in the pr-nfr, because they do not exist, you will not be able to have a claim on us’ (i҆w=n tm gm nꜣ ḫyb.w […] nt(?) pr-nfr ḏ bn st ḫpr i҆n-nꜣ.w bn i҆w=k rḫ ḫpr m-sꜣ=n n-i҆m=n) (line 8). Finally, P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC), an agreement between god’s seal-bearers concerning tombs, prescribes that: ‘he (scil. the deceased) will be laid down (in the) ˹pr-nfr ˺’ (mtw=w ḫꜣꜥ=f ˹pr-nfr˺) (line 2). Therefore, with the exception of P. Turin 2132 (98 BC), P. Mallawi 602/1– 5 (79BC), and possibly P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106BC) (Text D), where the pr-nfr appears to be a construction, all other occurrences of the term seemingly refer to a process rather than to a specific place, although such a process may have taken its name from the place where it was originally performed.15 On the other hand, P. Florence 3667 (111BC) suggests that the wꜥb.t was a process since it lists ‘[…] 100 silver (deben) on account of his purification’16 As noted above, the pr-nfr mentioned in P. Turin 2132 (98 BC) is a permanent structure, belonging to a family, in which are stored ritual items: barques (sgt.w) and tents (ḫyb.w) (lines 5, 8).17 It has been suggested that each family would have had their own barques and tents which they stored in the pr-nfr that must have been full of various items hence the possibility of the choachytes not finding the tents.18 A unique depiction of what such a building may have looked like is found in one of the Theban tombs (TT C.4) decorated during the reign of 15 16 17

18

For a discussion of the pr-nfr and the wꜥb.t as stages of the mummification process see below Chapter 11 § 3. For the transliteration of this passage see Chapter 11 §3. The barques are probably sacred barques made of wood, which Pestman wonders whether could have served as some kind of coffins. The tents, and possibly the barques, are thought to have been used by the choachytes for the transport of the mummy from the pr-nfr to the tomb (Pestman 1992, 84–85 notes q and t). Interestingly, in P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic) the Apis Bull is taken to a wooden tent after the 69th day of the mummification process where the ‘opening of the mouth’ ritual is performed (Vos 1993, 40). Pestman 1992, 84–85 notes q and t. It is interesting that from the inscription of Sabni it would appear that, at least during the Old Kingdom, the pr-nfr was part of some kind of funerary storehouse (Frandsen 1992, 59). Another seemingly privately owned pr-nfr is given as one of the neighbours of the plot of land transferred with P. Louvre E 7128 (510 BC), in which the western neighbour is identified as the pr-nfr of Inaros son of Amortaios (called Iben), see Chapter 15 § 3.

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Amenhotep III, or that of his predecessor, and belonging to a wꜥb-priest named Merymaat.19 Part of the mural decoration scheme in the traverse hall shows the funeral procession heading towards this building, which is identified by the inscription (pr-nfr) written above its door.20 However, with the exception of P. Turin 2132 (98 BC), none of the other documents analysed here indicate that families owned the items used by the funerary priests, as well as their own pr-nfr,21 although it remains a possibility. In addition, even if this structure was used as a storage place for items employed either by the choachytes or the embalmers during the mummification and/or burial of the deceased, this does not preclude the possibility that it also served as embalming place. Moreover, although this appears to be a permanent structure, given the space constraints on the necropolis, and the lack of clear archaeological evidence for such structures,22 it seems likely that, at least in the case of well-off citizens, the place of embalming would have been a temporary structure.23 The latter would probably have been built of light, perishable material (that would not survive in the archaeological record), and would have been erected by the tomb of the deceased for the required period of time. On the other hand, there may have been in the necropolises semi-permanent, ‘public’ or ‘communal’ structures, which would have been used for the mummification of those individuals who could not afford their own embalming place. This, in turn, leads to the question of where these structures were located and, by implication, the place where the mummification took place.24 Inscriptions in Pharaonic tombs clearly state that the embalming hall was located in the necropolis: Going to the necropolis, accompanying N. to the beautiful West, to the divine tent of Anubis (= the embalming place) in the western desert.25 19 20

21 22 23 24

25

Manniche 1988, 100–103, Pl. 31 Fig. 51. Manniche 1988, 111. The tomb had been visited by a number of early travellers and scholars (Burton, Wilkinson, Hay, Prudhoe, Champollion and Lepsius), who also produced illustrations of the tomb decoration. A depiction of the pr-nfr building was, for example, made by Wilkinson and by Prudhoe (see Manniche 1988, 100 and Pl. 31). Schenkel 1965, 73 (Siut V, 20). But see also below. Dawson 1927. In this respect, it has been suggested that the choachytes’ Theban house served as a storage place for mummies awaiting burial (Pestman 1993, 409; Vleeming 1995, 247), and, presumably, that the mummification of the deceased took place somewhere on the east bank. However, in my opinion it would not be logical to take bodies to the west bank to be mummified and then back to the east bank for storage in the Theban house, especially because there were tombs that were clearly used for this purpose. Assmann 2005, 305.

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On the basis of the tomb scenes at Meir and later texts referring to ‘your (scil. the deceased’s) place of embalming,’ Dawson concluded that the place where the mummification took place was a temporary construction erected by the tomb of the deceased.26 The Ptolemaic documentary sources also indicate that the mummification took place in the necropolis. One of the clauses found in the regulations of religious associations in the Fayum prescribe that ‘(as for) the man among us (scil. a member) who dies (…) we will cause him to reach the necropolis.’27 Although it is possible that the clause refers to a funeral procession with the already mummified body of the deceased being taken to his burial place, the fact that all of the above clauses are followed by the statement that the members will contribute to the price of the deceased’s mummification indicates that the person was to be taken to the necropolis in order to be mummified. In fact, there is no evidence to indicate that the members of the association, who were sent to bring their deceased colleague back, would also arrange for his summary or preliminary embalming at the place where he died, as has been suggested.28 Additional evidence for the transport of a deceased to the necropolis, without prior mummification, is found in P. Leiden I 374 I–II (78BC), from Memphis, where party A states: ‘(as for) the person among them who will die and will be brought [to us] to a ḳꜣ-tomb, ḥ.t-tomb (or any) place [of ours] in the necropolis of Memphis, we will give him to you within four days’ (pꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=w nt i҆w=f r mwt mtw=w i҆n.ṱ=f [n=n] r kꜣ ḥ.t mꜣꜥ mtw=n ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr i҆w=n r ty s n=tn ẖn hrw 4). lines 9–10

The fact that the text refers to the moment of death and then to the transport to the necropolis, without mention of the mummification having already been performed, again suggests that the deceased was brought to the necropolis in order to be embalmed. In the archaeological record, evidence for actual embalming places is extremely limited and not without dispute. An example of such a structure, identified by the excavators as a ‘Late Period mummification “workshop” for lower-class people,’ was discovered at Saqqara in the vicinity of the tomb 26 27

28

Dawson 1927, 41. P. Lille 29 (223BC) lines 17–18 and 20–21. Variants of this clause are found in P. Cairo 30606 (157 BC) lines 13, 14–15; P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC) lines 14–15; and in P. Cairo 30605 (145BC) lines 14–15. For this suggestion see De Cenival 1972, 36 note 21,1.

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of Horemheb, used as burial ground during this period. The area was characterised by the presence of mummification materials,29 and two particular structures: a ‘bench’ (c. 2.4×1.2×0.55m) and a triangular platform (c. 1.9 × 1.15 × 0.5m), perpendicular to the first, which the excavators suggest could have served as a kind of ‘table for the utensils’ used during the mummification.30 A comparable structure appears to be that excavated on the Asasif and identified as ‘Grave IX.’ The structure was identified as such because of the high concentration of embalming deposits in the surrounding area, and because of its actual floor plan. This was arranged around a large room accessed via a portico, which led to another room (e) connected to a storeroom (d), to another storage room with possibly a water facility (f), and to a ‘wrapping room’ with a bench.31 A niche, or false door, is also found within this structure, which presence appears to share parallels with the embalming place discovered at Saqqara near the tomb of Horemheb and that of the Apis Bull.32 Other embalming places have tentatively been identified at Kafr Ammar and at Kysis (Dush) in the Kharga oasis. The structure at Kafr Ammar was found ‘in the middle of the graves’ and consisted of a large courtyard with three small rooms at the back. In one of these was found a vessel containing a large number of eyeamulets. On the basis of this find, the excavators concluded that ‘this was the undertaker’s house, and this his stock of amulets for sale to his clients.’33 Nothing else was discovered in the building, although bags of natron and remains of bandages were found in the area around it.34 The structures at Dush consisted of brick-built constructions (numbered 13–16), which were only preserved to ground level. They do not appear to have served as tombs, and when excavated they revealed neither human remains nor funerary material culture. The excavators suggest they represent either housing for the funerary workers, or embalming places. The latter identification is based on the presence in a corner of structure 13 of a small basin in which it was suggested the dead would be dehydrated by means of natron.35 Tomb scenes from the Pharaonic Period,

29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Distinct pottery type associated with mummification, lumps of natron, linen fragments, and a potsherd inscribed in hieratic with the name of the god Hapy (Raven et al. 1999, 22). Raven et al. 1999, 22. Budka 2010, 467 and Fig. 187. Budka 2010, 462. Petrie and Mackay 1915, 36 and Pl. 30. Petrie and Mackay 1915, 36 and Pl. 30. Budka (2010, 467) suggests the building is more likely to have served as storage than as embalming place. Janot 2000, 42–43. However, the structure(s) tentatively identified as embalming places could very well have served as storage places for materials and utensils used by the mortuary priests, since these facilities are mentioned in a number of documents.

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such as that of Qar at Giza, show the plan of the embalming place to have consisted of a square floor plan, divided into smaller areas by means of partition walls, which shielded the rooms from view.36 This particular division in rooms, not intervisible from each other, is reminiscent of the floor plan of the Apis embalming place. In P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic) the structure is said to have been entered via screen-walled portico (sbḫ.t) which provided physical, and consequently spiritual, separation from the outside.37 Inside, the structure was divided into six, or more, rooms linked together by a long corridor.38 Each room served a different function within the different stages of the mummification process, and was, therefore, identified by different terms. The entire mummification process, or at least most of it, would then take place in different areas of the same structure. However, P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79 BC) clearly suggests a third possibility—that the embalming took place at the tomb itself. In listing the duties of the lector-priests with regards to the deceased, it is stated that they are to ‘take him to the ḥ.t-tomb’ (ṯ.ṱ=f r tꜣ ḥ.t) (line 2). The clause is then followed by a statement concerning the completion of the deceased with medicaments, that is, an allusion to his mummification. Given that one would expect the latter statement to precede, rather than follow, any reference to the transport of the dead person to his/her tomb for the final burial, it follows that this is an indication of the place where the mummification would be carried out, that is, in the tomb itself.39 The document, therefore, adds weight to the possibility that wealthier individuals, in the Ptolemaic Period as in Pharaonic times, would have been mummified in, or by, their tombs. The documentary sources indicate that the noun pr-nfr was used to denote both an embalming place, located in the necropolis, and a stage within the mummification process.40 The fact that this and the noun wꜥb.t do not occur in the same texts suggests that they had become synonymous, at least by the Ptolemaic Period, with the former being the more frequently attested of the two. In addition, it is possible that by this period, if not before, the noun wꜥb.t had acquired a more specialised meaning and that it referred to places specifically designated for the cultic interaction between this and the world of the divine. In fact, Coppens argues that, within a temple context, this area was the place where statues of the principal deities were prepared for their renewal.41

36 37 38 39 40 41

Simpson 1976, Fig. 24. Vos 1993, 32. Vos 1993, 33. Thus also Frandsen 1992, 60–61. For the latter see below Chapter 11 § 3. Coppens 2014, 117.

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The function of this ‘room’ parallels that of the lichthof, or open-court, in a number of Late Period tombs. Here the presence of cultic equipment, such as altars, offering tables, and libation basins, located before the entrance to the underground burial area, suggests the open court had taken on the traditional function of the false door. This, together with the decorative programme of the lichthof, indicates that the rituals performed in this area focused on the regeneration and renewal of the deceased.42 Thus, taken together, the sources analysed suggests that the mummification of the deceased would be performed in a place, or area, designated as pr-nfr, which could be a temporary structure located near the tomb of the dead person, inside the tomb itself, perhaps in one of the first rooms, or in a purpose-built structure belonging perhaps to the ‘necropolis’ itself. By contrast, the wꜥb.t may have come to designate the area in front of, or just inside, the tomb where the mortuary cult would be performed.

2

Arranging for the Mummification of the Deceased

There are only three documents that clearly show the family was personally responsible for making the necessary arrangements with an embalmer for the mummification of a dead relative. One, P. Carlsberg 37b (220 BC), comes from the Fayum, while the other two, P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC) and P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301BC), are from the Theban area. In P. Carlsberg 37b (220BC) party A withdraws her complaint of misconduct against party B and states: ‘I entrusted (…) Pasis (…), my husband, to you, him being dead and mummified with the mummification43 which I caused the god’s seal-bearer and embalmer Paesis (…) to perform for him’ (my italics) (i҆r=y gyl (…) p-si҆y (…) pꜣy=y hy r-r=k i҆w=f mwṱ i҆w=f ḳs n tꜣ ḳs.t r-ty=y i҆r ⟨s⟩ n=f ḫtmw-nṯr wyt p-n-i҆s.t). lines 4–5

Thus the document clearly indicates that the family of the deceased was responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the embalmer, in this case a god’s seal-bearer and embalmer, for the mummification of their dead. The same is also indicated by P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC), a mummifica-

42 43

Coppens 2014a, 344–345. For these readings of ḳs see Cannata 2007 and Appendix §1.

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tion agreement stipulated between the father of the deceased person and an embalmer,44 and by P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301 BC), which is the earliest Ptolemaic document dealing with arrangements for the embalming of a deceased individual.45 Of the first contracting party only the title doorkeeper survives,46 while Party B is a known lector-priest in the necropolis of Djeme, Harsiesis son of Panas. In the document, party A sells the house of his deceased wife in order to pay for her ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ as well as for the ḳs of her parents. He states: ‘I have sold [it] (scil. the house) to you (as payment) for the ḫꜣꜥ-[syḥ] of the woman Senchonsis daughter of [Pa]ibis, her mother being Setatiretbin, together with the ḳs of [Pa]ibis, her father, and the ḳs of Setatiretbint, his wife’ (tw=y [s] n=k r-ḏbꜣ ḥḏ n pꜣ ḫꜣꜥ-[syḥ] n sḥm.t tꜣ-šr.t-hnsw ta pꜣ-[hb] (P. BM EA frag.: line 2) mw.t=s sṯꜣ.ṱ-i҆r.t-bn ḥnꜥ tꜣ ḳs [pꜣ]-hb pꜣy=s i҆ṱ ḥnꜥ tꜣ ḳs (P. Brussels E 6032 Pl. II line 3) sṯꜣ.ṱ-i҆r.t-bn tꜣy=f ḥm.t (P. Brussels E 6032 Pl. III line 2)). However, although providing important evidence on who was responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the embalming of a deceased individual and on its cost, the contract also poses some difficulties regarding the identification of the roles and responsibilities of the different mortuary priests. The understanding of these issues hinges on the interpretation of the words ḫꜣꜥsyḥ and ḳs. The term ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ is a masculine compound term formed from the infinitive of the verb ḫꜣꜥ and the noun syḥ. The verb ḫꜣꜥ can have a range of meanings such as ‘to place,’ ‘to leave,’ ‘to abandon’ and ‘to lay down,’ while the noun syḥ is used to denote a ‘hall’ or ‘chamber’ as in the compound word sḥ-nṯr where

44

45 46

On this text see Chapter 10 above, and Chapter 11 §3. A parallel agreement may be the fragmentary contract recorded in Papyrus B.3 recovered from cartonnage material discovered at Deir er-Rifeh, in which Party A seemingly undertakes to bind, anoint and embalm the deceased (Thompson 1907, 36). According to the Petrie Museum Digital Database, this fragment has not been positively identified amongst those preserved there, www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/rifeh/cartonnage.html (accessed 28/01/2020). Alternatively, the contract may be an agreement stipulated between embalmers, similar to the oath recorded in P. Ashmolean D. 18–19 (1968.13+ 1968.14) (70–60BC) (Reymond 1973, 126–136, Pl. XIV). The latter is a fragmentary witness-copy contract of sale. Much of the text can be reconstructed from the surviving sections of the witnesses’ copies. Thus it is not possible to determine whether he was one of the choachytes or one of the other door-keepers attached to the shrine of a god.

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it is translated as ‘divine booth’ and is associated with the embalming-place and the god Anubis.47 It is possible that the noun syḥ is an abbreviation of the latter compound and, therefore, a reference to the embalming place.48 Thus the compound ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ could be translated literally as the ‘laying down in the (embalming) hall.’49 Another attractive possibility is that of taking the noun syḥ as an abbreviation of the compound sḥ-nṯr denoting a type of linen cloth.50 The expression ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ could then be understood as referring to the ‘placing of linencloth,’ that is to the bandaging of a corpse, and, by extension, to the total of the operations and rituals performed on the deceased during the embalming process. This seems supported by the examples of the word found in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC) in which the noun syḥ shows the ‘cloth’ determinative, followed by the ‘evil’ determinative. However, that the ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ was a structure is suggested by the fact that in all other examples it shows the ‘house’ determinative, while in some instances it has also the evil determinative, perhaps emphasising its link with a funerary aspect. This would argue against the reading of the compound as ‘placing of linen-cloth,’ and in favour of its interpretation as a place where the embalming took place. Given that in the latter document party A, the embalmer, states that he is to complete the dead with medicaments and hand it over to the choachyte, the term has to refer to the mummification process.51 This compound noun is attested in only nine other documents, all from the Theban area, where, with the exception of P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC), it is always combined with the noun ḳs: P. Louvre E 2439 (330BC)52 P. Philadelphia II (314BC) witness copy B P. Rylands XI (284BC) witness copy B 47 48 49 50 51

52

Glossar 345–346, 445; Hannig 1995, 734. In fact, in P. Rhind 2 (9 BC) the Demotic term syḥ is used as synonym of the hieratic term wꜥb.t. Smith 2009, 321 note 98, text 15 line 3/5. Thus Griffith 1909, 123 note 6. Hannig 1995, 734. It is perhaps possible that the term syḥ could have originally been used to refer to the wrapping of a body as well as to the place where this took place, thus by extension the compound ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ could refer to both the act of wrapping and the place where it was performed. After Revillout’s transcription (1880a). I am not certain what his reasons were for the inclusion of another example of the noun ḳs in brackets.

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witness copy C witness copy D witness copy E P. BM EA 10077 (270BC) a b P. BM EA 10026 (265– 264BC)53 B witness copy C witness copy D witness copy E P. Marseilles 299 (235BC) 298 (235BC) P. Berlin P. 3099 (124BC) 3100 (124BC) 5508 (124BC) P. Louvre E 2439 (330BC)54 is probably one of the two deeds drawn up as part of marriage document type C55 in which party A, Petearpres, son of Pachaas and Tasenneferhetep, pledges all his possessions as a guarantee on the fulfilment of the obligations of the deed he drew up for his wife, party B, the woman Sarpochratis, daughter of Teos and Tashertmehi. The document includes a particular clause concerning burial arrangements. Party A states: ‘you are the one who has a responsibility over me whether I am alive or dead, (and) you are the one who has a responsibility over my burial (and) my mummification’ (mtw=t nt i҆r-syh̭ 56 n-i҆m=y i҆w=y ꜥnḫ i҆w=y mwt.w.ṱ mtw=t nt i҆r-syh̭ n tꜣy=y ḳs.(t) pꜣy=y ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ).57 lines 4–5

53 54 55 56

57

The clause is omitted from copy A. Zauzich 1968, 10–12. Pestman 1961. For a discussion of the various meanings of the verb sh̭ see Depauw 2000, 216–218, with further references. In the present and following documents I have translated it as ‘concern, responsibility’ because this seems to be the most logical meaning of the clause. The same expression is also found in P. Louvre E 2429bis (292BC) (line 4), stipulated

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A similar clause is also used in P. Marseilles 299–298 (235 BC), a sale and cession contract of liturgies stipulated between the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes Amenothes, son of Psemminis and Manmin, and the woman Tamin, daughter of Paiga and Taimen, where the seller specifies: ‘I belong to you when dead, I belong to you while alive, no man at all will be able to have responsibility over my burial and my mummification except you’ (mtw=t i҆w=y mw.t.ṱ i҆w mtw=t i҆w=y ꜥnḫ i҆w bn i҆w{=y} rḫ rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ i҆r-syh̭ n tꜣy=y ḳs.t ḥnꜥ pꜣy=y ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ bnr=t).58 line 15

In P. Philadelphia II (314BC), a will styled as a sale, party A, the woman Tetenephotes daughter of Teos and Tates, stipulates that party B, the woman Tamin, daughter of Heh and Teteharpochrates, is to pay 5 silver (deben) for her mummification and burial (mtw=t ty ḥḏ 5 r sttr 25 r ḥḏ 5 ꜥn wbꜣ pꜣy=y ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ ḥnꜥ tꜣy=y ḳs.t) (line 6) in exchange for a share of her house and everything she owns and that which she will acquire. Similarly in P. BM EA 10026 (265–264 BC), another will styled as a sale, in which the woman Eschonsis, daughter of Teos and Tabis, ‘sells’ to her eldest son, the door-keeper of Amenope in the west of Thebes Panas, son of Pchorchonsis, a share of her properties specifying: ‘you are to provide for my mummification and my entire burial in accordance with the custom for people (of my status)’ (mtw=k i҆r pꜣy=y ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ tꜣy=y ḳs.t ḏr=s r-ẖ pꜣ smt n rmṯ). line 10

The latest documents in which the term is attested are P. Berlin P. 3099 (124 BC) (lines 18–17), P. Berlin P. 3100 (124 BC) (lines 15–16), and P. Berlin P. 5508 (124 BC) (lines 16–17), each recording the donation of a share of liturgies by the doorkeeper Horos, son of Horos and Senpoeris, to his children the door-keepers

58

between the door-keeper of Amenope Pchorchonsis, son of Petemenope and Taous, and his wife, the woman Eschonsis, daughter of Teos and Tabis; and P. Rylands XI (284BC) (Copy A line 7), stipulated between the lector-priest of the Baboon Pelaias, son of Thotortaios and Tawatenchemet, and his wife, the woman Tauris, daughter of Harsiesis and Tabastis. The use of this particular clause suggests that the two individuals were related by marriage, as indicated by the fact that the other three contracts in which this expression is found were all drawn up between couples. The presence of a cession document drawn up on the same date as the sale deed is however unexpected since type C marriage documents include only a sale document (sẖ-ḏbꜣ-ḥḏ) and not a cession document (sẖ n wy).

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Osoroeris, Nechthmonthes and Petemestous respectively. The testator stipulates that each son is to contribute to the burial and mummification of both parents: ‘you are to give the 1/5 for my burial (and) my mummification together with the 1/5 for the burial (and) the embalmment for Sachperis, daughter of Amenothes, your mother’ (mtw=k ty pꜣ 1/5 n tꜣy=y ḳs.t pꜣy(=y) ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ ḥnꜥ pꜣ 1/5 n tꜣ ḳs.t pꜣ ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ n šꜥ-ḫpry ta i҆mn-ḥtp tꜣy=k mw.t). In P. Louvre E 2429bis (292BC), P. Rylands XI (284 BC), P. Marseilles 299–298 (235BC), P. Philadelphia II (314BC) and P. BM EA 10026 (265–264 BC) the compound ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ precedes the noun ḳs.t and it seems logical to translate them as ‘mummification’ and ‘burial’ respectively, since one follows the other. On the other hand, in P. Louvre E 2439 (330 BC) and P. Berlin P. 3099/3100/5508 (124 BC) the order is reversed. However, unless we are to understand this as evidence for the use of ḳs in these clauses to denote two different stages, one prior and one following the operation described by the term ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ, then ḳs.t, whether used before or after the compound ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ, has to refer to the actual interment rather than to some other operation. On the basis of the evidence for the different meanings of the noun ḳs and the compound noun ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ, three different explanations can be put forward for the meaning of the passage in P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments. It is possible that, as suggested by Shore, the lector-priest was still owed part of the cost for the embalmment of party A’s in-laws.59 Although this is a plausible explanation, it fails to explain the use of two different terms. Another possibility is that party A lost both his wife and his in-laws at the same time or within a short period from each other. This being the case the word ḳs could be understood as an abbreviation of the expression ‘ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ and ḳs’ and therefore as an indication that all three individuals were going to be embalmed at the same time. Alternatively, the ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ of party A’s wife could refer to the entire embalming process, whereas the ḳs of his inlaws could refer to a single stage within the entire process. However, this would imply that only the cost of the first stage of their embalmment had already been paid for, which is an unlikely scenario since in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC) the agreement is stipulated before the start of the embalming process thus suggesting that the payment was to be made in advance. Another explanation may be that the in-laws of party A had been embalmed at the time of death and that their mummies were stored temporarily in some funerary structure until they

59

Shore 1968, 198.

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could be interred in their own tomb. This would explain the use of two different terms to describe the services referred to in the present contract, and would not require three people dying all at the same time, or within a short period of time of each other. This explanation implies that further operations were required prior to the final entombment of a deceased person, and that these fell under the responsibility of the lector-priests, at least in some instances. These final actions may have included, for example, the performance of rituals, such as the opening of the mouth ceremony, which would be conducted at the tomb by the lector priest in charge.

3

The Mummification Process: Stages, Rituals and Materials

Evidence for what would happen during the various stages of the mummification consists of indirect references, which interpretation is not always without uncertainties. In fact, despite the survival of a large number of documents relating to various aspects of the funerary industry during the period under analysis, there are but rare mentions of the mummification process and its various stages, and none that throws clear, unambiguous light on what it entailed. The process appears to have been divided into specific stages, with days 4, 16, 35 and 70 seemingly being of special significance, while additional days mentioned are 24, 28, 32, 36, 40, 44, 45, 52, 60 and 63. As noted above, the nouns pr-nfr (per-nefer) and wꜥb.t (wabet) are used to denote specific phases within the embalming process. The other stages mentioned are the ḳs.(t), the 35 and the (ḥb) ḳs, although the identification of the specific stage they denoted is hindered by their apparent use as synonyms in a number of the relevant texts. The analysis of the sources suggests that an ideal mummification and burial consisted of five specific phases: an initial 1. purification; 2. the excerebration, evisceration and desiccation of the corpse; 3. the anointing of the body with a variety of substances and the initial wrapping of some body parts; followed by 4. the wrapping of the entire body; and finally 5. the burial in the tomb.60 However, the identification of the specific stage they denoted is not always without uncertainties. In particular, it is unclear whether the noun wꜥb (wab) in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC) and P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) refers to the same stage as that identified by the term ḳs (stage 2), or to the one before (stage 1).61 In addition, in P. Florence 7127 (264 BC), and possibly in 60 61

See Table 4 infra. On the basis of the items listed under this heading, I have understood it as referring to the same stage as that termed ḳs (see below).

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P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), the compound noun pr-nfr appears to refer to the entire mummification process, rather than to a specific stage within it, while in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), and possibly P. Berlin P. 3115 (108 BC, Text C) the ḳs stage seemingly encompasses both this and the following pr-nfr stage. The use of the nouns wꜥb and pr-nfr to denote the entire mummification process is, of course, in keeping with the fact that both terms were used to denote an embalming place. Thus it follows that they could be also be used interchangeably to denote the same stage in the mummification place.62 3.1 The Period between the 1st and the 4th Day A number of sources indicate that the first four days after death were of special significance and that body treatment started only at the end of this period. The stela of Annos/Anemher (Stela Cairo 31099, 73 BC) records that ‘he was mummified from the fourth month of the winter season day 28, which was his fourth day’ (i҆r=w n=f ḳs.t ṯ i҆bt 4 pr.t sw 28 nt i҆w pꜣy=f hrw mḥ-4 pꜣy) (line 7).63 Thus the passage clearly indicates that in this case the mummification proper began on the fourth day from decease. In P. Leiden 374 (78BC), a sale of liturgies, party A declare that, should a deceased person part of the liturgies sold be given to them by mistake, they would return the body within four days. Given that party A undertakes to hand over the body to party B without requesting any compensation, it seems logical to suppose that no work would have been done on the deceased during the first four days. A similar agreement is recorded in P. Florence 7127 (264BC), an oath taken by some Theban embalmers, in which they agree that should they fail to report to an unnamed individual concerning some deceased persons within the ‘four days of the pr-nfr,’ they will pay 3 silver (deben) (line 8–9).64 Another document that suggests the fourth day marked an important stage within the mummification process is P. BM EA 10561 (157BC) in which it is agreed that five cloths will be given on the fourth day.65 A strict four-day fasting was also observed by the worshippers of the Apis Bull.66 In addition, according to Herodotus, the body of a deceased person would be taken to the embalming place only 62 63 64 65 66

At least this appears to be the case in P. Berlin P. 3115 (108BC) Text C, line 2, for which see below. For this reading of the noun ḳs.t see Cannata 2007 and Appendix §1. For the transliteration of this phrase see below. On this document see below Chapter 11 § 4. See Vos 1993, 31 and note 34. Although, as Vos notes, the four-day fast could take place either at the beginning or at the end of the mourning period, it would be too much of a coincidence to find a reference to this four-day period that has no relation to that mentioned in other texts.

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after the initial mourning ceremonies had taken place, although he does not specify for how long these would last (Herodotus II.85). However, he writes that women of high status and those of beauty would not be taken to the embalmers until the third or fourth day after death in order to prevent acts of necrophilia (Herodotus II.89). Herodotus’ account may not be entirely accurate, but it is interesting to note that he also mentions a period of possibly four days when no work was done on a corpse.67 The same custom continued into the Roman Period as shown by the letter recorded in P. Fouad 75 (AD 64) from Oxyrhyncha, a village in the Fayum, where a father is informed of his daughter’s death.68 The letter, dated to the 18th of Phaophi, instructs him to return home quickly so as to be able to see his daughter, who has now been taken to Alabanthis, possibly to the embalmers. The person in question had died on the 13th of the same month and could still be viewed five days later, thus again showing that the mummification did not start immediately after death. The custom may have had both a practical and a religious significance. On a practical level, its purpose was to confirm death and to allow friends and family to pay their last respects to the deceased. A religious significance for this practice is perhaps suggested by a short inscription in the tomb of queen Meresankh III, at Giza, which describes the funerary rites through a series of captions:69

rnp.t-sp 1 ꜣbd 1 šmw sw 21 ḥtp kꜣ=s ḫp.t=s r wꜥb.t Regnal year 1, first month of the harvest season, day 21. The resting of her ka. Her proceeding to the embalming place.

rnp.t-sp tpy ꜣbd 2 prt sw 18 ḫp.t=s r i҆s=s nfr

67

68 69

It is possible that he only focused attention on women not being taken to the embalmers until the fourth day after death as a way of making his account more salacious and thus more appealing to his audience. Again, it seems too coincidental to find a reference to this four-day period that has no connection with the same period mentioned in other texts. Youtie 1958, 374–376; Montserrat 1997, 37. After Dunham and Simpson 1974, 8, Pl. IIa; fig. 2; Sethe 1933, I 156–157.

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Regnal year 1, second month of the winter season, day 18. Her proceeding to her beautiful tomb.70 Here the resting of the ka denotes a stage prior to the mummification proper, although it is unclear what the exact ritual significance of this stage was. According to Assmann, ‘[b]ecause the ka and the self were created simultaneously, they had a symbiotic relationship in this life, one that fell apart at death and had to be restored, albeit in a different form, by ritual.’71 It is, therefore, possible that the resting of the ka, its being at peace,72 denoted this state of dissociation of the person and the ka, which is perhaps to be understood as a state of sleep, comparable to the state of death,73 prior to being ritually reawakened.74 As noted above, this stage refers to one prior to the mummification proper, and it is possible that it corresponded to the time the deceased spent in the tent of purification (i҆bw),75 or an equivalent area perhaps inside the mummification place, according to Pharaonic pictorial sources. Here, the deceased underwent the initial purification rites, which would have involved large quantities of water, hence the location of the tent by the river bank. The rites would have included both the physical washing of the corpse, and the spiritual cleansing of the body with pure water.76 No information on what happened during this stage can be gathered from the documentary sources analysed. However, that this particular rite continued beyond the Pharaonic Period is indicated by P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic), concerning the embalmment of the Apis Bull, which was first taken to the ‘house of purification’ (ḥ.t ḳbḥ.t), for a ritual washing, where it perhaps stayed for the first four days after death. This is perhaps

70

71 72 73 74

75 76

The time elapsed between death and burial is 272 days. Such delay may have been due to her sudden death, which meant that her tomb and funerary equipment were yet to be readied (Capel and Markoe 1996, 104). Assmann 2005, 100. Kaplony 1980, 277. Assmann 2005, 104. Because the ka was separated from the body at death, it would have to be reunited with it before the deceased could reach the afterlife. Indeed, the dead could also be identified as ‘those who have gone to their kas’ (Taylor 2001, 20). It seems possible that an echo of such a tradition was still found centuries later among the Copts. According to Giamberardini’s (1965, 28–29 and note 1) ethnographic observations, on the third day after death the priest went to the house of the deceased in order to perform a specific ritual at the end of which the spirit would depart from the house. The i҆bw was a tent-like construction consisting of slender poles covered with matting or cloth, likely located at the water-edge (Hoffmeier 1981, 167–169). Theis 2011, 50.

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also the stage depicted on the coffin of Djebastetiuefankh,77 which shows the deceased laying on a body of water, while two priests on either side of him pour lustral water over him.78 Tomb representations of the i҆bw-tent usually include depiction of the funerary equipment and food offerings,79 and it is possible that the latter were linked to a particular ritual (the ḏꜣ.t-rꜥ ritual) involving perhaps the offering of a kind of ‘viaticum’ to the dead during the stay in the i҆bw-tent.80 This rite may be the stage shown on the coffin of Mutirdis, which depicts two priests standing on either side of a table with offerings piled on top, facing a mummiform image, while another priest appears to be reading from a ‘ritual’ text (Fig. 4).81 The main problem with keeping a body untreated for four days would be that the process of decomposition would soon set in, especially in view of the hot Egyptian climate. Indeed, this is what provides additional evidence for the custom, since a number of mummies clearly display signs of advanced state of decomposition when the mummification began.82 It is possible that, in order to obviate to this problem, the deceased would spend the four-day period prior to the mummification proper in this tent of purification, or in an area within the mummification place serving the same function, where a ritual washing would be performed and where family and friends would come to mourn their dead and say their farewells.83 Once all of the rites had been completed, Pharaonic tomb depictions indicate that the body was placed once again in the coffin with which s/he was 77 78

79 80 81

82 83

Thus also Theis 2011, 50 note 54. The coffin is in the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim (Inv No. 1954). The parallel depiction on the coffin of Mutirdis only shows the deceased laying on a low bench, though it could be simply a case of missing detail since these two images are almost identical in all other respects. It is also interesting to note that in these initial vignettes the deceased is shown as a ‘shadow,’ thus in human- rather than mummy-form as in the successive vignettes, indicating that the mummification process had not yet started (Fig. 4). It is suggested that these would also be purified before entering the necropolis proper, since the latter was a sacred place that required ritual cleansing (Hoffmeier 1981, 171). Theis 2011, 51. This vignette is inserted between one in which the deceased is undergoing purification by means of lustral water, and one in which Anubis is approaching the embalming bed with the deceased laying on it (Fig. 5). In both cases the deceased is shown in human- rather than mummy-form, thus indicating that the mummification had not yet started, although in the ‘offerings’ vignette the deceased is shown mummy-form. The ‘offerings’ vignette is not part of the decoration on the coffin of Djebastetiuefankh. Elliot Smith and Dawson 1924, 125–126. It seems probable that already by the Middle Kingdom the purification tent and the embalming place had been merged into a single structure, while they were separate in the Old Kingdom (Willems 1997, 348).

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The El-Hibeh coffins in the Roemer- und Pelizaeus-Museum in Hildesheim belonging to Mutirdis and Djebastetiuefankh [RPM/PM 1953] (left), [RPM/PM 1954] (right)

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transported from the house to the west bank to be now moved to the embalming place. The coffin appears to have been placed either on a funerary bier, decorated with the head and paws of a lion,84 or on simple poles, so as to be easily carried, by hand, by a variable number of individuals.85 The list of funerary expenses recorded in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) includes two such funerary beds (˹s.t˺-sḏr) one for 400 and another for 80 deben (Col. I lines 12–13). Presumably one would be employed for the transport of the deceased to the necropolis (with or without coffin), while the other would be used during the embalming of the deceased. 3.2 The Period between the 4th and the 16th Day The now purified deceased is ready to enter the place of embalming. During the following thirty days or so the deceased would be excerebrated, eviscerated, dehydrated and anointed. In documentary sources these stages are identified using the nouns ḳs, wꜥb.t and pr-nfr.86 The existence of two separate stages (ḳs and pr-nfr) is suggested by P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) and P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC) in which the members of the association agree to contribute to the cost of the ḳs.t and pr-nfr of a deceased member. As I have argued before,87 the noun ḳs, and its variants ḳs.t and ḳs.w, also denoted a stage of the mummification process, in this instance one prior to that known as the pr-nfr. However, although still denoting a stage within this process, in P. Berlin P. 3115 (108 BC) the noun ḳs.w appears to indicate a longer stage than in the previous two documents, one lasting up to the 35th day, and thus including also the pr-nfr. In this document the members agree not to go to ‘the ḳs.w and (the) 35 (days) (of) the šty-ceremony’ (ḳs.w ḥnꜥ 35 tꜣ šty) (Text C line 2). Yet, further down, the same document mentions ‘the choachyte who goes to (the) ḳs, the wꜥb (and the) 35 (days ceremony)’ (wꜣḥ-mw mtw=f šm r ḳs wꜥb 35) (Text C line 11), where it is not clear if the clause refers to two or three different stages. De Cenival understands wꜥb as qualifying the 35 days, and translates the clause as ‘Qu’il aille aux enterrements et aux 35 jours purs.’88 However, if wꜥb is understood as an adjective, it would be qualifying the noun ḳs, while, if it was being used as a noun, it would refer to the same stage as that of the pr-nfr men-

84 85 86 87 88

Theis 2011, 51. Régen 2009, 467–468 and Fig. 10. Their identification as separate phases of the mummification process is based on the word order within the sentence. See Table 4 infra. Cannata 2007 and Appendix § 1. De Cenival 1972, 119, 124 note 11,4.

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tioned in P. Cairo 30606 (157BC) and P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC).89 The existence of a wꜥb stage is indicated by two documents, P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC), in which the noun appears to refer to the entire mummification process, and P. Florence 3667 (111BC), in which it denotes either the same stage as that of the pr-nfr, or the one before it, thus the same as the ḳs phase. In P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC), an embalming agreement stipulated between Pagonis son of Pasemios, probably the embalmer, and Thotortaios son of Paoros, the father of the deceased, Party A states: ‘You have provided (for) the purification (wꜥb) (the) natron, the mummification wrappings and every matter which concerns the mummification of Pausis your son’ (wꜣḥ=k90 pꜣ wꜥb ḥsmn tꜣ mtn wyt ḥnꜥ mt nb nt sh̭ n r pꜣ ḫꜣꜥ-syḥ n pa-wsr pꜣy=k šr). lines 4–8

Similarly, the accounts recorded in column I of P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) include: 17. […] 100 deben on account of his purification (wꜥb.t) ([…] ḥḏ 100 ẖr tꜣy=f wꜥb.t); 18. [… from(?) Nechthmonthes], Taues, Osoroeris and Petosiris ([… nḫṱ-mnṱ] ta-wꜣ wsi҆r-wr ḥnꜥ pꜣ-ty-wsi҆r) 19. […] specification: ([…] wp-st): 20. […] 40 (deben) for (the) price of honey (and) his gtn-robe, ([…] 40 n swn i҆by tꜣy=f gtn); 21. […] 30 deben: price of the ring of Osoroeris ([…] · 30 swn tꜣ glṱ n wsi҆r-wr); 22. […] 23. […] ˹man,˺ together with 3 (measures of) salt (for the?) last day ([…] ˹rmṯ˺ ḥnꜥ ḥmꜣ 3 sw ꜥrḳ); 24. [… Taues] 2 silver (deben) ([… ta-wꜣ] · 2).91

89 90 91

I am not sure whether the difference in terminology could be attributed to a geographical variation, since the latter two texts originate from the Fayum. The flesh determinative is clearly written in copy B of the document which excludes the reading mḥ and suggests a scribal error of ḥr in place of wꜣḥ. This entry is preceded by another in line 15 which reads ‘[…] 400 silver (deben) (vacat?) death of Horos’ ([…] · 400 (vacat?) mwt i҆.i҆r Ḥr), and it is followed by a list of payments for materials and objects made by the offspring of the deceased. In column II, the list

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The range of items mentioned in these two documents seems more appropriate for a stage of the mummification proper, rather than the preceding fourday period. However, column III of the same document starts again with the date of death of Horos, and a heading identifying the following expenses as those which were paid for ‘his pr-nfr in(?) his places of embalming:’ 1.

2.

3.

4.

The expense which came out for Horos in regnal year 6 fourth month of the inundation season, day 19, the day in which he died: (pꜣ hy i҆.i҆r šm ˹r˺ bnr wbꜣ ḥr (n) ḥꜣ.t-sp 6 i҆bt 4 ꜣḫ.t sw 19 pꜣ hrw mwt ˹i҆.i҆r˺=f […]) The list of the properties that came out for his pr-nfr (in) his places of ˹embalming.˺ The first day: (pꜣ wn nꜣ nkt.w r bnr wbꜣ pꜣy=f pr-nfr nꜣy=f ꜥ.wy.w ˹ḳs.(t)˺ pꜣ hrw tp), ˹½˺ hin of resin and one ḥbs-cloth for the lector priest; one mnḫ-cloth; another mnḫ-cloth […], ([hn] syf ˹½˺ ḥbs 1 pꜣ ẖr-ḥb wꜥ mnḫ ky mnḫ […]), five ˹hins˺ of resin, (˹hn˺ syf 5).

The fact that the expenses listed in column III include those undertaken on the first day, followed by those for day 16, suggests that the wꜥb stage was considered part of all the operations carried out up to the 16th day.92 Unfortunately, the documentary sources do not provide any information on what operations were carried out during these stages. The closest one gets to ‘seeing’ what happened inside the mummification place during these initial phases of the embalmment is the deceased lying, still in human, or shadow

92

continues with mention of payments made to the embalmers, the cost of a number of materials, including the cost of transport, and a record of a payment made to a named individual. Because of the way the document is arranged, I am uncertain whether the cost for his purification (wꜥb.t) refers to the stage prior to the mummification proper, or if it is a reference to the first day in the embalming place, although the latter seems the more probable of the two. See Appendix 2 for a consecutive translation of P. Florence 3667 (111 BC). In my opinion, here the first day designates the first day in the embalming place, thus the beginning of the mummification proper, although it seems strange that the same materials and substances do not appear in both lists. However, further down, the same document lists items given on the first, the 16th and the 28th day, which suggests that, at least in this case, the term pr-nfr covered the entire period from the beginning of the mummification up to the 35th day. For the identification of day 16 with the pr-nfr stage see below.

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form, on the funerary lion-bier, over a fibre-mat, surrounded by priests. This can be seen on the coffins of Djebastetiuefankh and Mutirdis where Anubis, holding something in his hand, approaches the deceased laying on the embalming bed, while three other priests, in the first coffin, and four in the second, follow behind (see Fig. 4). Some additional information can be gathered from three other sources, the Embalming Ritual, preserved on P. Boulaq 3 (1st–2nd century AD),93 as well as P. Rhind 1 (P. Edinburgh 908+504) and P. Rhind 2 (P. Edinburgh 909) both dating to 9BC, beside the Apis embalming Ritual (P. Wien ÄS 3873, Late Ptolemaic). The preserved portions of the Embalming Ritual concern the anointing and wrapping of the body, with no mention of the earlier stages of lustration, evisceration and desiccation.94 On the other hand, the second section in P. Rhind 1 (9BC) includes a summary account of the initial stages of the person’s embalmment.95 The first operations carried out in the embalming place, aptly identified in the Apis Embalming Ritual (rt. IV 23, VIa 11) and in the Embalming Ritual (3/1) as the ‘slaughtering room,’ are the excerebration and the evisceration. It is in sections three and four of P. Rhind 1 (9 BC) that we find a mention of the latter operation, which is said to have taken place in the wabet (wꜥb.t). The various operations are rather concisely described using metaphors and allusions. Consignment to the embalming place without interruption of the mummification process, all ceremonies at their proper time, resting upon a mat of fresh reeds,96 performing the rites of the lector priest of the day for him so that he attacks the enemy of the sound eye on the first day, Osiris not regarding him on account of [the] limbs which he harms which emerged from him, and so that the overseer of the mystery provides a remedy for them (…). O Osiris, well are you moored, having arrived at the perfect house. I will lay my hands upon your body as I do [for] my father Osiris. I

93

94 95

96

Sections of the embalming ritual are preserved in four hieratic papyri: P. Boulaq 3, the longest of the three, P. Louvre E 5158, P. St. Petersburg 18128 and P. Durham O.M. 1983.11, of which only six fragments survive. See Töpfer 2015, Smith 2009, 215, and Reeves 1985. It is not possible to determine whether they were ever part of the manuscript’s missing sections (Smith 2009, 217–218). The contents of P. Rhind 1, of which P. Rhind 2 is an abridged version, can be divided into four broad themes concerning 1) the deceased’s life on earth, 2) his mummification, 3) the judgment of his character, 4) and his status and mode of existence following the previous assessment (Smith 2009, 304, 310, 312, 337). It is interesting to note that the deceased is indeed shown laying on a reed-mat in both the coffin of Djebastetiuefankh and that of Mutirdis (see Fig. 4).

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will make your limbs sound, for I am Anubis in my guise as lector priest. I will make the channel for your efflux to the sea in order to allow it to unite with the efflux of Osiris.97 Here the ‘enemy of the sound eye (= Osiris) on the first day’ refers to the person who was responsible for making the initial incision on the side of the abdomen for the removal of the internal organs. Diodorus Siculus I (91) identifies this person as a paraschistes, although there is no evidence at all in the documentary sources for the existence of a separate class of ‘priests’ whose task was solely that of making this incision. Rather, it was the lector priests themselves who performed this operation, as the passage from the Embalming Ritual implies.98 According to the Apis embalming ritual (P. Wien ÄS 3873, Late Ptolemaic), the embalmers would also need to undergo a ritual purification before being able to start to work on the deceased, part of which involved shaving and donning a particular garment (ḥbs-cloth), a pair of sandals and a pyr-bandage around their neck.99 This particular garment given to the embalmers may be same as that listed in one of the entries recorded in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) and in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC). In the first document the cloth is listed under the items that were provided on the first day and identified as ‘1 ḥbs-cloth for the lectorpriest.’100 That this ḥbs-cloth was probably not given as payment is suggested by the fact that one of the items listed in the embalmers’ agreement recorded in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC) is ‘one ḥbs-cloth of taking entry’ (ḥbs ṯ-ꜥḳ 1) (line 14). The use of the compound verb ṯ-ꜥḳ, which survives into Coptic as ϫⲓ-ⲁⲉⲓⲕ with the meaning of ‘consecrate, consecration,’ to qualify this type of cloth indicates that it probably refers to a special ceremonial garb, worn by the lector-priest during the mummification process.101 The successive lines in P. Rhind 1 (9BC) describe the removal of the internal organs, which are to be treated to prevent their decay:

97 98 99

100 101

Smith 2009, 319–321. Pestman 1981, 4–8; Smith 2009, 320 note 92. Vos 1993, 43, 72–73. As noted above (Chapter 10 § 1), this bandage, it is suggested, may be linked to the mourning band worn on the head of the mourners, though its use was perhaps limited to individuals more closely associated with the embalming of the deceased, as opposed to mourners in a funeral cortège (Collombert 2006, 236–237). Column II, line 3, for which see above. Crum 1939, 3a; Shore and Smith 1960, 286 note h. The same compound verb is used in P. Cairo 30646 (Setne I) in which pharaoh is said to have granted ‘an entry into the house of rejuvenation’ for his dead son (tw pr-ꜥꜣ ṯ=w n=f ꜥḳ r pr-nfr) (4/24–25) (Shore and Smith 1960, 291; Smith 2009, 306 and note 24).

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The liver rejoices, having been taken on board at the embalming pavilion. The lungs are in exaltation, as they have removed themselves from their woes. The spleen is jubilant because it has already passed beyond its troubles. The large intestine is happy because it has already emerged from the embalming place (and) from weariness. All of your members are in perfect condition through my handiwork.102 A number of the vessels in the embalmers’ cache from the shaft tomb of Menekhibnekau at Abusir are inscribed with the phrase ‘red linen of the children of Horus’ (pꜣ ṯms n nꜣ ms.w ḥr.w) while one mentions the ‘[n]atron of the children of Horus’ (pꜣ [ḥ]smn n nꜣ ms.w ḥr.w),103 thus seemingly referring to this stage of the embalming process, the removal and treatment of the internal organs.104 The internal cavity would now be washed with water and possibly treated with herbs and spices, both for their aromatic qualities and for the sterilizing properties they were thought to possess.105 The next phase of the mummification process involved the desiccation, or dehydration, of the body with natron.106 Remains of natron wrapped in cloth have been found among the embalmers’ deposits in several localities around the country, together with large and small inscribed amphorae said to contain natron, among other substances and materials.107 In the embalmers’ cache found in the shaft tomb of Menekhibnekau at Abusir, the most frequent inscription is ‘red linen and bags’ (pꜣ ṯms ḥnꜥ nꜣ ꜥrf.w).108 With respect to the use of bags, modern experiments on human and animal corpses show that natron was placed inside the body cavity in small bags. Around thirty of these would be needed to fill the abdominal and thoracic cavity, and they would need changing at least twice during 102 103 104 105

106

107 108

Smith 2009, 321. Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 175, vessels XXII, XCIII, XVIII and LXXXVIII. Töpfer (2015, 338) suggests that, in view of the dates mentioned on the vessels, the ‘children of Horus’ could also be a reference to the priests connected with the embalming process. Jackowski et al. 2008, 1483. It is possible that the day between the 4th and the 16th mentioned in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), though unfortunately in a lacuna, refers to the beginning of this stage, when, following the removal of the internal organs, the corpse would undergo the natron treatment. Natron is white-colourless when pure, and gray-yellow if impure. It is a compound of sodium salts, which include, for example, sodium carbonate, bicarbonate, sulphate, or chloride. Deposits of Natron occur naturally in saline lakebeds in the arid Egyptian environment (Jackowski et al. 2008, 1483–1484). For which see, for example, Eaton-Krauss 2008; Aston and Aston 2010; and Smoláriková 2011, with further references. Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 172.

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the entire process.109 In addition, experimental artificial mummification on an eviscerated corpse showed that 273kg of Egyptian natron were insufficient to completely desiccate a body weighing 70.9kg.110 An analysis of the inscribed amphorae found in the Abusir cache (three containing just natron, and six natron and linen), indicates that these would be enough only for the abdominal and thoracic cavity, thus suggesting that the rest of the natron needed for the process may have been stored in loose form in the rest of the uninscribed amphorae. With respect to the noun ṯms, which shows the cloth determinative, the excavators suggest it could designate a type of red cloth, known to have been used in the Apis’ embalming.111 On the basis of this, the excavators suggest that the association of the red linen and bags in the inscribed amphorae may indicate that, while the body cavity was filled with natron bags, natron would be applied in loose form over and around a cloth-sheet covering the body, thus also protecting it from the damaging effects of the salt if put in direct contact with the skin.112 The next question concerns the length of time required for a body to be desiccated and ready to be wrapped. Herodotus states that dehydration took about 70 days (II.86), which can be discounted on the basis of the relevant textual sources discussed. The modern experiment noted above was performed over a period of 35 days, while, according to Goyon, this process may have been accomplished within an Egyptian week, thus for a period of ten days.113 An indication of the length these initial operations would take, including the process of dehydration by means of natron, is provided by a passage in The Stories of Setne Khamwas. Here it is narrated that ‘Pharaoh caused to be made for him an entry into the pr-nfr in 16 day(s), bandaging in 35 day(s), a mummification of 70 day(s))’ (tw pr-ꜥꜣ ṯ=w n=f ꜥḳ n pr-nfr n hrw 16 tbe.t n hrw 35 ḳs.t n hrw 70) (P. Cairo 30646 (Ptolemaic Period) col. 4 lines 24–25).114 The text clearly indicates that 109

110 111 112 113 114

Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 172. Modern experiments in fact suggest that frequent changes of the natron that was in direct contact with the skin was necessary to maintain the osmotic movement of moisture through the skin (Notman and Aufderheide 1995). However, a reduction of the body weight to 35.9 kg was observed, with several body parts being already well preserved during the process (Zimmerman et al. 1998, 417–420). Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 173; Quack 1995, 127. Jackowski et al. 2008, 1484; Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 174. Goyon and Josset 1988, 75; Shore 1992, 231–232. Griffith 1900, 29. The preposition n can be translated as ‘of’ or as ‘in,’ though I have opted for the latter translation because it would mean that these operations started on day 16 and 35 respectively, which are identified as being important landmarks within the entire mummification process. A translation of the preposition n as ‘of’ is also correct since this would mean that they lasted for sixteen and thiryfive days respectively, as it appears was the case.

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the next phase of the mummification process started with the entry of the deceased into the ‘place of rejuvenation’ (pr-nfr), either literally or symbolically, where he would undergo a stage of the process known by the same name, and that this lasted until the 35th day when the next stage began. A number of other sources identify the 16th as an important day within the process of mummification. In P. Rhind I (9BC) it is on this day that the first of eight ceremonies began, which would be conducted over the ensuing period until the 36th day.115 In P. Florence 3667 (111BC) sbn-bandages and resin, amongst other items, are listed as having been given on this day. Similarly, in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC) it is agreed that ten cloths will be given on this day, while in P. Lille 29 (223 BC) the members agree to give 50 rations to pay for the cost of the deceased’s prnfr.116 This in turn implies that all of the preceding operations (evisceration, excerebration and desiccation) would have been completed during the first 16 days.117 3.3 The Period between the 16th and the 35th Day As noted above, the 16th day would mark the beginning of a new stage whereby, through the ritual washing and anointing of the body, the deceased would be rejuvenated.118 An indication of the materials and substances used during this nexts stage of the mummification process is provided by P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) and the short inscriptions on the pots found among the Abusir embalmers’ deposits. The list of items recorded in the first document under the heading ‘Day 28’ (sw 28) (col. III line 8), and thus falling between the 16th and the 35th day, include: 15. herb(s): 8 deben and 2 ½ kite, (sm · 8 ḳt 2 ½),

115 116

117

118

Smith 2009, 305. Although the latter document does not mention a specific day, the fact that it is listed before the 35th day, and that it makes reference to the pr-nfr, with which the 16th day is associated, indicates that it probably referred to the same day as the above examples. Indeed, this possibility is also, indirectly, indicated by the stela of Psammetichos son of Hergemefbakef (Stela Florence 2551, Saite Period) in which the deceased is said to have spent only 20 days in the embalming place. Thus also Shore 1992, 231–232. It is possible that this is the occasion when the choachytes agree ‘to assign to his (scil. the deceased member) people two days of drinking of (the) pr-nfr within the association’ (mtw=w šp tr.t nꜣy=f rmṯ=w hrw 2 n swr n pr-nfr ẖn [tꜣ] 6-nt tꜣ ḳs.t wꜥ hrw n šp ẖn tꜣ 6-nt) (P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) Text A line 6), which suggests that the relatives of their deceased colleague would be allowed to partake of drinks within the association with the other members.

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17. unguent: 10 deben, (sgn · 10), 19. embalming ˹wine:˺ 10 deben,119 (˹i҆rp˺ ḳs · 10), 20. another ˹wine,˺ […] day one which makes 45 deben, (ky ˹i҆rp˺ […] hrw 1 nt i҆w i҆r ḥḏ 45), 21. another wine […] which ˹makes˺ 45 deben, (ky i҆rp […] nt i҆w ˹i҆r˺ ḥḏ 45), 22. another ˹wine˺ (and) natron: 2 deben, (ky ˹i҆rp˺ ḥsmn · 2). The items and substances recorded on the embalmers’ vessels include for this date range the following: Amphorae 53 and 60

24th day: Red linen and bags (hrw mḥ-24 pꜣ ṯms ḥnꜥ nꜣ ꜥrf.w) Amphora 68 Drop-jar b Text A: To be put on the flesh, ḏbꜣ- and mnḫ.t-bandages—28th day (Text A: di҆.(t) r i҆wf ḏbꜣ mnḫ.t120 hrw mḥ-28) Text B: ˹unguent˺ ¼, myrrh ¼, incense ¼ (Text B: ˹gs˺ ¼ ꜥnti҆w ¼ snṯr ¼) Drop-jar 169 First–32nd day: to be put on his flesh to sweeten its smell (mḥ-1 hrw mḥ-32 di҆.(t) r i҆wf=f snḏm sti҆=f ) Amphora 225 32nd day: red linen and bags (hrw mḥ-32 pꜣ ṯms ḥnꜥ nꜣ ꜥrf.w).121 From the preserved portion of the Embalming Ritual (P. Boulaq 3, 1st–2nd century AD) it is clear that the internal organs have already been removed and the work of the embalmers consists of anointing the corpse and of applying cloths and bandages over parts of it. Thus it is possible that part of the surviving section of this ritual was performed during this stage of the mummifica119 120 121

It is possible that this wine was used as a base with which to mix other substances such myrrh, see Chapter 13 § 1. This phrase is also found on Amphora drop-jar 135 A, which Töpfer (2011) suggests should be read as ‘to be put/placed on the flesh, to clothe with mnḫ.t-bandages.’ After Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 177. A bag containing myrrh is placed under the tongue of the Apis during the embalment of the tongue (Vos 1993, Rt. II 12, 45, 335), thus the bags mentioned here need not necessarily be associated with natron and the actual desiccation of the body.

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tion process. In column four the officiant is instructed to ‘[take up the internal organs]122 again and place in a vessel of faience in which is the unguent of the children of Horus, letting the unguent of this deity permeate the god’s limbs, since the internal organs are regenerated by means of the perspiration which has issued from the body of the divinity. (…) Deposit them in a box (until it is time) to seek them again.’123 In column five the technical note instructs the ritualist to ‘[replace the internal organs]124 on his stomach’ and to ‘coat his back with the precious ointment used previously, after his back has been positioned as when he was on earth (= in an upright position), since all the work of the perfect house (= pr-nfr) has been carried out for him and [lower the mummy]125 to lie prostrate.’126 Following a liturgical section in which are mentioned ointment, various resinous substances, plants, bands and cloths, as well as fat, wax, precious stones and moringa oil,127 the text continues with the technical section: ‘after coating his back with ointment and (applying) a bandage, corresponding to his earthly state, take care not to turn him over on his chest, his face, or his stomach when packed with medicaments, (or) the gods who are within his abdomen will be displaced from their position.’128 Has as been stated before, the surviving portion of the ritual does not give a full account of all the stages of the mummification process. No mention is made, for example, of the suturing of the incision through which the internal organs would have been removed.129 A possibility is that this operation is referred to, indirectly, with the statement that all the work of the pr-nfr has been carried out.130 Nevertheless, the exhortation at the end of column five to take care when moving the body, lest the internal organs be displaced, indicates that the incision was not yet sutured. Another possibility is that the compound pr-nfr is used here in the same way as in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) where it apparently encompasses the period between the first and the 35th day. However, this being the case, it is unclear whether the remainder of the ritual concerns only the work carried

122 123

124 125 126 127 128 129 130

For this restoration see Smith 2009, 220. Smith 2009, 227. Part of the text is not preserved, and it is not entirely clear what the ritualist is meant to do with the previously removed internal organs. Whatever it is, it is to be done in full view of the mummy before depositing them in a box (Smith 2009, 220). For this restoration see Smith 2009, 221 and note 29. The word mummy, or bandages is suggested by Smith (2009, 221, 227 note 48) on the basis of the word ending and the traces of the ‘cloth’ determinative. Smith 2009, 227. Smith 2009, 228. Smith 2009, 229 (in this quote, italics replace the underlining of the original edition). Smith 2009, 224. Smith 2009, 224 note 38.

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out up to the beginning of the next stage, or if it also includes the ceremonies performed during this successive stage, the 35 days ceremony. On the basis of a passage in one of the dream texts in the archive of Hor from Saqqara, I would suggest that all of the Embalming Ritual’s operations had been completed by the end of the 35th day. The passage concerns a conversation between the dreamer and ‘a great man’ who assures the former that he ‘(shall) have a living soul (= Ba) from the 35th day.’131 Clearly, the body would not be able to receive a new life if the actual embalming had not been completed. This means that from this point onwards the work of the embalmers concerned the wrapping of the entire corpse, as opposed to individual body parts which had already been bandaged during this first stage of the embalming process. 3.4 The Period between the 35th and the 70th Day Both documentary and religious sources indicate that the 35th, and especially the ensuing 35 days, were of ritual significance. According to P. Rhind I (9 BC) another nine ceremonies would be conducted for the deceased from the 36th day onwards, although the nature of these, and of the preceding eight ones, is not specified.132 In P. BM EA 10561 (157BC) the contractual parties agree to give ‘10 (cloths for) the 35th day’ ((ḥbs) 10 pꜣ hrw mḥ-35) (line 15), and that no one (else) will be allowed to ‘do the ceremonies of the 35th day’ (i҆r ḥb n pꜣ hrw mḥ-35) (line 17). Further down, the same document makes a reference to ‘the [priest] of Wepwawet who will die, and the one who will be embalmed, together with his 35 (days ceremonies)’ (pꜣ [wꜥb] wp-wꜣw.t nt i҆w=f mwt ḥnꜥ pꜣ nt i҆w=w ḳs=f ˹s˺ ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f 35) (line 21).133 In P. Lille 29 (223BC) the members undertake to give ‘25 ⟨rations⟩ (for) his 35 (days ceremonies)’ (nꜣy=f 35 ⟨ꜥḳ⟩ 25) (line 18). In P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) the association’s members agree that ‘they will not go to the ḳs.w and (the) 35 (days) of the šty-ceremony, besides those on the heart of134 the choachyte’ (bn=w šm r ḳs.w ḥnꜥ 35 tꜣ šty m-sꜣ nꜣy.w ḥr-ḥꜣ.ṱ pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw) (Text C lines 2–3), and again further down there is mention of the ‘choachyte who goes to (the) ḳs, (the) wꜥb (and the) 35 (days ceremony) to give cloth (and a) bed (for) his šty-ceremony’ (wꜣḥ-mw mtw=f šm r ḳs wꜥb 35 r ty ḥbs glg pꜣy=f šty) (Text C lines 11–12). P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC) identifies this 35-day period as ‘the 35 (days ceremony) of single wrapping’ (nꜣ 35

131 132 133 134

Ray 1976, text 8 line 21, 41, 43 note z. Smith 2009, 306, 321–322 col. 5. Shore and Smith 1960, 284; the editors translated the verb ḳs as ‘buried,’ but given the following reference to the 35 (days) it seems more logical to translate it as ‘mummified.’ That is, those chosen by the family’s choachyte, possibly referring to his assistants or subordinates, and any other person whose participation he might request.

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n wꜥ wyṱ) (line 17), possibly referring to the bandaging of the entire corpse, as opposed to the wrapping of individual body parts.135 Thus the šty-ceremony to which the choachytes’ regulations refer is the same wrapping ceremony as that mentioned in the latter document.136 In the passage from The Stories of Setne Khamwas, the bandaging is also said to have lasted 35 days (tbe.t n hrw 35) (P. Cairo 30646 (Ptolemaic Period) col. 4 line 25). This extended bandaging period is also mentioned by Diodorus Siculus according to whom ‘the Egyptians carefully dress the whole body for over thirty days, first with cedar oil, and certain other preparations, and then with myrrh, cinnamon, and such other material as had the faculty of giving it not only preservation, but also a fragrant odour’ (I 91.6). The stela of Annos/Anemher (Stela Cairo 31099, 73 BC) adds more detail as to the operations actually carried out during this period since it records that from the ‘second month of the harvest season day 20 until day 24 they (= the embalmers) cooked for him mtḥ-unguents and ˹brought˺ for him the mnḫ-bandages (and) the royal-byssus’ (i҆bt 2 šmw sw 20 šꜣꜥ sw 24 psy=w [n=f ] mtḥy.w ˹i҆n=w˺ n=f nꜣ mnḫ.t nꜣ šs.w-nsw) (line 8). Thus, according to this source, from day 52 to day 56 the embalmers prepared the unguents and fetched the cloths and bandages to wrap the deceased.137 Among the items and substances listed in the inscribed vessels among the Abusir embalmers’ deposit there are ḏbꜣ and mnḫ.t bandages (under day 40, 44, 45 and 52), an unguent (day 52), as well as sfy-resin and myrrh (day 60 and 63).138 Indeed, chemical analyses of mummies reveal the presence of a range of substances coating the mummy wrappings. The wrappings of the Mummy ÄS 73B in Munich, for example, were coated with a blend of beeswax, oil, resin, gum, soda, and bitumen.139 The last few days (after day 61 in one case and 63 in the latter case) may have been devoted to a different phase, when, perhaps, the elaborate decorative mummy 135

136

137

138 139

If this interpretation is correct, then the Embalming Ritual preserved in P. Boulaq 3 possibly concerns only the operations performed up to the 35th day, since it does not appear to refer to the wrapping of the entire corpse, but only of individual body parts (head, hands, toes and legs). De Cenival (1972, 118, 121 note 2,2) interprets the šty as referring to the ceremonies that were performed by the choachytes following the burial, and renders line 2 as ‘nul ne devra aller aux enterrements ni aux 35 jours de la liturgie’ (P. Berlin P. 3115, text C). This is also corroborated by the evidence of P. Wien ÄS 3873 (Late Ptolemaic) in which the wrapping of the Apis Bull is said to have lasted for 16 days, up to his 68th day (Vos 1993, 36). According to Sauneron (1952, XV) the presence within the mummy wrappings of insects and even rodents suggests the wrapping lasted several days. After Landgráfová and Janák 2011, 177. See table 4 infra. Serpico and White 2006, 467; Storch and Schäfer 1985, 331, table I. Similar findings are attested from other studies on a range of mummies from different museums, for which see Connan 2005, tables 5 and 6.

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Stages of the ideal mummification and burial on the basis of the documentary sources listed

Documents

PurifiEvisceration Anointing + cation + + desiccation partial wraprituals (10 + days) ping + rituals (1–4) (c. 16 days)

P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC)

wꜥb

P. Florence 7127 (264 BC)

pr-nfr

P. Lille 29 (223 BC)

[pr-nfr]: 50 rations

P. BM EA 10561 (157 BC)

his ḳs

P. Cairo 30606 (157 BC)

his ḳs.t and

his pr-nfr

P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC)

his ḳs.t and

his pr-nfr

Final wrapping Night before + rituals (c. 35 burial in place days) of embalming + day of burial

his 35 (days): 25 his ḥb ḳs: 25 rations rations 35 (days)

P. Prague (137 BC)

give 5 deben for his ḳs.t

P. Berlin P. 3115 (109 BC) A

2 days drinking of the pr-nfr

1 day drinking for ḳs.t

P. Berlin P. 3115 (109 BC) A

go to the ḳs.t

35 (days)

P. Berlin P. 3115 (108 BC) C

go to the ḳs.w

35 (days) of the šty- ceremony

P. Berlin P. 3115 (108 BC) C

goes to the ḳs wꜥb

35 (days) = give (the) cloth (and the) bed for his šty-ceremony

P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) Col. I

wꜥb.t

P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) Col. III

pr-nfr

P. Cairo 50127 (1st cent. BC)

the 35 (day ceremony) of single (= one) wrapping

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wrapping was executed,140 or the time when cartonnage elements/case were fixed to the bandaged body, or they may have been taken up entirely with the recitation of rituals. Finally, on the night before burial a last ritual would be recited for the deceased in the embalming place. A reference to these rituals is found in the stela of Annos/Anemher (Stela Cairo 31099, 73BC) where it is recorded that ‘it was made for him a great and fine ḳs from the third month of the harvest season, day 6 until day 10’ (i҆r=w n=f ḳs ꜥꜣ.t nfr.t r-ẖ pꜣ nt i҆y n sẖ ṯ i҆bt 3 šmw sw 6 šꜥ-twꜣ n sw 10) (line 9).141 Since the noun ḳs here cannot denote the mummification or the actual burial, it is likely that it refers to the rituals performed for the benefit of the deceased before the actual interment. Examples of the religious compositions that would be recited at this time include the third composition preserved in P. BM EA 10507 (Late Ptolemaic—Early Roman Period) titled ‘The stanzas of awakening the ba which are recited on the night of mummification for a god’s-servant, a wꜥb-priest, a magistrate, a scribe, and the rest of the men who are great and before whom it is fitting to recite them’ (col. IV lines 1–3).142 Because Osiris’ mummification was performed in the course of a single night, the embalming process of ordinary individuals would be made to conform to that of the god by re-enacting, on the night before the burial, all of the ceremonies that had been performed during the entire mummification process. Thus, in accordance with its title, this particular composition would have been recited at night, that is, the final night in the embalming place, on the eve of the deceased’s interment.143 Other examples of Afterlife texts recited in the embalming place on the eve of the deceased’s burial are P. Rhind 1 and 2, as well as P. Harkness (Section 1).144 Throughout this chapter reference has been made to the 70 days of the mummification process, which is the length of the ideal embalmment. However, it is important to bear in mind that its actual duration would have been influenced by practical, financial and religious factors. Practical considerations, such as the need to wait for the resin to dry before beginning the next stage of bandaging, for example, would have influenced the timing of the different operations. Most importantly, though, the process of mummification consisted not only of actual operations performed on the corpse to create a mummy, but also of rituals and utterances which created a god. Thus it was religious and mythological 140 141 142 143 144

Shore 1992, 230. For the correction to the reading of the dates see Smith 2009, 37 note 143. Smith 1987, 24–25, 38. Smith 1987, 26–28. Smith 2009, Texts 12–15, and 211, 274.

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Attestations of the mummification process’ length in textual sources

Name of deceased

Time in the embalming place

Document and date

Herennia Naneferkaptah Petobastis Tnapheros Ken son of Harsemtheus Pharaoh Psammetichos Timinis Psenptais Annos Petobastis Taimouthes Amasis Teos Pausis son of Thotortaios

9 days 70 days 70 days 70 days 70 days 70 days 80 days 71 days (75 from death) (80 days?) 72 days (76 from death) 73 days (from death to burial?) 70 days(?) 80 days 79 days (83 from death) 71 days (given to choachyte on day 72) 70 days(?) 42 days

P. Fouad 75 (AD64)a P. Cairo 30646 (Roman Period) Stela BM EA 188 (Roman Period) Stela BM EA 184 (Ptolemaic-Roman Period) P. Berlin P. 13588 (1st century BC) P. Berlin P. 13588 (1st century BC) Cairo Inscription (1st century BC)b Stela BM EA 886 (41BC) Stela Cairo 31099 (73BC) Stela H.M.V. 82 (76–75BC) Stela BM EA 387 (132BC) Stela Bologna KS 1943 (183BC) Stela H.M.V. 162 (224–223BC) P. BM EA 10077 a (270BC)

32 days? 20 days

Stela SCA 149 (Saite Period) Stela Florence 2551 (Saite Period)

70 days 70 days 72 days 70 days 70 days 70 days

P. Rylands III (610? BC) Sarcophagus Cairo 31566 (26th Dynasty) Statue-stela Cairo 86125 (21st Dynasty) Statue-stela Cairo 86125 (21st Dynasty) Theban Tomb 110 (18th Dynasty) Theban Tomb 164 (18th Dynasty)

Herib Psammetichos son of Iahweben Psammetichos Psammetichos son of Hergemefbakef Psammetichos Petesemtheus Anchefenamun Irmutpanefer Thotes Intef

Stela BM EA 378 (163BC) Stela Leiden V, 18 (Saite Period)

a Youtie 1958, 374–376; Bataille 1952, 216; Montserrat 1997, 37. b Piehl, 1886, 36.

considerations that would have determined its timing, rather than the actual time needed, for example, to bandage the body.145 Nevertheless, it is clear that, in practice, there could be a variation in the actual length of the mummification process, as can be seen from the preceding table. Such a variation would have been influenced also by economic factors, since the number and elaborateness of the rituals performed for the benefit of the deceased during this process would have a bearing on the final cost of the mummification and burial.

145

Shore 1992, 230.

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Funerary Priests Involved in the Mummification Process

According to the Embalming Ritual ‘[s]eeking out what pertains to the rites along with what relates to the images is the responsibility of the overseer of the mystery (ḥry sštꜣ), since it is necessary to observe what is in writing,’146 thus indicating that he is in charge of the mummification process. In his tasks he is assisted by a god’s seal-bearer and lector priests, where the latter group appear to have had a lower standing than the first two, since the same text prescribes that ‘After this, Anubis the overseer of the mystery sits down by the head of this god with no lector priest approaching him until the overseer of the mystery completes all work on him, except for the god’s seal-bearer who can have access to the head under the supervision of the overseer of the mystery.’147 An overseer of the mystery of the Apis, Peteimouthes, who also bears the title of god’s seal-bearer, is attested among the Memphite documents, in P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC) (line 8).148 However, the latter is the only attestation of an overseer of the mystery among the documentary sources analysed. All other examples concern individuals who were apparently involved in the embalmment of sacred animals.149 The overseer of the mystery is, for example, in charge of the embalming of the Apis Bull in which he is assisted by four lector-priests,150 as well as of a falcon in which he is, again, assisted by lector-priests,151 and of the Buchis bull.152 The documentary sources indicate that the individuals in charge of the mummification process were the lector priests (ẖr-ḥb), or individuals bearing a different title though clearly performing this function, as in the case of the mortuary priests at Memphis and Hawara. In addition, there is also some indication that in this they were assisted by embalmers (ḳs), thus suggesting there was a division of roles according to rank, although the evidence is not conclusive. In P. Florence 3667 (111BC) the funerary expenses include: The reckoning of the corn for the hand˹s˺ of ˹the people˺ who embalm (pꜣ i҆p sw pꜣ ꜥ.wy˹.w˺ [˹nꜣ rmṯ˺].w ḳs); col. II line 1 146 147 148 149 150 151 152

P. Boulaq 3, col. 7 (Smith 2009, 231). P. Boulaq 3, col. 7 (Smith 2009, 230) (in this quote, italics replace the underlining of the original edition). Martin 2009, 101–109. For a survey of the title ḥry sštꜣ see Rydström 1994, and Balanda 2009. But see Vos 1978, 262–265. Vos 1993, 37, 43, recto I,2. Spiegelberg 1917; Vleeming 2001, 209–211 no. 206. Spiegelberg 1920; Vos 1978, 260–267.

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˹½˺ hin of resin and one ḥbs-cloth for the lector priest ([hn] syf ˹½˺ ḥbs 1 pꜣ ẖr-ḥb) col. III line 3

lector priest half hin of syf-resin (and) 1 ⟨cloth⟩ (ẖr-ḥb gs hn syf ⟨ḥbs⟩ 1) col. III line 9

the expenses for the embalmers (pꜣ hy nꜣ ḳs.w). col. III line 10

The fact that the title lector-priest is used only in the singular, while that of embalmer appears in the plural in both instances, is perhaps an indication of the range of people who took part in the process of embalming and possibly of their different ranks. Thus the embalmers would have been responsible for the actual operations, while the lector-priest may have been in charge of overseeing the proceedings. Different people are also mentioned in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC),153 again suggesting that there would have been a division of competences possibly based on rank. From Thebes there is also evidence to suggest that the choachytes were partly involved in the mummification process, in that they were responsible for the provision of some of the embalming materials and equipment used for the embalmment of the deceased in their care.154 These materials were probably taken out of the association’s stock as suggested by the fact that choachytes are supposed to issue a receipt for them to their house (mtw=f i҆sw r pꜣy=f ꜥ.wy) (line 12), a term used throughout the text to refer to the association itself.155 At Siut the provision of particular cloths fell under the competence of the lector priests themselves, according to P. BM EA 10561

153 154 155

See below. For the relevant passages see above Chapter 11 § 3. A more involved role in the embalming of a deceased relative is suggested by the evidence of P. Turin Suppl. 6083 (105 BC) where the door-keeper Pichos confirms that his sister has paid him for her ⅓ share in the burial of their father Psemminis, son of Zmanres, stating that ‘I will prepare him for burial (and) will lay him to rest in the ḥ.t-tomb’ (mtw=y ḳs=f mtw=y ti҆ ḥtp=f n tꜣ ḥ.t) (lines 4–5). One might have expected Pichos to state that he would cause the father to be mummified, rather than he would mummify him. However, in Text D of P. Berlin P. 3115 (108 BC) the choachytes agree ‘not to apply (embalming)-medicaments to the dead of our house’ (r tm ḥwy pẖr.(t) r mwt n pꜣy=n ꜥ.wy) (line 3), which perhaps suggests it is something that may have happened, or there would not have been any need to prevent it by including such a clause in the association’s regulations.

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(157BC), an agreement stipulated between two groups of lector-priests. The latter is often identified as an embalming agreement, although most of it, in fact, concerns the provision of cloth to individuals performing different operations during the mummification process.156 Party A promises (tw=n ꜥš r-r=k) (line 12) Party B that ‘(as for) the man among us who will be approached concerning a dead man from Siut, together with his colleagues,157 from today onwards, [forever], he will give: 10 cloths to his men;158 1 cloth of taking entry,159 1 lotus flower,160 (and) 2 cloth(s) to the man who will serve him (= the deceased); 5 cloth(s) (for) the 4th day; […] cloth(s) (for) the [˹8th˺] day; 10 cloth(s) (for) the 16th day; 10 (cloth(s)) (for) the 35th day; 10 cloth(s) (for) the day of burial; […] cloth(s) (for) the man ⟨˹who˺⟩ will be approached to anoint him, [(and) ˹we shall not be able to˺] go to any other man at all among them;161 10 cloth(s) (for) the man who will be brought out of the town;162 […] cloth(s) (for) the man who will be turned on the ground’163 (pꜣ rmṯ ni҆m=n nt i҆w=w i҆y n=f r-ḏbꜣ rmṯ i҆w=f mwt n sywṱ i҆rm nꜣy=f sn.w ṯ pꜣ hrw r ḥry [šꜥ ḏt]

156

157 158 159 160

161 162 163

This agreement is markedly different from that recorded in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC) stipulated between an embalmer and the father of a deceased person, but similar to the oath recorded in P. Ashmolean D. 18–19 (1968.13+ 1968. 14) (70–60BC) stipulated between embalmers. I follow Shore and Smith (1960, 285 note d) in understanding the noun as ‘associates’ rather than literally as ‘brothers.’ Presumably the associates of the person who is ‘approached,’ thus either of the contracting parties. For this expression see above Chapter 11 § 3. White Lotus is one of the vegetable substances used during the mummification according to the technical notes in the Embalming Ritual (P. Boulaq 3 [1st–2nd century AD]). See, for example, col. 9 ‘Anoint as far as his fingers on the outside: white lotus, natron, resinous substance;’ col. 10 ‘Place white lotus, natron and resinous substance of the desert in his right hand, and coat with mestenu-liquid;’ col. 11 ‘Apply white lotus, natron and resinous substance, four parts, at the extremities of his legs’ (Smith 2009, 237, 240, 242). The mention of a lotus flower in conjunction with embalming and burial also has a parallel with the letter, possibly from Hermopolis, recorded in P. Louvre E 3334 (198BC) (Ray 1977, 111 note e). The restoration follows the suggestion by Shore and Smith 1960, 286–287 note m. The person to whom reference is made would seem to be the deceased, but the exact meaning of this passage escapes me. It is not clear who this person might be and what his role would be in the mummification

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i҆w=f ty ḥbs 10 n nꜣy=f rmṯ.w ḥbs ṯ ꜥḳ 1 sšn 1 pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f šms r-r=f ḥbs 2 pꜣ hrw mḥ4 ḥbs 5 [pꜣ hrw mḥ-[… ḥbs …] pꜣ hrw mḥ-16 (ḥbs) 10 pꜣ hrw mḥ-35 ḥbs 10 pꜣ hrw n ḳs ḥbs 10 pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=w i҆y ⟨˹n=f ˺⟩ r wrḥ=f ḥbs […] [˹n-mtw=n tm rḫ˺] šm n pꜣ gꜣ rmṯ pꜣ tꜣ n-i҆m=w pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=w i҆n=f pꜣ bnr tmy ḥbs 10 pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=w pnꜥ=f n pꜣ i҆tn [ḥbs …]) (lines 13–16). Party A further affirm that: ‘[˹no one at all shall˺] perform the ceremonies on the 35th day and on the day of burial beside these (men); (and) we shall not be able to give the cloths (with) which we make the ceremonies on the aforesaid days (to) any other man at all, o[˹r … g˺]o (to) another man among them’ ([˹bn i҆w rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ˺] i҆r ḥb n pꜣ hrw mḥ-35 pꜣ hrw n ḳs pꜣ bnr nꜣy n-mtw=n tm rḫ ty nꜣ ḥbs.w nt i҆w=n i҆r (ḥ)b n nꜣ hrw.w nt ḥry gꜣ rmṯ n pꜣ tꜣ š[˹m … g˺]ꜣ rmṯ n-i҆m=w) (lines 16–18). Thus the agreement stipulates that a number of cloths, possibly ceremonial clothing as argued by Shore and Smith,164 are to be given to specific individuals involved in the mummification of a dead person and on specific days, or stages, of this process. Party A further states ‘we shall not be able to give (a) cloth, (an) i҆nw-cloth (or a) gtn-robe [˹besides˺] the cloths aforesaid, (and) we shall not be able to give a bed, a gnrṱ-cloth, a šty-cloth, (or) a funerary bed to an embalmer’165 (n-mtw=n tm rḫ ty ḥbs ˹i҆nw˺ gtn [˹pꜣ bnr˺] ḥbs.w nt ḥry n-mtw=n tm rḫ ty glg gnrṱ šty s.t-sḏr n rmṯ i҆w=f ḳs) (lines 18–19). The items that Party A promises not to give to an embalmer are exactly those that the choachytes were supposed to provide for the embalmment of a dead person under their care. This suggests that there probably was a group of mortuary priests who, if not identified by the same title, certainly performed the same tasks as the Theban choachytes with respect to the deceased. In addition, Party A affirm ‘we sha[ll not be able] to appoint a bandager,166 we ˹having a claim on you˺ to guarantee us concerning him (…) (and) he will take an oath saying: “the cloth is my own cloth of free-man”’ (n-m[tw=n tm rḫ] wꜣḥ-sḥn pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f gyl r-i҆w=n [˹m-sꜣ=k˺] i҆w ꜥš r-ḥr=n ẖr-r=f (…) mtw=f (i҆r) ꜥnḫ ḏ pꜣ ḥbs pꜣy=y ḥbs rmṯ-nmḥ pꜣy) (lines 19–21). The document indicates that, aside from the lector-priest(s), the other individuals involved in the mummification process included the person who anointed the body, the embalmer, and the bandager. The latter, at least at Siut, was also responsible for the provision of the cloth used in the wrapping of the body, for which he would presumably be paid by the

164 165 166

process. For the last two clauses to make sense, one would need to amend them to pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f i҆n=f pꜣ bnr tmy and pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f pnꜥ=f n pꜣ i҆tn, thus understanding them as a reference to the individual who transported the deceased from the town to the necropolis, and to the person who perhaps dug the tomb (or freed its entrance pit of the backfill) or placed him inside it. But see Chapter 18 for a different interpretation. Shore and Smith 1960, 291 and note 30. Literally ‘a man who embalms’ (rmṯ i҆w=f ḳs). Literally ‘a man who wraps’ (rmṯ nt i҆w=f gyl).

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deceased’s family. According to this document he would have been engaged by the lector-priest in charge, although there is no information on what basis the person would have been chosen. In particular, it is not known whether these individuals also divided their territorial competence, as the lector-priests did, or if they were chosen on the basis of personal affiliation with particular lectorpriests. P. Ashmolean D. 18–19 (1968.13+1968.14) (70–60 BC), an oath concerning the territorial competence of a group of god’s seal-bearers, indicates that these individuals belonged to the same class of mortuary priest, though some appear to have specialised in different operations of the mummification process. Party A, a group of god’s seal-bearers, undertakes to refrain from going to a series of named settlements in order ‘to do the work of lector-priest and to anoint’ (r i҆r bꜣk ẖr-ḥb wrḥ) (line 6), thus showing that both these operations fell under the competence of this class of mortuary priests. As has been remarked before, the ‘clients’ of the choachytes appear, in the main, to have belonged to the (upper) middle and lower societal levels, which is perhaps consistent with the fact that the rank of these mortuary priests was not the highest in the temple hierarchy. This suggests that there may have been higher status priests looking after clients from upper levels of society.167 This being the case, it is possible that the same criterion applied to the individuals responsible for the mummification, which may be the reason why there are no recorded individuals by the title of overseer of the mystery in charge of the mummification of the deceased attested in the documents under analysis. One aspect that should be remembered is that all of the individuals involved in the mummification and burial of a person (thus performing the function of choachytes, lector-priests and embalmers, whatever their actual title) would need to be remunerated, which amount would, presumably, depend on their status. Thus the higher the status of the priests attending the dead, as well as their number, the higher the cost of the entire process. However, as the old adage goes, ‘the dead do not bury themselves.’168 Thus the standing of the priests involved in the mummification would be a reflection also of the standing of the deceased’s living relatives, who would have strived to employ the services of someone of a comparable, if not higher, social status than their own. 167 168

Bataille 1952, 252–254; Schreiber 2007, 344–345. See also Chapter 14 §3 below. Parker Pearson 1999, 3.

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Burial Whether professionally embalmed, or simply prepared by family members, the body was now ready for the final journey to the burial place. The responsibility for the care of the deceased now passed to the choachytes, or those funerary priests performing this function.

1

Role of the Funerary Priests Following the Mummification Process

Although, as noted above, it was the funerary attendants who performed the function of lector-priests that were in charge in the embalming place, choachytes appear to have been present too.1 It was them that at the end of the mummification process took charge of the deceased, although it is not clear from the documentary sources who were the individuals that would be performing the final rites before the actual entombment.2 In P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC), from Thebes, the embalmer undertakes to deliver the embalmed body to the family’s choachyte within the 72nd day, thus, again, suggesting that the latter was responsible for the deceased’s entombment. Additional evidence for the presence of choachytes in the embalming place is provided by O. Strassburg 189 (Roman Period) in which the ferryman undertakes to ferry over not only the deceased, but also his embalmer and his choachyte.3 By contrast, in those areas where the function of both choachytes and lector priests was performed by the same individual, with the title of god’s seal-bearer and embalmer, the latter would be in charge of the burial of the deceased, as well as its mummification. A clear indication that the burial was the responsibility of this class of mortuary priests is provided by P. Carlsberg 37a (220 BC) in which, with respect to the deceased person, party A declares: ‘I will take him to the ḥ.t-tomb of Teos son of Pasis, your father, in the necropolis of Hawara, he being embalmed, after he has been placed in my care (lit. hand) embalmed’ (i҆w=y ṯ.ṱ=f r tꜣ ḥ.t n ḏ-ḥr sꜣ p-si҆y pꜣy=t i҆ṱ n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḥ.t-wr i҆w=f ḳs i҆w=w ty s r ḏr.ṱ=y i҆w=f ḳs) (lines 7–8). And similarly in P. Carlsberg 37b (220BC) where party A states: ‘I will bring him (scil. her deceased husband) to you for (the burial in) the ḥ.t-tomb of (…) Teos son of 1 See above Chapter 11 § 4. 2 See also below Chapter 12 § 2. 3 Vinson 1998, 176–177. On this document see also above Chapter 10 §3.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_014

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Pasis, (…) my father, which is in the necropolis of Hawara, he being mummified’ (i҆w=y i҆n.ṱ=f n=k r tꜣ ḥ.t n (…) ḏ-ḥr sꜣ pa-si҆y (…) pꜣy=y i҆ṱ nt n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḥ.t-wr i҆w=f ḳs) (lines 5–6). The same is also shown by those contracts, stipulated among god’s seal-bearers and embalmers, concerning the sale or donation of assets generating funerary-income. This is the case in P. Rendell (232BC), P. BM EA 10605 (98BC) and P. Hamburg 2 (83BC), all of which concern the transfer of liturgies in ḥ.t-tombs, as well as P. Cairo 50126 (116–107 BC), P. Ashmolean D. 10 (1968.10) (99–98BC) and P. Hamburg 9 (79BC), concerning liturgies in ꜥ.wy-rmṯ-tombs, which indicate that the god’s seal-bearers and embalmers were involved in the burial as well. Were this not the case, they would not have any rights in these structures, since their responsibility would have ended with the mummification of the deceased.

2

Funeral and Burial

On the day of burial the deceased, accompanied by family and friends, would be conveyed from the embalming place to the tomb, in a solemn procession and amidst much mourning. These phases are often included in the decorative programme of tombs and funerary papyri, and consist of stages five and six of the seven main funerary ritual complexes: 5. Procession to the Tomb ‘funeral’ ( jrt ḳrst nfrt) 6. Opening of the Mouth ritual ‘opening of the mouth’ (wpt rꜣ) According to these images, before the deceased was finally laid to rest in the tomb, one last rite to be carried out was the Opening of the Mouth Ritual,4 or an equivalent, which would be performed before the deceased was placed in his/her final resting place.5 The ritual centred around two main themes: the (re)animation of the mummified body (or of a statue of the deceased), and the purification and presentation of offerings, which involved the feeding and clothing of the deceased. In sacramental terms, the presentation of offerings symbolised the social reintegration of the deceased in the community of the gods, allowing him to partake in the offerings presented to them.6 In fact, although the mummification had stopped the process of decomposition ensuring the material preservation of the body, while ritualistically averting the 4 See Smith 1993 and 2009 (Texts 16–19) for examples of this type of afterlife composition. 5 Assmann 2005, 310; Smith 2009, 40. 6 Smith 1993, 8, 13; Assmann 2005, 310–329.

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dangers present during the transitional state between the earthly and the eternal life, the bodily functions essential to life itself were yet to be restored to the deceased, who in this revivified state, had to be dressed and fed for the first time. The elaborate liturgy by which these operations were accomplished was the Opening of the Mouth Ritual.7 Of the dramatis personae involved in the performance of these rituals, the chief lector priest and the sem-priest,8 representing the son of the deceased, were the main officiants.9 In the archaeological record evidence for the performance of this cult would consist of the cultic instruments and tools used during the performance of the ritual. Among the embalmers’ deposits found in the tomb of Menekhibnekau at Abusir, for example, were discovered two faience offering tables, which may have been used for this purpose. What is very interesting in this context is the fact that these objects appear to have been among the last ones to be deposited in the tomb,10 thus one can envisage the priest at the end of the ritual performance depositing these inside the tomb before finally sealing it at the end of the mortuary proceedings. The actual interment of the body was followed by the recitations of additional mortuary texts. The second composition preserved in P. BM EA 10507,11 for example, prescribes that the ritual be recited in the presence of the deceased on the night of his ‘burial feast.’ As Smith argues, the fact that the document refers to the night (grḥ) of the deceased’s ḥb ḳs.t suggests that the feast took place within the course of a single day, which was probably also the day of the actual interment. Because the recitation is supposed to take place in the presence of the individual on the night of burial, thus after the deceased has been laid to rest, it follows that the text was recited at the tomb itself, and that this is also the place where the ḥb ḳs was celebrated.12 Another religious composition that may have been recited at the tomb after the deceased had been

7 8

9 10 11

12

Davies and Gardiner 1915, 57. His professional title was that of ka-priest and he was responsible for the mortuary cult in the tomb (Assmann 2005, 303), thus his role corresponded to that of the choachytes in the Ptolemaic funerary context. Assmann 2005, 302–303, and 311 fig. 5; Smith 1993, 15 (b). The offering tables were found at the end of corridor B, which is a continuation of the deposits found in corridors C and D (Smoláriková 2011, 87 and Figs. 13, 30–31). This second composition (P. BM EA 10507 columns II and III) is described as ‘The book which was made in exact accordance with his desire for Horemheb the son of Petemin to cause it to be recited as an opening of the mouth document in his presence on the night of his burial feast’ (mḏꜣ.(t) i҆r m i҆b=f (n)-tnf n ḥr-m-ḥb sꜣ pꜣ-ti҆-mn r ti҆ ꜥš=w s wpy-rꜣ m-bꜣḥ=f n grḥ n pꜣy=f ḥb qs.(t)) (lines 1–2) (Smith 1987). Smith 1987, 22.

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laid to rest is the ‘Spell for Striking the Copper’ (P. Strasbourg 3 verso) (Early first century AD). This was to be recited in conjunction with the lighting of a torch, and was intended to protect and illuminate the way for the deceased, thus permitting movement.13 No evidence at all can be gathered from the documentary sources on the actual burial procedures, but the use of the same term ḥb ḳs, or festival of burial, in P. Lille 29 (223BC) from the Fayum, indicates that there would have been some kind of formal celebration to honour the deceased, perhaps involving the consumption of food. In this document, the association’s members undertake to give ‘25 rations (for) his (scil. the deceased’s) burial ceremony’ (pꜣy=f ḥb ḳs ꜥḳ 25) (line 18).14 In fact, there is some evidence that Egyptian funerals ended with a banquet, which took place in, or at, the tomb.15 Evidence for funerary repasts is also found in the archaeological record, which suggests this would have taken place at the time of burial,16 while another celebration may have taken place at the home of the deceased.17 As noted above,18 the regulations of some religious associations in the Fayum indicate that the association members would take the relatives to the association’s meeting place and share a drink with them, although there is no evidence for the actual consumption of a funerary repast. On the other hand, evidence for the latter is found in a small number of documents written in Greek which record a list of expenses undertaken on such an occasion, although they do not specify where and when such a repast took place. P. Tebtunis 118 (Late 2nd century BC) records three different accounts made on three different dates, although only the first is clearly labelled as an account relating to a ‘funeral repast’ (περίδειπνον). The text opens with the heading ‘Hathyr 17: for the funeral repast of Kalatutis’ (line 1), followed by a list of the people present, identified either as members or as guests, and the expenses undertaken: 1 6-chous-jar of wine: 2000 drachmae 6 dinner loaves: 190 drachmae

13 14 15

16

17 18

Smith 2009, Text 20, and 389–390, 392. In addition, in P. BM EA 10561 (157 BC) it is agreed that 10 cloths are to be given for the day of burial (pꜣ hrw ḳs). Smith 1987, 23 and note 66 with further references. There is also some evidence indicating that some of the Deir el-Medina workmen were given time off work to attend the various ceremonies that accompanied the burial (Janssen 1980, 138–141; Smith 1987, 23). Evidence for this is found in Egypt (see for example Emery 1962) and in Classical Greece whence there is also some evidence for food offerings made at the grave (Wilson 2006, 135). Kurtz and Boardman 1971, 146; Wilson 2006, 135. See Chapter 10 § 1.

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total for 22 persons: 2190 drachmae Total 22 at 100 drachmae (each): 2200 drachmae, in the house [10 drachmae?]. lines 2–3

The text specifies that of the 22 persons present 18 were members (σύνδειπνοι) while four were guests (ξένοι) (line 4). On the 20th, possibly of the same month, another such account is listed although it is not specified whether it refers to the same event: 1 6-chous-jar of wine: 2000 drachmae 1 garland: 120 drachmae total: 2120 drachmae. total 23 (persons) at 100 drachmae (each): 2300 drachmae, in the house 180 drachmae. line 9–15

On this occasion there were present 18 members and some individually named guests. The next list is dated Tybi 25th again without any indication of whether it refers to the same event: 1 jar of wine: 2000 drachmae 1 garland: [120 drachmae] total: 2120 drachmae total 21 (persons) at 100 drachmae (each): 2100 drachmae, expenses 20 drachmae.19 lines 16–18

The editors identified this document as ‘accounts of a dining-club’ without, however, commenting on the fact that at least one of these refers to a funeral repast in honour of a deceased person.20 It is tempting to see a connection 19 20

Grenfell et al. 1902, 491–492. Grenfell et al. 1902, 491. The same type of account is also recorded in P. Tebtunis 177 (1st century BC) which mentions a funeral repast, some people identified as guests, and some keramion of wine costing 2400 and 2300 drachmae. The text mentions Regnal year 6 which the authors suggest refers either to the reign of Ptolemy IX Soter II (112–111BC) or to that of Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysus (76–75 BC) (Grenfell et al. 1902, 525). Another document, P. Tebtunis 224 (Late 2nd century BC), is also identified by the editors as an ‘account of a dining-club’ (Grenfell et al. 1902, 491), like P. Tebtunis 118 and 177. However, in this document there does not seem to be any reference to a funeral repast (περίδειπνον) as in the

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between this text and the Demotic documents concerning the regulations adopted by religious associations in some of which reference is made to the members’ obligation to drink with their bereaved colleague who has lost a relative, or to offer a drink to the relatives of the association’s member on the occasion of the latter’s death. Indeed, the fact that some of the people listed in the preceding texts are identified as members may indicate that they belonged to an association, religious or otherwise, while those identified as guests could have been the relatives of the deceased person.

3

The Lexicology of the Entombment

The documents from the Theban area employ a number of different verbal constructions to refer to the act of burying the deceased. The difference between them is not immediately apparent, but is possibly linked, at least in part, to temporal changes in scribal practices. A comparison of the date range attestation for each of these constructions indicates that there is certainly also a temporal change in the formulae used. In particular, such a comparison suggests that there may have been a perceived difference between the construction ‘to take to’ (ṯ r-r=s) and ‘to be buried in’ (ḳs r), with the latter denoting the final entombment, while the former perhaps denoted the simple deposition of the deceased in the tomb to await final burial. Similarly, the same type of difference may have existed between the construction ‘to appertain to’ (ṯ r) and ‘to rest in it’ (ḥtp ẖn=s), with the former being perhaps equivalent to ṯ r-r=s, ‘to take to,’ in use in earlier documents. 3.1 To Take to (ṯ r-r=s) One of the most common expressions is that which employs the verb ṯ ‘to take’ to refer to the act of placing the deceased in the tomb, using it, transitively, in the construction ṯ r-r=s (variant ṯ r-ḥr=s) ‘to take to it,’ attested in a number of texts from 302 to around 153BC. Examples are found in P. Philadelphia V (302BC) in which party A sells two tombs to party B. With respect to the first structure the seller specifies: ‘you may take your people whom you will wish to take to it’ (mtw=k ṯ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r mr ṯ.ṱ=w r-ḥr=s) (line 1); also adding ‘I will not be able to take any person at all to the s.t-tomb aforesaid in order to leave him there, besides your people whom you will say to me “take them to it” ’ other two, although there is mention of guests (ξένοι), and some keramion of wine. The text mentions a total of 12 people 3 of which are identified as ἀφέσιμοι whom the authors suggest may indicate people who paid nothing for the event (Grenfell et al. 1902, 532).

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Temporal variation in the use of the term ‘to bury’

Dates BC 300 275 250 225 200 175 150 125 100 75 50 25 ṯ r-r=s ḳs r ṯr ḥtp ẖn=s i҆y r rṱ ty r-ḥr=s ty ḥtp r ḫꜣꜥ

302 302

153 125 124 114 114 98

241 227 302 153 302

(i҆w bn i҆w(=y) rḫ ṯ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ r tꜣ s.t nt ḥry r ḫꜣꜥ=f n-i҆m=w n-m-sꜣ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r ḏ n=y ṯ s r-ḥr=s) (lines 4–5). While, with respect to the second tomb, party A specifies that it is destined for the buyer’s dead: ‘your people whom you will take to it’ (nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r ṯ.ṱ=w r-ḥr=s) (line 7). Similarly in P. Philadelphia VI (301BC), the cession document for the two tombs sold with the previous contract, party A states: ‘you are to take your people to it’ (mtw=k ṯ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w r-r=w) (line 7). In P. Philadelphia XXIV (227BC), the contract for the hire of a choachyte mentioned in the previous chapter, party A specifies that neither the choachyte nor his offspring will be able to bury anyone else there: ‘you (scil. the choachyte) will not be able to take any man at all to it (scil. the tomb)’ (r/i҆w bn i҆w=k rḫ ṯ rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ n-i҆m=w (read: r-r=w)) (line 4) (r bn i҆w rḫ ˹nꜣy=k ẖrṱ.w˺ ṯ rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ n-i҆m=w (read: r-r=w)) (line 4), beside the deceased people belonging to party A. In addition, party B stipulates: ‘you (scil. the choachyte) will serve me and any man belonging to me whom is taken to the said ḥ.t-tomb’ (mtw=k šms ṱ(=y) i҆rm rmṯ nb nt mtw=y nt ˹i҆w=w˺ ṯ.ṱ=w r tꜣ ḥ.t rn=s) (line 4). Finally, party A reserves the right to force the choachyte to remove any person whom he has placed in the tomb: ‘if it happens that I find people whom you have taken to the abovementioned ḥ.t-tomb (…) I have a claim on you to cause that you carry the people, whom you have taken to it, out again’ (i҆w=f ḫpr i҆w gm=y rmṯ i҆w ṯ=k s r tꜣ ḥ.t nt ḥry (…) i҆w=y m-sꜣ=k r ty fy=k nꜣ rmṯ.w ṯ=k n-i҆m=w (read: r-r=w) r bnr ꜥn) (line 5). The same construction also occurs in P. Brussels E 6037 (153 BC), a list of liturgies inherited by a choachyte, party A states that party B is to place a certain deceased in the s.t-tomb of Tateletem ‘together with the rest of the men whom you will desire to take to them’ (ḥnꜥ pꜣ sp rmṯ nt i҆w i҆r=k r wḫꜣ n ṯ.ṱ=f ˹r˺ n-

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i҆m=w (read: r-r=w)21) (col. 2 lines 27–28); while, with respect to other deceased people, he states: ‘they will not be able to hinder them from being taken to the ḥ.t-tomb of ˹ Paibeh˺’ (i҆w bn i҆w=w rḫ ꜥḥꜥ ḥꜣ.ṱ=w r ṯ.ṱ=[w] r tꜣ ḥ.t n ˹Pꜣ-i҆bḥ˺) (col. 2 lines 35–36).22 3.2 To Place (ty r-ḥr=s), to Lay to Rest (ty ḥtp r) Among the documents analysed there is only one, P. Philadelphia V (302 BC), that uses the verb ty ‘to place, put’ in the construction ty r-ḥr=s to refer to the burying of deceased people in a tomb: ‘I am also to ˹remove˺ the person whom I have placed inside it’ (mtw=y ˹rk˺ pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=y tw=f r-ḥr=s ꜥn) (line 6). The same verb is also used in the construction ty ḥtp r ‘to lay to rest’ also with the meaning of burying deceased people in a tomb. The only two examples occur in the list of liturgies recorded in P. Brussels E 6037 (153 BC) where the text reads: ‘the s.t of Pagonis together with the rest of the men whom you will desire to lay to rest in the (tomb)-shaft’ (tꜣ s.t n pa-wn ḥnꜥ pꜣ sp rmṯ nt i҆w i҆r=k r wḫꜣ n ty ḥtp=f ẖn23 pꜣ šḳ) (col. 2 lines 23–24); while party A specifies: ‘you are to place to rest the woman of Harpaesis, the man from Crocodilopolis, in the s.t-tomb of Tateletem’ (mtw=k ty.t ḥtp tꜣ rmṯ.t n ḥr-pa-i҆s.t pꜣ rmṯ n ꜣmwl n tꜣ s.t n ta-tꜣ-i҆tm) (col. 2 lines 25–27). 3.3 To Rest in It/With Somebody (ḥtp ẖn=s/ i ҆rm=) In a large number of documents the deceased is said to be resting either inside a tomb (ḥtp ẖn=s variant ḥtp n-i҆m=w) or with someone (ḥtp i҆rm=). Examples span the period between 227 and 114BC. In P. Louvre E 2415 (225BC), a contract of sale of liturgies, the list includes ‘the s.t of the master Teos, the blessed one (…), together with his people, and with every person who rests in the said s.t-tomb’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ ḥry ḏ-ḥr pꜣ ḥsy (…) ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ḥtp tꜣ s.t rn=s) (line 3), and ‘this s.t-tomb (…) and the people who rest ˹within it˺’ (tꜣy s.t (…) ḥnꜥ nꜣ rmṯ.w nt ḥtp ˹ẖn=s˺) (line 5). Similarly in P. Berlin P. 3096 (222BC), another contract of sale for a house and some liturgies, where party A sells ‘the half of the s.t-tomb within which I am to rest’ (tꜣ pš.t tꜣ s.t nt i҆w=y ḥtp ẖn=s) (line 7). Several other examples are also found in 21 22

23

Pestman 1993, 469 Ex. 10. Similarly, in P. Amherst 58b (153 BC?) (Pestman 1993, 469 Ex. 9), another list of liturgies inherited by the sister of party B in the previous contract, the document reads: ‘Tameseh, the heardswoman, and Sennesis, her sister, you will take them to the s.t-tomb of Tateitum’ (tꜣ-msḥ tꜣ ꜥꜣm.t ḥnꜥ tꜣ-šr.t-i҆s.t tꜣy=s sn.t mtw=k ṯ.ṱ=[w] r tꜣ s.t n ta-tꜣ-i҆tm) (col. 2 lines 7–8). Spiegelberg read the word as i҆n (1909, 20 line 24), but I think the word could be ẖn since there is enough space in the gap for the determinative. Thus also Pestman 1993, 468 note bb.

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P. BM EA 10073 (217BC), concerning the sale of a house and some liturgies,24 and in P. Philadelphia XXVI (217BC), a contract of sale of tombs, which list of properties include ‘the master Petobastis together with the s.t-tomb in which he rests’ (pꜣ ḥry pꜣ-ty-bꜣst.t ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t nt i҆w=f ḥtp ẖn=s) (line 3). The specification of the neighbouring properties concludes with the statement: ‘totalling the neighbours of the s.t-tomb together with Petobastis who rests therein’ (r nꜣ hyn.w tꜣ s.t ḥnꜥ pꜣ-ty-bꜣst.t nt ḥtp ẖn=˹s˺) (line 4); while the contract continues: ‘the master Herpa[…] (…) together with the s.t-tomb in which he rests’ (pꜣ ḥry ḥr-pꜣ-[…] (…) ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t nt i҆w=f ḥtp ẖn=˹s˺) (line 4–5). In P. BM EA 10829 (209 BC), a document of division of tombs, the list includes ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Psansnos together with the master Psenoros who rests with him’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry pꜣ-sn-sn.w ḥnꜥ pꜣ ḥry pꜣ-šr-ḥr nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 3). Similarly, in P. BM EA 10614 (175BC), a cession of tombs, the contract lists ‘the s.t of Thoteous son of Parates the door-keeper of Amun and those who rest with him’ (tꜣ s.t ḏḥwṱ-i҆w sꜣ pa-rṱ pꜣ i҆ry-ꜥꜣ i҆mn i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 5). In P. BM EA 10615 (175BC), another cession of tombs, there are several examples of both constructions. The contract begins with the opening statement by party A: ‘I am far from you with respect to your ḥ.wt-tombs, together with your s.wt-tombs, your mꜣꜥ-chapels, your plots of land, and those who rest therein’ (tw=y wy.ṱ r-r=k n nꜣy=k ḥ.wt ḥnꜥ nꜣy=k s.wt nꜣy=k mꜣꜥ.w nꜣy=k wrḥ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (line 2). Then it continues with their specification, which includes, for example, ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Mires, the master Parates and his people and those who rest with him’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry mꜣy-rs pꜣ ḥry pa-rṱ i҆rm nꜣy=f rmṯ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 4); and ‘the tower-tomb in which rests the master Amenothes and his people’ (pꜣ mkṱr nt i҆w pꜣ ḥry i҆mn-ḥtp ḥtp n-i҆m=f i҆rm nꜣy=f rmṯ.w) (line 4).25 24

25

The same document also lists ‘the s.t-tomb of Tꜣ-[ḫꜣꜥ.t] (Ta-wn?) together with the person(s) (and?) those who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t tꜣ-[ḫꜣꜥ.t] ḥnꜥ ˹rmṯ nꜣ nt˺ ḥtp ẖn=s) (recto IV line 3); ‘the s.t-tomb of Esminis the door-keeper of Montu, together with the door-keepers of Montu who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t ns-mn pꜣ i҆ry-ꜥꜣ mnṱ ḥnꜥ i҆ry.w-ꜥꜣ mnṱ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (recto V line 1); ‘the s.t-tomb of Totoes pꜣ nb ꜥnḫ together with every person who rests therein’ (tꜣ s.t twt pꜣ nb ꜥnḫ ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (recto V line 2); ‘the half of the s.t-tomb of Taesis together with her people who rest therein’ (tꜣ pš n tꜣ s.t ta-i҆s.t ḥnꜥ nꜣy=s rmṯ.w nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (recto V lines 2–3); ‘the s.t-tomb of the master Esminis the blessed one toge[ther with] the mistress [Tai-…] who rests [˹therein˺] with him’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ ḥry ns-mn pꜣ ḥsy ḥ[nꜥ] tꜣ ḥry.t [Tꜣy…] nt ḥtp [˹n-i҆m=w˺] i҆rm=f ) (recto V line 3–recto VI line 1); ‘[the] s.t-tomb of ˹Chronios˺ together with every person that rests therein’ ([tꜣ] s.t ˹grnys˺ ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (recto VI lines 1–2). The same document also lists ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of Senmouthis and those who rest with her’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ tꜣ-šr.t-mw.t i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=s) (line 4); ‘the s.t-tomb of Satyros and those who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t stwlys i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (line 4); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Horos son of Esminis

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In P. BM EA 10226 (185BC), a contract of sale of tombs, the list of liturgies includes ‘the master ˹Ḥmḳ˺ the younger and his s.t-tomb with their people and those who rest with them’ (pꜣ ḥry ˹Ḥmḳ˺ pꜣ h̭ m i҆rm nꜣy=w rmṯ.w i҆rm n ꜣnt ḥtp i҆rm=w) (recto IV lines 3–4). Similarly, P. BM EA 10612 (175 BC), an agreement concerning a tomb division, includes among the properties listed ‘the master P[sen]chonsis and those who rest with him and his s.wt-tombs’ (pꜣ ḥry pꜣ-[šr]ḫnsw ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f s.wt) (line 7); and ‘the mistress Taous and her s.wt-tombs and those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥry.t tꜣy-ꜥw ḥnꜥ nꜣy=s s.wt i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w) (line 20). In P. BM EA 10223 (171? BC), a document of transfer of tombs, the southern neighbour of one of the tomb listed is described as: ‘the path of the ꜥ.wy-ḥtp ` and those who rest therein´’ (pꜣ myt pꜣ ꜥ.wy-ḥtp`i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s´) (lines 6–7a). Additional examples are found in P. Brussels E 6037 (153 BC),26 in P. Amherst 60b (153BC), which list of liturgies includes ‘the mꜣꜥ of Paiu together with those resting with him’ (ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (col. 1 line 11);27 in P. Berlin P. 3119 and in P. Bibl. Nat. 218 + P. BM EA 10396 (146 BC), two documents of sale mortis causa(?) of liturgies in favour of two sons.28 In P. Berlin P. 5507 and 3098 (136 BC), a sale

26

27 28

and those who rest with him’ (tꜣ ḥ.t ḥr sꜣ ns-mn i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 5); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Hetpheubastis and those who rest with her’ (tꜣ ḥ.t ḥtp-bꜣst.t i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=s) (line 5); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Psenthotres and his people who rest with him’ (tꜣ ḥ.t pꜣ-šr-ḏḥwṱ-rs i҆rm nꜣy=f rmṯ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 5); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Totoes the barber/mender and those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥ.t twt pꜣ ẖꜥḳ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (line 6); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Pchorchonsis son of Onnophris and his ˹people˺ and those who rest with them’ (tꜣ ḥ.t pꜣ-ẖr-ḫnsw sꜣ wn-nfr i҆rm nꜣy=f ˹rmṯ.w˺ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=w) (line 6); ‘the half of the ḥ.t-tomb of Taishur and the people of your father who are dead and rest with her’ (tꜣ pš.t tꜣ ḥ.t tꜣ-i҆šwr i҆rm nꜣ rmṯ.w pꜣy=k i҆ṱ nt ḳs nt ḥtp i҆rm=s) (line 6); ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Nechthmonthes and his people and those who rest with him’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry Nḫt.ṱ-mnṱ i҆rm nꜣy=f rmṯ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 7); ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Panas and those who rest with him’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry pa-nꜣ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=f ) (line 7). The document includes also ‘the s.t-tomb of Psenamounis the craftsman together with those who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ-šr-i҆mn pꜣ ḥm-ḫt ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (col. 1 line 24); ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of Tanous [together with those who] rest therein’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ n ta-nwꜣ [ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt] ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (col. 1 line 26); ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of ˹ Shemaa˺ the gl-hb together with those who rest therein’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ n ˹Š-mꜣꜥ˺ pꜣ gl-hb ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (col. 1 line 27); ‘the s.t-tomb of Psenamounis son of [Horos] together with those who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ-šr-i҆mn sꜣ [ḥr] ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (col. 1 line 28); ‘the s.t-tomb of Paibis the craftsman together with his children who rest therein’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ-hb pꜣ ḥm-ḫt ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w nꜣ nt ḥtp n-i҆m=w) (col. 2 lines 5–6); ‘the s.t-tomb of Pamenis the barber together with those who rest with them’ (tꜣ s.t pa-mn pꜣ ḫꜥḳ ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=w) (col. 2 lines 10–11); ‘the s.t-tomb of Pipes the dancer together with those who rest with them’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣy-pꜥ pꜣ ṯnfy ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp i҆rm=w) (col. 2 lines 12–13). Pestman 1993, 471, Ex. 13. The documents includes the following liturgies: ‘the šty-revenues of the pure ones who

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and cession of liturgies respectively, the list includes: ‘the half of the master [Pa-i҆]w the blessed one, together with those who rest with him’ (tꜣ pš.t pꜣ ḥry [pa-y]w pꜣ ḥsy i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp.w i҆rm=f ) (line 7). At the end of the contract the seller states: ‘total of the ḥ.wt-tombs and their ˹shafts˺ and those who rest in them’ (tmt nꜣy=w ḥ.wt i҆rm nꜣy=w ˹šḳ.w˺ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w) (line 7). Similarly in P. Berlin P. 3099 (124 BC), a donation of liturgies to a son, in which are listed ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Psenchonsis son of Pinas and those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n pꜣ-šr-ḫnsw sꜣ pꜣy-nꜣ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (line 5); ‘together with the ¼ of the ḥ.ttomb of Nesbentit and those who rest therein, together with their women (and) their children’ (ḥnꜥ pꜣ ¼ n tꜣ ḥ.t ns-bntyt i҆rm n ꜣnt ḥtp ẖn=s i҆rm nꜣy=w sḥm.wt nꜣy=w ẖrṱ.w) (line 10).29 Another example is found in P. Berlin P. 3118 (116 BC), a hn-agreement between heirs, which lists: ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Psenchonsis son of Pinas, his wives (and) his children, with those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥ.t pꜣ-šr-ḫnsw sꜣ pꜣy-nꜣ nꜣy=f ḥm.wt nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (lines 2–3). Finally, a number of examples are found among the list of liturgies recorded in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC), including ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Psenchonsis son of Pinas together with those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥ.t pꜣ-šr-ḫnsw sꜣ pꜣy-nꜣ ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (col. 2 line 15); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Nespertet together with those who rest therein’ (tꜣ ḥ.t ns-pr-dd ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (col. 2 line 16);30 and ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Tu[…] together with those who rest inside it, together with the ⅓ of the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Pichos who rests (= located?) in Djeme, together with the ⅓ of his people, who rest with him, (from) Hermonthis’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n tw[…] ḥnꜥ ⟨nꜣ⟩ nt ḥtp ẖn=s ḥnꜥ pꜣ ⅓ pꜣ mꜣꜥ [pꜣ ḥry pꜣy-k]ꜣ nt ḥtp n ḏmꜣ ḥnꜥ pꜣ ⅓ nꜣy=f rmṯ.[w] nt ḥtp i҆rm=f i҆wnw-mnṱ) (col. 3 lines 2–4).31

29

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rest in the ḥ.t-tomb of Nebwenen’ (nꜣ šty.w n nꜣ wꜥb.w nt ḥtp ẖn tꜣ ḥ.t n nb-wnn) (line 3); ‘the šty-revenues of the s.t-tomb of Peteutemis together with his people and those who rest therein’ (nꜣ šty.w n tꜣ s.t n pꜣ-ty-nfr-tm i҆rm nꜣy=f rmṯ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (line 4); ‘the šty-revenues of the s.t-tomb of Petechons the carrier of the milk-jar, together with the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the master Kedjadja the blessed one, and their people and those who rest therein’ (šty.w n tꜣ s.t n pꜣ-ty-ḫnsw pꜣ fy mhn i҆rm pꜣ mꜣꜥ ḥry k-ḏꜣḏꜣ pꜣ ḥsy i҆rm nꜣy=w rmṯ.w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w) (line 4). P. Berlin P. 3100 and 5508 (124 BC), recording the donation of liturgies to the other two sons, include only ‘¼ of the ḥ.t-tomb of Nesbentit and those who rest therein, together with their women (and) their children.’ For the alternative to Erichsen’s reading Nespertet see Pestman 1993, 480. The document also lists ‘Philon, the man from Coptos, their brother, his woman (and) his children, (…) together with its people (from) Hermonthis who rest inside it’ (phyln pꜣ rmṯ ḳbṱ pꜣy=w sn tꜣy=f sḥm.t nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w (…) ḥnꜥ nꜣy=s rmṯ.w i҆wnw-mnṱ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (col. 3 lines 8–10); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Pestaus the mender (…) together with those who rest in it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n pꜣ-ꜣstw pꜣ ẖꜥḳ ḥnꜥ ⟨nꜣ⟩ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (col. 3 lines 11–12); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Herieus the builder, together with those who rest inside ⟨it⟩’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n hry=w pꜣ ḳt ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn⟨=s⟩)

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3.4 To Be Buried in (ḳs r) Another of the verbal constructions used is that which employs the verb ḳs ‘to bury’ followed by a preposition, ḳs r, literally ‘to be buried to,’ attested in texts ranging in date from 302 to 125BC. Examples for the use of the verb ḳs in this context are found in P. Louvre E 3440 B (175BC), a contract of sale of houses, tombs and revenues, which includes ‘the šty-revenues of the s.t-tomb of the god’s father Pinuris son of Teephthaphonichos and those who are buried there’ (nꜣ šty.w tꜣ s.t i҆t-nṯr pꜣ-i҆wi҆w-ḥr sꜣ ḏ-ptḥ-i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s) (line 3a); and ‘the s.t-tomb of Harwa and those who are buried there’ (tꜣ s.t ḥlw i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s) (line 3b). Another example is found in P. Amherst 51 (140 BC), a document of division of inheritance, which lists, among others, ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Petearpochrates (…) and those buried in it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n pꜣ-ty-ḥr-pꜣ-rꜥ (…) i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s) (lines 15–16).32 Similarly in P. Amherst 57 (125 BC), another document of division of inheritance, which lists ‘the ḥ.ttomb of Petenephotes son of Payweten (…) and those buried in it’ (line 4).33 However, in all other instances where this verb is used with the same meaning, it is found in conjunction with the construction ḥtp ẖn=. Examples are also found in P. Louvre E 3440 A–B + P. Berlin P. 3112 (175 BC), a contract of sale and cession of a number of houses, tombs and revenues.34 Following a list of tombs the texts add ‘the šty.w-revenues and the offerings of those who are buried in them and those who rest in them’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ i҆ḫy.w nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=w ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w) (P. Louvre E 3440 B line 5; P. Louvre E 3440 A line 5; P. Berlin P. 3112 lines 10–11). Similarly in P. Naples Dem. 8414 (126 BC), a sale of liturgies and emoluments, in which the properties sold include ‘the half of my 1⁄9 of those who rest therein (scil. in the tombs sold), and those who are buried in them’ (tꜣ pš n pꜣy=y 1⁄9 n nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=w) (line 3); and ‘the half of my 1⁄10 of those who rest therein, and those who are buried in them’ (tꜣ pš n pꜣy=y 1⁄10 n

32 33 34

(col. 3 line 16); ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Sosichrates the husband of Lolous (…) together with those who rest inside it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n swsygrts pꜣ hy n lwl (…) ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp.w ẖn=s) (col. 5 lines 21–22); and ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Timouthis together with those who rest inside it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n tꜣy-mw.t ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=s) (col. 5 line 26). Pestman 1993, 85–86, 469. Pestman 1993, 118–119, 469, 479. Pestman does not give the full transliteration of this passage. In the sale document recorded in P. Louvre E 3440 B (175BC) Party A transfers to party B ‘the šty.w-revenues from the s.t-tomb of the divine father Pinuris son of Teephthaphonichos and those who are buried in it, together with the šty.w-revenues from the s.t-tomb of Harwa and those who are buried in it’ (nꜣ šty.w tꜣ s.t n i҆t-nṯr pꜣ-i҆wi҆w-ḥr sꜣ ḏ-ptḥ-i҆w=f-ꜥnḫ i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s ḥnꜥ nꜣ šty.w tꜣ s.t ḥlw i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s) (line 3). By contrast the clause i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=s is not included in the cession deed recorded in P. Louvre E 3440 A and the copy of the sale contract recorded in P. Berlin P. 3112.

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nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=w) (line 3). A final example is found in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC) in which the liturgies listed include ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Sosichrates the husband of Lolous together with those buried in it and with those who rest inside it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n swsygrts pꜣ hy n lwl ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḳs.w r-r=s ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt ḥtp.w ẖn=s) (col. 5 lines 21–22). The fact that these texts distinguish between people who are buried (ḳs) in the tomb and those who are resting (ḥtp) there, suggests that the two terms refer to two different burial conditions, perhaps one definitive and the other temporary, or entombed as opposed to being in a chapel. It is also possible that the verb ḥtp had here the more general meaning of being inside a tomb, whereas ḳs may have had a more specific meaning and referred to mummies buried, for example, in underground chambers. The condition indicated by the verb ḳs is also contrasted with another, that of being ‘on the head-rest.’ This usage is attested in P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC) in which party A specifies: ‘you (scil. the choachyte) will not be able to take any man at all to it (scil. the tomb) either being buried or being on the head-rests’ (r/i҆w bn i҆w=k rḫ ṯ rmṯ nb pꜣ tꜣ n-i҆m=w (read: r-r=w) i҆w=f ḳs i҆w=f ḥr nꜣ wrs.(w)) (line 4). The fact that they are contrasted suggests that two different relationships are meant by these terms. An indication of the meaning and function of the ‘head-rests’ is found in P. Philadelphia V (302BC), a contract concerning the sale of two tombs one of which was to be used as a storage place for the buyer’s persons in waiting.35 The seller specifies: ‘I have given to you this s.t-tomb which is in the necropolis of Djeme (…) in order to place in it your persons awaiting burial, (and) you are to leave your people whom you will take to it on the headrests therein’ (tw=y n=k tꜣy s.t nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ (…) r ḫꜣꜥ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w ḥr pꜣ ḥrr n ḳs n-i҆m=s mtw=k ḫꜣꜥ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r ṯ.ṱ=w r-ḥr=s ḥr nꜣ wrs.w n-i҆m=s) (line 7). The passage thus suggests that the term ‘head-rest’ refers to facilities inside a tomb where the mummies could be temporarily placed and indicates that the two expressions, ‘being buried’ (i҆w=f ḳs) and ‘being on the head-rests’ (i҆w=f ḥr nꜣ wrs.(w)), may refer to a distinction between being buried and being awaiting burial. Thus if the condition of being ḳs is contrasted with that of being on the head-rest, which seems to refer to the temporary storage of mummies, it follows that those individuals who, in this context, are said to be ḳs r a tomb must have already been laid to rest in their final tombs. This is also the meaning of the statement found in P. Ashmolean D. 3 (1968.3) (116–115 BC), a cession of a funerary endowment, where party A states ‘[I am far from you with respect to] your endowment (sꜥnḫ) of seal-bearer and embalmer that is in the necropolis

35

On this subject see Chapter 12 § 4 below.

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˹which is written˺ above, together with the people who are without ḳs.˹t˺ and the people who are ḳs’ ([tw=y wy r-r=k] pꜣy=k sꜥnḫ ḫtmw wyt nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ˹nt sẖ˺ ḥry ḥnꜥ nꜣ rmṯ.w nt wš ḳs.˹t˺ ḥnꜥ nꜣ rmṯ.w nt ḳs) (lines 8–11). Reymond36 understood this as a reference to bodies with and without coffins. However, on the basis of the evidence of P. Philadelphia V (302BC), it seems likely that the passage refers to people awaiting final burial. In the first instance ḳs.t is a noun and refers to the entombment, while in the second instance ḳs is a verb and refers to the state of being buried inside a funerary structure. 3.5 To Appertain to (ṯ r) The deceased is in some texts also said to belong to a tomb, an expression which employs the verb ṯ with the meaning ‘to appertain.’ The verb is used intransitively in the construction ṯ r ‘to belong to,’ and it is attested from a small number of texts ranging in date from 241 to 124BC. In P. Philadelphia XVIII (241BC) the list of liturgies includes: ‘the s.t-tomb to which his (scil. the deceased) people belong’ (tꜣ s.t nt i҆w ṯ nꜣy=f rmṯ.w r-r=s) (line 2). Similarly, the list of liturgies recorded in P. BM EA 10829 (209 BC) includes ‘the s.t-tomb of Sesoosis the builder, and every person who belongs [to the s.t-tomb] named’ (tꜣ s.t s-n-wsr.t pꜣ ḳt ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ṯ [r tꜣ s.t] rn=s) (lines 3– 4); ‘the s.t-tomb of Esminis the door-keeper of Amun and every person who belongs to it’ (tꜣ s.t ns-mn pꜣ i҆ry-ꜥꜣ i҆mn ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ṯ r-r=s) (line 4); and ‘the s.ttomb of Tchalibis and every person who belongs to it’ (tꜣ s.t tꜣ-gr-hb ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt ṯ r-r=s) (line 4). The same construction is also used in three donation deeds, P. Berlin P. 3099, 3100 and 5508 (124BC), with which a father divides his liturgies between his three sons. In the first document party A transfers a share of them to his eldest son explaining that it includes ‘the ¼ of my share which devolves upon me in the ḥ.t-tomb of Abunefer and the ¼ of the pure ones which belong to me within the named ḥ.t-tomb’ (ḥnꜥ pꜣ ¼ n tꜣy=y tny.t nt pḥ r-ḥr=y ẖn tꜣ ḥ.t n ꜣbw-nfr ḥnꜥ pꜣ ¼ n nꜣ wꜥb.w nt mtw=y ẖn tꜣ ḥ.t n rn=s) (lines 5–6), further specifying ‘them belonging to the named ḥ.t-tomb’ (i҆w=w ṯ r tꜣ ḥ.t rn=s) (line 7). Similarly, in P. Berlin P. 3100 (line 4) and 5508 (lines 4–5) (124BC) party A states: ‘I have given to you ¼ of my share which devolves upon me in the ḥ.t-tomb of Abunefer together with the ¼ of the pure ones who belong to me, them belonging to the ḥ.t-tomb which is written below’ (tw=y n=k pꜣ ¼ n tꜣy=y tny.t nt pḥ r-ḥr=y n tꜣ ḥ.t n Ꜣbw-nfr ḥnꜥ pꜣ ¼ n nꜣ wꜥb.w nt mtw=y i҆w=w ṯ r tꜣ ḥ.t nt sẖ ẖry).

36

Reymond 1973, 62.

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3.6 To Leave (ḫꜣꜥ) On the basis of P. Philadelphia V (302BC) it appears that the verb ‘to leave’ (ḫꜣꜥ) could be used to refer to the temporary deposition, in tombs, of mummies awaiting burial. Party A clearly states ‘I have given to you this s.t-tomb which is in the necropolis of Djeme, besides the s.t-tomb whose neighbours are written above, in order to leave in it your persons awaiting burial, (and) you are to leave your people whom you will take to it on the head-rests therein’ (tw=y n=k tꜣy s.t nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ pꜣ bnr n tꜣ s.t nt i҆w nꜣy=s hyn.w sẖ ḥry r ḫꜣꜥ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w ḥr pꜣ ḥrr n ḳs n-i҆m=s mtw=k ḫꜣꜥ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r ṯ.ṱ=w r-ḥr=s ḥr nꜣ wrs.w n-i҆m=s) (line 7). Similarly with respect to the first tomb sold with this contract, party A states ‘I will not be able to take any person at all to the s.t-tomb aforesaid in order to leave him there’ (i҆w bn i҆w(=y) rḫ ṯ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ r tꜣ s.t nt ḥry r ḫꜣꜥ=f n-i҆m=w) (line 4). 3.7 To Come to (the Feet) (i ҆y r (rṱ)) Another expression commonly used to refer to the act of being placed in the tomb is that which employs the verb i҆y ‘to come’ in the construction i҆y r rṱ (variant i҆y r-r) ‘to come to (the) feet,’ attested in four texts ranging in date from 114 to 98BC. In P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC), a document concerning the division of liturgies between heirs, the list of deceased and their tombs includes ‘the ḥ.t of Sosichrates the husband of Lolous (…) together with those who will come to it (lit. to its feet)’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n swsygrts pꜣ hy n lwl (…) ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt i҆w=w i҆y r rṱ=s) (col. 5 lines 21–22); and ‘Philon, the man from Coptos, their brother, his woman (and) his children, together with their ḥ.t-tomb (…) and those who will come to it (lit. to its feet)’ (phyln pꜣ rmṯ ḳbty pꜣy=w sn tꜣy=f sḥm.t nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w ḥnꜥ tꜣy=w ḥ.t (…) ḥnꜥ ⟨nꜣ⟩ nt i҆w=w i҆y r rṱ=s) (col. 3 lines 8–9). Similarly, the list of liturgies sold in P. Turin 2130 (99 BC) includes ‘Heraclides son of Petous and his wife, their children, their servants, their nurse and those who will come to it (lit. to its feet)’ (hrglyts sꜣ pa-tꜣ.wy ḥnꜥ tꜣy=f sḥm.t nꜣy=w ẖrṱ.w nꜣy=w bꜣk.w tꜣy=w mnꜥ-i҆ry.t i҆rm nꜣ nt i҆w=w r i҆y r rṱ=f ) (lines 4–5). Another example is found in P. Berlin P. 3106 (98BC), also a contract of sale of liturgies, which lists ‘˹Snachomneus˺ (the) smith, his woman, his children, together with ˹those who will come to them˺ (lit. to their feet)’ (˹ns-nꜣ.w-ẖmn.i҆w˺ bsnṱ tꜣy=f sḥm.t nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w ḥnꜥ ˹nꜣ nt i҆w=w r i҆y r rṱ=w˺) (line 4). The last example is found in P. Berlin P. 3139 (98 BC), with which party A sells a number of liturgies and emoluments, declaring: ‘You have caused my heart to agree to ˹the money˺ for my share of the (religious)-services, the purificatory offerings, the šty-revenues of the pure ones, the ˹gods,˺ the people […] (and) ˹their children,˺ together with those who will come to it (lit. to their feet)’ (tw=k mtr ḥꜣ.ṱ=y n ˹pꜣ ḥḏ˺ n tꜣy=y tny.t pš n nꜣ šms.w nꜣ ꜥrš.w nꜣ šty.w n nꜣ wꜥb.w nꜣ ˹nṯr.w˺ nꜣ rmṯ.w […] ˹nꜣy=w ẖrṱ.w˺ ḥnꜥ nꜣ nt i҆w=w r i҆y r rṱ=w) (line 4).

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On the other hand, P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC), also provides the only example for the use of the variant construction i҆y r-r. The latter is used in the listing of ‘the ḥ.t-tomb of Pestaus the mender (…) together with those who will come to it’ (tꜣ ḥ.t n pꜣ-ꜣstw pꜣ ẖꜥḳ (…) ḥnꜥ ⟨nꜣ⟩ nt i҆w=w i҆y r-r=s) (col. 3 lines 11–12). 3.8 Removal from the Tomb (rk, fy r bnr, i ҆n r bnr) Finally, a range of terms is also used to refer to the removal of a deceased from a specific tomb. In P. Philadelphia V (302BC), Party A declares: ‘I am also to ˹remove˺ the person whom I have placed inside it’ (mtw=y ˹rk˺ pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=y tw=f r-ḥr=s ꜥn) (line 6). On the other hand, in P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC), where party A also reserves the right to force the choachyte to remove any person whom party B has placed in the tomb, the text employs the construction fy r bnr: ‘I have a claim on you to cause that you carry the people whom you have taken to it out again’ (i҆w=y m-sꜣ=k r ty fy=k nꜣ rmṯ.w ṯ=k n-i҆m=w r bnr ꜥn) (line 5). A third construction is found in P. BM EA 10074 (230 BC), a divorce agreement and cession of liturgies, where the husband states: ‘I shall not be able to bring a person out of your places’ (bn i҆w=y rḫ i҆n rmṯ n-i҆m=w r bnr n nꜣy=t mꜣꜥ.w) (lines 2– 3),37 in which the construction i҆n r bnr perhaps has more the meaning of taking away, in the sense of stealing mummies from a tomb.

4

Delayed Burial

At the end of the mummification process the deceased would normally be placed in his/her tomb. However, several documents from the Theban area clearly indicate that not all bodies were immediately buried. Direct evidence for the delayed burial of some individuals is found in P. Philadelphia V (302 BC) in which party A, the choachyte Teos, donates to party B, the kalasiris in the temple of Amun Parates, two tombs in the necropolis of Djeme. With respect to the first of these tombs, party A states: ‘I have given to you this s.t-tomb, which is in the necropolis of Djeme, together with its shaft, you may take your people whom you will wish to take to it’ (tw=y n=k tꜣy s.t nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n Ḏmꜣ ḥnꜥ pꜣy=s šḳ mtw=k ṯ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r mr ṯ.ṱ=w r-ḥr=s). line 1

37

After Vleeming 1998, 157.

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The other tomb is explicitly designated as a storing place for the beneficiary’s mummies awaiting burial: ‘I have given to you this s.t-tomb which is in the necropolis of Djeme, besides the s.t-tomb whose neighbours are written above, in order to place in it your persons awaiting burial’ (tw=y n=k tꜣy s.t nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ pꜣ bnr n tꜣ s.t nt i҆w nꜣy=s hyn.w sẖ ḥry r ḫꜣꜥ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w ḥr pꜣ ḥrr n ḳs n-i҆m=s). line 7

This is the only document in which explicit reference is made to a completely separate tomb designated solely for the temporary storage of mummies, and it is therefore impossible to say whether it represents an exception, or if it was a common practice for which no evidence has survived. With regard to the first tomb the choachyte specifies: ‘I will not be able to take any person at all to the s.t-tomb aforesaid in order to leave him there, besides your people (or mummies) whom you will say to me “take him to it”’ (i҆w bn i҆w(=y) rḫ ṯ rmṯ nb n pꜣ tꜣ r tꜣ s.t nt ḥry r ḫꜣꜥ=f n-i҆m=w n-m-sꜣ nꜣy=k rmṯ.w nt i҆w=k r ḏ n=y ṯ s r-ḥr=s). lines 4–5

This clearly indicates that the tomb referred to was not an individual burial place where there may not have been space for more than one mummy. But, if lack of space cannot account for the need of a separate temporary burial place, there must have been another reason why the buyer needed another tomb to store his ‘mummies in waiting.’ It is possible that those who could afford it would have had a separate tomb in which to place their mummies awaiting burial so as to avoid cluttering the tomb chapel and to ensure that no damage befell the mummies, which could happen if too many were stored in a relatively small area. This, however, does not explain the practice of leaving the dead unburied, a practice which continued throughout the Ptolemaic Period and well into the Roman Period. In P. Turin Suppl. 6071D (103BC) the door-keeper Pichos, son of Psemminis, confirms that he has already received from his sister payment for ⅓ of the funeral expenses of their father whom he has yet to bury (lines 7–8). Pestman suggests that their father had probably died around 110 BC.38 At any rate, by the time the second document was drawn up, Psemminis had been dead for at least

38

Pestman 1978, 196 ¶b.

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two years, and was still unburied, as indicated by P. Turin Suppl. 6083 (105 BC) in which is recorded the payment of the ⅓ of the funeral expenses due by his daughter. In this document Pichos states: ‘I have been paid for your ⅓ share in the burial of Psemminis son of Zmanres, your father, our father. There is no claim that I will proffer `against you´ concerning him. I will prepare him for burial (ḳs) (and) will lay him to rest in the ḥ.t-tomb, without having asked you for other money, corn (or) anything at all’ (tw=y mḥ n tꜣy=y (sic. =t) tny.t ⅓ n tꜣ ḳs n pꜣ-šr-mn sꜣ wsr-mꜣꜥ-rꜥ pꜣy=t i҆ṱ pꜣy=n i҆ṱ mn mt i҆w=y ꜥš `m-sꜣ=t´ n-i҆m=s ẖrr=f mtw=y ḳs=f mtw=y ti҆ ḥtp=f n tꜣ ḥ.t i҆w bn-pw=y šn.ṱ=t r gr ḥḏ pr nt nb n pꜣ tꜣ) (lines 2–5). Among the surviving documents, there are only three more instances in which an approximate waiting time can be determined. The clearest example is that of Harmais, the prophet of Ptah, and Imouthes son of Esminis, who are attested in the care of the choachyte Horos son of Horos from 153 BC (P. Brussels E 6037) and are still unburied nearly forty years later in 113 BC (P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715). Two further examples are found in P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) in which the woman Taesis, daughter of Horos, is granted access to the s.t-tomb of the landmeasurers on account of Amenothes son of Thotortaios and to the s.t-tomb of Tateitum on account of Panoubis the blessed one. The two individuals are no longer mentioned in P. Berlin P. 5507 / 3098, and P. Leiden Gr. 413 (136 BC) with which the liturgies originally belonging to Taesis were later sold by her daughter, thus providing a terminus ante quem for their final burial, although this does not provide any information on their total ‘waiting period.’ Evidence for delayed burial and provisional storage of mummies is also indicated in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113BC), the last division deed drawn up by Horos before he died. In the document it is specified that the three brothers will share in the emoluments received for Harmais, the prophet of Ptah, and Imouthes son of Esminis until their ταφή (taphe), a term that probably refers to the final entombment of these individuals in their own tombs, and after which the liturgies will be shared differently.39 Indirect evidence for delayed burial is provided by a number of contracts in which the seller reserves the right to access specific tombs on account of individuals, as in the case of P. Philadelphia XVIII (241 BC) and P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC). The clause generally used to indicate that a mortuary priest has right of access in a specific tomb because he or she might have some of the mummies in his or her care deposited there is: ‘you may go to …’ (i҆w=k nꜥ r …), which is the one used in the latter two documents. Similarly, in P. Marseilles 299–298

39

Thus Pestman 1988, 116–117; Pestman 1993, 439–440.

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(235BC) and P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) the buyer is granted the right to access specific tombs on account of individuals who are there. In particular, P. Marseilles 299–298 (235BC) specifies that the buyer has three individuals inside the tomb of a named deceased. That this was only a temporary measure is confirmed by the fact that the individuals named in P. Amherst 58a (153 BC), on account of whom the buyer could access specific tombs, were no longer listed in P. Berlin P. 5507, P. Berlin P. 3098 and P. Leiden Gr. 413 (136BC) with which these specific tombs were later alienated. Further indirect evidence is perhaps provided by P. Louvre Gr. 2330 (126– 127BC) in which Osoroeris lodges a complaint concerning a robbery in one of the tombs in his care. The thieves plundered the mummies there, and stole the equipment that he had stored inside the tomb, leaving its door open and the bodies at the mercy of jackals that destroyed them. The fact that he used this tomb for the storage of tools, suggests that it may have been also one of those used by the choachytes for the temporary storage of mummies awaiting final burial in their own tombs.40 These texts, therefore, indicate that, rather than being placed in purpose built tombs destined solely for the storage of mummies awaiting burial, the deceased was more commonly placed in private, or collective tombs, used both as a burial and as a storage place, and large enough to accommodate several (coffined) mummies. Interestingly, P. Philadelphia XXIV (227 BC), a contract for the hire of a choachyte, perhaps provides not only indirect evidence for such a practice, but also suggests that less scrupulous mortuary priests may use tombs as storage without the consent of the tomb owners. In fact, Party A goes to some lengths to ensure that neither the choachyte, nor his offspring, will bury anyone else there beside the deceased people belonging to party A, even reserving the right to force him to remove any stranger placed in the tomb, which may indicate that the practice was a relatively frequent one.41 The passage from P. Ashmolean D. 3 (1968.3) (116–115 BC) from Hawara, discussed above, indicates that the practice was probably not limited to the Theban area, since the sentence refers to people who are entombed and those who are not buried.42 The delayed burial could also have meant a delay in the burial ceremonies performed at the tomb before the interment of the deceased until he or she was finally taken to his or her final resting place. However, it is possible that burial ceremonies would be performed on both occasions (with the final one perhaps

40 41 42

Pestman 1993, 101. For this document see above Chapter 12 § 3.8. See above Chapter 12 § 3.4.

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being less elaborate than the first one) particularly given the importance of such ceremonies for the restoration of the deceased’s bodily functions essential to life itself. The practice appears to have continued into the Roman Period, as indicated, for example, by a text on a mummy label in which the deceased is said to have gone ‘to her fathers in year nine, month three of spring, day 10, of Caesar,’ while it was only in ‘year 11, month 1 of the inundation, day 19, of Caesar’ that ‘She was brought to Djeme. Her Salvation occurred,’ that is, sixteen months after her death.43 A similar case is attested from another mummy label, S.B. I 1195, in which the woman Senbesis is said to have died on the 25th of Mesore, but was buried only on the 11th of Pachon, almost nine months later.44 The extensive damage observed by Petrie in the Roman necropolis at Hawara both on mummies with gilded masks and on those with portraits, which they had apparently sustained prior to their final interment, indicates that they had remained unburied for an undetermined period of time. Petrie’s observations of the damage sustained by the mummies in the Hawara necropolis, which showed signs of water damage, chipping and breakage due to fall, and were encrusted with flies excrements, birds droppings, and dirt, led him to speculate that the mummies had been kept at home for a period of time prior to their final interment.45 Confirmation of Petrie’s theory was sought for in the descriptions of Egyptian funerary practices given by several classical authors. Diodorus Siculus, for example, states that ‘those families having private tombs lay the body in the niche assigned to it, but those who possess no tomb add a new chamber to their own houses and prop the coffins upright against the stoutest wall. And the ones who are prohibited from burial because of accusations, or according to the pledges on a loan,46 they also cause to be interred in their own dwellings; but of these, sometimes the sons of their sons later become rich and acquit them of their bond or of the accusations against them; at which time they are deemed worthy of splendid funerals’ (Diodorus Siculus I 92). Similarly Cicero, who states that ‘the Egyptians store away their dead and keep them in structures (domi)’47 (Tusculan Disputations I 108.2). However, as noted by Monserrat,48 had these structures existed in private dwellings one would expect to find mention of them in at least some of the many surviving

43 44 45 46 47 48

D’auria et al. 1988, 229, label 184; Montserrat 1997, 38. Montserrat 1997, 38. Petrie 1911, 2. On this aspect see Chapter 7. For the translation of the Latin term domi as ‘structures’ see Montserrat 1997, 39. Montserrat 1997, 39.

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contracts that deal with the sale, or lease, of private houses and that often give detailed information on their ground plan. Most importantly, one would expect to find some evidence for this in the archaeological record, for example, in the form of remains of coffins or mummies stored away in structures within settlement sites.49 Other classical authors describe the places where these mummies were stored as ‘recesses,’ ‘stony carapace,’ ‘structures’ or simply state that they were kept ‘above ground,’ which make no reference to areas in private houses used for the purpose of storing mummies.50 The documents do not provide any clear explanation for the reasons why these people were not entombed soon after death. In some instances the final burial rites may have been delayed to allow relatives living some distance away to reach the place were the deceased was.51 However, not all instances of delayed burial can be explained in terms of travel difficulties, certainly not for an interval of several years, and some other factors must have effected such a practice. These could be linked to the individual’s wealth and status, be of ritual or religious significance, or be the result of practical considerations. In the first instance, the fact that an important individual such as Harmais, the prophet of Ptah, for whom offerings were paid for nearly four decades, was placed in a waiting tomb for so many years shows that wealth and status, or rather their lack thereof, were not determining factors in the delayed burial of some individuals.52 The same is also true of the Hawara mummies, which, elaborately decorated as they were with gilded masks and portraits, clearly shows that these were individuals of some wealth. In the second instance, it is possible that the bodies were kept overground in a tomb-chapel were offerings could be presented to the deceased, until the chapel was filled up, the coffins too damaged to be kept on display, or the 49 50 51

52

Chapel tombs looked like houses—houses for eternity—hence it is not surprising that ancient authors may have thought the Egyptians kept their dead at home. Montserrat 1997, 39. See for example P. Princ. III 166 and S.B. XIV 11939 quoted in Montserrat 1997, 38 and notes 51–52. Among modern Australian Aborigines, for example, it is customary to display the body of a deceased person on a bed-like structure for a period of three days to allow friends and family time to travel to where the deceased is to pay their respects (C.A. Suthrell personal communication). It could be suggested that individuals with insufficient financial means might have had just enough resources to pay for the mummification of their deceased relatives but had to leave them in waiting tombs until such time when they could afford their own funerary structure. However, the fact that the new owner of the tomb listed in P. Philadelphia V is given two tombs, one of which specifically for the temporary storage of his deceased relatives awaiting burial, indicates that this was probably not the reason behind the practice, at least not in every instance.

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individual forgotten.53 This would explain why the mummy of an important individual such as Harmais, the prophet of Ptah mentioned above, remained unburied for nearly forty years, and could, therefore, indicate that some mummies were kept in temporary tombs for as long as their mortuary cult was maintained. However, despite this being an attractive and plausible explanation, it does not entirely explain the practice. In fact, if these were venerated individuals, hence their display in tomb-chapels and the maintenance of their mortuary cult for a length of time, one would expect them to be identified by the epithet blessed one, or even master.54 In addition, one would probably expect to find more frequent mentions of ‘waiting tombs,’ of chapels, and indeed of ‘mummies in waiting.’ Rather, these mummies are stored away in other people’s tomb, to which private individuals did not have access.55 The custom of keeping some mummies unburied evokes a ritual that was part of the Sokar festival. Part of this ceremony involved the fashioning of a statuette of the god that was eventually placed in a chest inside a temple chapel, which would serve as its tomb for the coming year. At the same time the previous year’s figurine would be taken out of its chest and its bandages changed, before being given final burial in the necropolis of the gods.56 However, an analysis of the relevant Ptolemaic documentation on the delayed burial of some individuals shows that there could be a considerable variation in waiting times, thus suggesting that the practice did not have the same ritualistic connotations as this aspect of the Sokar rite, which one would expect had all mummies been kept unburied for the same length of time.57 The practice of leaving some mummies unburied shares parallels also with the cult of the sacred animals. Evidence for this practice is found in the archive of the priest Hor, which shows that a mass burial of the sacred ibises at Saqqara took place annually, although they would probably have been mummified throughout the year.58 Text 19 in this archive provides evidence for the exis-

53 54 55

56

57 58

Montserrat 1997, 39. On these epithets see Chapter 14 § 2. Had the public been allowed to enter whichever tomb they pleased, there would not have been the need for a contract clause granting the mortuary priests access to specific tombs, since the latter would have even more right to be there in the performance of their profession than the general public. Meeks and Favard-Meeks 1999, 170–172. Another private habitation frequently identified as a storage place for mummies awaiting burial is the house jointly owned by the choachytes on the east bank of Thebes. However, as discussed in Chapter 9, there is no evidence to support such a suggestion. Thus also Montserrat for the Roman period (1997, 38). Ray 1976, 140; Texts 19 v. 8–9; 21 v. 10–11. It is interesting to note, however, that this prac-

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tence of waiting tombs for the mummified ibises, called ꜥ.wy-(n)-ḥrry, which Ray suggests may refer to the side galleries where the vessels containing the remains of the birds were stored, and which would be sealed once the available space inside had been exhausted.59 The periodical burial of sacred animals is also attested for crocodiles as indicated by the regulations of the religious associations attached to the cult of the god Souchos.60 In the case of these sacred animals it is possible to see why their burial would take place annually, since the large number of mummified birds would probably have resulted in incessant funeral ceremonies throughout the year. However, this factor cannot account for the phenomenon of human mummies in waiting that, even in a country with a high mortality rate, would have been considerably fewer in number than the sacred animals.61 In the light of the available evidence it seems probable that the custom of annual mass burial of sacred animals was not dictated by religious factors, rather, it seems more likely that it was linked to practical considerations. If practical considerations were at the root of this custom, the most logical explanation appears to be one linked to the architecture of the tombs themselves, which may have consisted of two parts: an overground structure used for the mortuary cult of the deceased person, and a subterranean chamber, sealed and reopened only at the time of a burial. It is possible that, if the tomb shafts were sealed with rubble, or, depending on the typology of the burial place, perhaps with a wall, it would be impractical to have it removed every time a person in the family died, hence a burial may have taken place only at specific intervals.62 In this case, a separate tomb may be needed if the above ground chapel was too small to use as storage place for mummies. The need for the careful sealing of tomb shafts may have been dictated by security problems in the necropolis, evidence for which is found in a small number of documents. Aside from P. Louvre Gr. 2330 (127–126BC) mentioned above, problem of security are also indicated by O. Uppsala 611 (117–116 BC), an oath taken by a man

59 60 61 62

tice was not followed throughout the country as indicated by the surviving ostraca relating to the cult of the sacred ibises at Kôm Ombo (Preisigke et al. 1914; Ray 1976, 140 note 2). Ray 1976, 80 note h, 140, Text 19 v. 7. See also Smelik 1979, 234–235. Muhs 2001, 14–15; Dils 1995, 170; for these associations see De Cenival 1972. Ray (1976, 138), for example, estimates the Ibis burial rate at ten thousand per year in the Memphite necropolis. For an example of blocked tombs’ entrances see TT32—while the inner section of the corridor was blocked with a brick wall, the floor covered with mud plaster and the walls with a layer of gypsum (Kákosy 1994, 25).

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named Petosiris, son of Hewen, in which he declares that in the tomb robbed by a certain Pꜣ-ty-[…] there was property with which he made offerings(?) (tẖb) for his father (lines 2–5).63 On the basis of the foregoing analysis, therefore, it appears that the custom of delaying the final burial of some of the deceased was linked to practical consideration, as was the case with the burial of some of the sacred animals. However, while in the latter case the practice was dictated by the large numbers of mummified sacred animals, in the case of individuals it was related to the specific architecture of the tomb and of the security measures in place. In the case of tombs where the burial chamber(s) were not easily accessible, the deceased would be placed in above-ground chapels, or in easily accessible tombs, where the mortuary cult could be performed before the deceased for his or her benefit.

5

Mortuary Cult

Once the deceased was laid to rest in the tomb, it was the duty of the choachytes to perform his or her mortuary cult at regular intervals. On the basis of those contracts in which the seller either reserves, or grants, right of access to individuals provisionally placed in other people’s tombs, it is clear that the choachytes performed the mortuary cult of these people in their temporary burial places. This is clearly indicated in P. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 715 (113BC) in which different arrangements are made with respect to the mortuary service for the period preceding, and that following, the ταφή of Harmais, the prophet of Ptah, and Imouthes son of Esminis (col. 3 line 1; col. 17 lines 9–11; col. 30 line 1; col. 29 lines 9–10). The extant documentary sources provide no direct information as to what the performance of the mortuary cult for the deceased entailed. Rather, the services of these mortuary priests, are simply qualified as the ‘work as a choachyte.’64 A number of documents specify that the mortuary priest is entitled to perform the (religious) services and to make the purificatory offerings for the

63

64

Indeed, funerals may have represented a good opportunity for theft, given that the family and probably the neighbours would all have been away in the necropolis, as indicated by the hypomnema concerning a theft that took place during such an occasion and recorded in DH Zürich 1894 (2nd half of 2nd century BC) (Wångstedt 1965–1966, 45–50; Worp 2012, 75; Vandorpe and Waebens 2009, 192). P. Louvre E 2429 bis (292 BC), P. Louvre E 2428 (277BC), P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC), P. BM EA 10026 (265–264 BC), P. Louvre E 2443 (249 BC), P. Louvre E 2438 (245BC), P. Louvre E 2431 (243 BC) and P. Turin 2137 (123 BC).

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deceased,65 while the etymology of their occupational title, wꜣḥ mw, shows that one of their ritual activities, probably the main one, consisted in pouring water as libation. The performance of the mortuary cult also entailed the recital of mortuary liturgies, in particular the Offering Rite, which consisted of the presentation of offerings to the deceased. The offerings would be placed, either concretely or symbolically, on the offering table, and would then be ‘activated’ through the vocal recitation of the offering rite. Funerary texts provide some information on the nature and variety of offerings presented, and included, for example, libations (water, milk, wine and beer), solid foods (loaves, cakes and dates), as well as incense, fresh flowers and plants.66 A number of these foodstuffs, the most important ones of the mortuary meal, could be represented on the offering table, while a channel, provided with a drain, could be carved around them. In presenting the offerings the priest would be pouring water on the table, and the representations on it, while reciting the offering rite. These would ‘activate’ the offerings, endowing them with revitalizing force, and thus allowing the deceased to partake in the provisions for the gods in the afterlife.67 With respect to the intervals at which offerings were supposed to be presented to the deceased, funerary literature suggests that this would have taken place at the beginning of each decade.68 Thus in Bodl. MS Egypt c.9 (P) and P. Louvre E 10605 (1st century AD) the deceased is promised: your name will be pronounced at the offering tables of Horus the choachyte at the decade;69 col. II line 1

and similarly in P. Wien ÄS 3865 (1st–2nd century AD) which writes: ‘Horus (…) shows himself in Waset, at the beginning of each decade, to bring offerings to his forefathers’ (lines 3–4); ‘Your son Horus (…) pours water for you at the beginning of each decade’.70 line 28 65 66 67 68

69 70

P. Turin 2130 (99 BC), P. Berlin P. 3106 (98 BC), P. Berlin P. 3139 (98 BC) and P. Turin 2132 (98 BC). Smith 1993, 7. Assmann 2005, 362. Funerary texts also suggest that libations would be poured for the deceased on the occasion of particular festivities such as that of Khoiak, for which see Smith 1987, 1993, and 2005. Smith 1987a, 70, 80 note (c); Donker van Heel 1992, 21 note 8. See also the parallel passage in col. II line 1 of P. Berlin P. 8351 (1st century AD) (Smith 1993, 30). Herbin 1984, 107, 109; Donker van Heel 1992, 21 note 8.

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During the recitation of the embalming ritual (P. Boulaq 3) the deceased is promised: Amenope will pour out water for you upon the offering table when he is in the valley pouring out water for his father and mother each decade.71 line 3/21

The same is also suggested by a number of temple reliefs and private monuments which indicate that the god sailed at the beginning of each decade to Djeme in order to perform the funerary offerings for his ancestors buried there. Hence it may be expected that such was also the time when offerings would be presented to the deceased in the care of the choachytes. An inscription on the statue of the God’s-father Esminis in Linköping Museum (Ptolemaic Period), reads: An offering given by Amenope of Djeme (…) who presents offerings (…) at the beginning of each decade;72 lines 1–5

and similarly an inscription on a coffin, Edinburgh L. 224/3002 (Ptolemaic Period), which promises the deceased: Amenope the great one of Djeme (…) will pour water for you at the offering tables as a libation at the three decades each month.73 lines 1–5

By contrast, P. BM EA 10223 (171BC), a contract of transfer of two tombs, includes a clause in which party A states: ‘if I do not perform on your behalf one (liturgical) day out of two I will give 10 silver (deben)’ (mtw=y tm i҆r n=k wꜥ hrw ẖn hrw 2 i҆w=y ty ḥḏ 10) (line 10). If the reference to the two days is to be understood as referring to a period of time within the three-week Egyptian month, the evidence suggests that different arrangements could have been made with the choachyte in charge as to the frequency with which the mortuary cult of the deceased was performed.74 71 72 73 74

Smith 2009, 230. Doresse 1973, 93–97, Nº 12bis. Smith 1987a, 81 note 59; Barns 1952, 69–71; Donker van Heel 1992, 21 note 8. It is also possible that all the text says is that party A has to perform at least one liturgical day every two, but without reference to the total number of liturgical days. A decrease

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Funerary texts also suggest that libations would be poured for the deceased on the occasion of particular festivities such as the Khoiak Mysteries and the Feast of the Valley. The latter was an annual Theban festival during which the living commemorated their ancestors with meals taken at the tomb itself. Information on how part of this ritual was conducted during the fourth century is provided by P. BM EA 10209 (c. 305 BC). The text places particular emphasis on the act of libation, so much so that it has been described as a choachyte’s manual.75 The third formula, for example, following the introductory words ‘Praising Osiris foremost in the West, the great god and lord of Abydos. Extract from the ritual of the Feast of the Valley,’ continues with the recitation: Words to be recited (…) Accept this cool water for yourself as a libation, namely a libation consisting of the coolest water, wine and milk;76 line 1/19–20

and again in the fifth formula which, following the introductory words, continues with the recitation: Water is yours, yours is the water of millions and millions. Yours is the water of millions of nemset-vessels and hundreds of thousands of mekerjars. Yours is the water of the great river, from the pools of Horus in the Heliopolitan nome. Yours is the water from the beginning of eternity to the end of everlastingness.77 line 2/12

Such emphasis can be accounted for by the embodiment of all other rites into the act of pouring libation, and/or by the assimilation of the Feast of the Valley into the Feast of the Decade, which thus became an annual version of the latter.78 Documentary sources do not specify where the mortuary cult of the deceased was performed. On the basis of P. Louvre Gr. 2330 (127–126 BC) Hengstl suggests that, since the choachyte’s equipment was stolen from inside the tomb, this is the place where he must have performed the mortuary cult

75 76 77 78

in the frequency of the performance of the mortuary cult could, of course, also mean a decrease in the expenses paid to the mortuary priest. Smith 2009, 183 and note 23 quoting Assmann 2005. Smith 2009, 185. Smith 2009, 183. Smith 2009, 183 and note 23; see also Bietak 2012 and 2012a.

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rather than in a chapel.79 However, it is clear that the setting for the performance of this activity would have depended on the architecture and typology of the funerary structure. Thus the mortuary cult could be performed in open air courtyards, in above ground chapels, in underground vestibules fronting the burial chamber(s), or simply by the entrance of the tomb or by the burial pit. In P. Philadelphia V (302BC) party A states: ‘to you belong the offerings of our master (ḥry) Parates, our god inside its upper places within the said s.t-tomb to its western side (lit. place/area)’ (mtw=k nꜣ ḥtp.w pꜣy=n ḥry Pa-rṱ pꜣy=k nṯr ẖn nꜣy=s ꜥ.wy.w ḥry ẖn tꜣ s.t rn=s r pꜣy=s mꜣꜥ i҆mnṱ) (line 2), which refers either to the entire above-ground structure or to niches, possibly set up high on the wall, where offerings would be placed. An ‘upper chapel’ is also mentioned in Text 3 of the archive of Hor where the author suggests may refer to the stone shrine at the entrance of the southern ibis-galleries, or to a number of other mud-brick structures located within the same area and presumably serving the same function (Text 3 line 15 recto).80 In the archaeological record evidence for the performance of cultic activities is attested in a variety of forms. In the tomb of Harwa (25th dynasty) (TT37), for example, excavations in the courtyard unearthed a damaged offering table carved in relief with libation vessels and loaves of bread, dated on stylistic grounds to the Ptolemaic Period.81 The offering table was apparently part of a sandstone base found at the centre of the first pillared hall, an attribution also supported by the discovery of a number of fragments that joined with the damaged offering slab. This is interpreted as evidence for the reuse of the tomb as a cultic place, a theory that, according to the excavator, is supported by the architectural modifications made at this time in the tomb for the addition of doors. When closed, these would block the passage from one hall to the next, while when open they would completely obscure the inscriptions on the northern wall of the passageway. Finally, it is postulated that the need to separate one hall from the other was dictated by ‘cultic necessities,’ and that the tomb had been ‘transformed into a sanctuary during the Ptolemaic Period.’ Such a conclusion is apparently based mainly on the study of potsherds which highlighted a ‘high concentration of votive cups and bowls dating to the Ptolemaic Period.’82 Such an interpretation, however, fails to take into account the possibility that these artefacts were evidence for funerary cultic activity, which is clearly indi79 80 81 82

Hengstl 1978, 149. However, this cannot be taken as firm evidence since the tools could simply have been stored there. Ray 1976, 20–29, 137–138. Tiradritti 2005, 169–170, and fig. 1; Tiradritti 2006, Tomb plan. Tiradritti 2005, 170.

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cated by the textual sources that demonstrate the use of this tomb as a burial place from at least as early as 273–272BC.83 Similarly, in TT411, a tomb originally belonging to a man called Psammetichos-tierneheh (Saite Period),84 excavations in the courtyard unearthed the remains of a cultic emplacement built in mud bricks that probably served as an offering place. This was located in the courtyard in correspondence to the entrance to the subterranean areas of the tomb with which it was probably connected.85 In addition, a finely carved sandstone offering table was discovered among the debris under the stairs leading down to the underground structure. It was inscribed with the name of Apathes, and probably originally stood over the mudbrick base in the courtyard.86 83

84 85 86

For archaeological evidence of pottery used during the performance of offering ceremonies for the deceased see Martin et al. 1985. Broken vessels were stored in one of the magazines in the tomb of Paser, while a large quantity of potsherds, perhaps intentionally broken as part of the funerary rituals, were also found heaped against one of the walls in the forecourt (Martin et al. 1985, 20, 47–48). Arnold and Settgast 1966. Arnold and Settgast 1966, 81. Arnold and Settgast 1966, 85, and Pl. XIVb.

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Funerary Expenses Depending on the length and elaborateness of the embalming process—the rituals performed, the richness of the wrappings and decoration of the embalmed body—the mummification and burial of an individual could represent a considerable outlay of resources. A range of funerary accoutrements was available for those who could afford it, including cartonnage masks and cases, painted shrouds, wooden coffins, (linen) amulets and religious compositions. A number of artisans and artists would probably be involved in their production—including the individuals who crafted the cartonnage and/or coffin, those who decorated them, and those who painted the funerary shrouds— and a large variety of materials would thus be required (paints, gold leaf and gold paint, papyrus, linen, plaster, glue, and so on). Given the range of people involved and of the materials required one would expect some of these transactions to have generated some ‘paperwork.’ Records of a variety of transactions could have been made at different points, for example, during the acquisition of the necessary materials, or in the form of agreements between the family of the deceased and the various artists, or as grants of governmental concessions on the performance of specific crafts involving materials that were state monopolies. Yet, textual evidence about these various aspects is almost inexistent.1 Several factors may have contributed to this apparent invisibility of ‘funerary artists.’ A determining factor in this respect is the fact that evidence relating to several of these transactions would probably be kept (if at all) in urban contexts (either by the family or by the artisans themselves). Textual evidence is less likely to survive in settlements than in funerary contexts, which are less subject to continuous building activity, and where the, prevalently, dry conditions have permitted, in some areas, the survival of much textual evidence relating to funerary priests and their activities. It is also possible that this lack of evidence is simply due to the fact that, like for other life commodities, the production, sale and purchase of mummy ornaments and tomb equipment did not generate, as a rule, any written documentation, although their continued use, albeit in smaller quantities, is still attested archaeologically.2

1 For the same problem in Roman times see Cannata 2012. 2 Indeed, Janssen’s (1975, 512) analysis of the type of objects which exchange warranted the

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020 | doi:10.1163/9789004406803_015

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Another point worth considering is the extent of craft specialisation in the ancient world. We are used to the idea of funeral homes organising the entire funeral service, and providing the relatives of the deceased with all that is required in such circumstances in terms of body treatment, coffin, and tomb paraphernalia. Undoubtedly, as time went on, crafts became more and more specialised, with a progression from house economy, in which each household produced much of what was required, to city economy, in which commodities were produced by full-time professionals who took over the household’s production.3 However, the scant evidence available suggests that, with the exception of the funerary priests (lector-priests/embalmers and choachytes), and despite a certain level of craft specialisation, a class of artists specialising solely in the production of funerary furniture probably did not exist.

1

Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment: Production, Acquisition and Provision

As it is to be expected, very little information survives on the actual place of work of artists and craftsmen.4 In some cases the location of a workshop5 would be dictated by the specific craft, for example, near the source of the required

issuing of a receipt showed that, although a large number of daily transactions simply went unrecorded, and that what survives is but a tiny fraction of what once existed, in general, only the barter of costly commodities (including coffins), worth more than ten deben, would be recorded. See more recently the detailed analysis of funerary production at Deir el-Medina by Cooney 2010. 3 Burford 1972, 97. 4 Images of various artists and craftsmen formed, during the Pharaonic Period, part of the decorative scheme of tombs. For example, images of the manufacture of sarcophagi, wooden coffins, and anthropoid cases are found in the tomb of Mersyankh III (Old Kingdom), in that of Nefer and Kahay at Saqqara (Old Kingdom) (Kanawati and Woods 2009, 5), in the tomb of Tjoy at Thebes (Spencer 1982, Fig. 46), and in the tomb of Ipuy, also at Thebes (TT217) (New Kingdom) (Davies 1927, Pl. XXXVI). Here different activities are often shown as taking place in a workshop shared by several artisans, perhaps due to a similarity in the materials used, or to the common typology shared by the items being made. This could reflect the actual arrangement, though it is equally possible that the various artists were located in different parts of the same building, or in different buildings, which are not shown as such because of artistic conventions (Kanawati and Woods 2009, 5). In fact, the various scenes provide but an idealised view of a workshop, subject to artistic conventions, as well as social and religious mores, with the viewer never getting a real sense of what these workshops must have been truly like, filled with dust, dirt, noise, and chaotic activity (Burford 1972, 70–71). 5 The term ‘workshop’ is used here to denote simply a place of work, without any of the possible ramifications that the term can have.

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raw materials.6 This would clearly be the case of the embalmers, whose workshops were located in the necropolis. Similarly, the individuals responsible for the wrapping of the body,7 if different from those who performed the mummification, would be based in the necropolis too. A unique reference to an individual identified as ‘the man who wraps’ is found in P. BM EA 10561 (157 BC) (Middle Egypt),8 which records an agreement drawn up between two groups of lector-priests concerning the provision of cloths, and other items, during the various stages of the mummification process. Here party A declares ‘we sha[ll not be able] to appoint a man who wraps’ (n-m[tw=n tm rḫ] wꜣḥ-sḥn pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f gyl) (line 20), thus, apparently, indicating that there was a separate class of funerary priests who specialised in the wrapping of the body.9 Indirect evidence for the possible existence of bandaging specialists is perhaps found in the Inaros-Petubastis cycle (P. Krall, Third Intermediate Period), in which the king grants the equipment and personnel necessary for the mummification of Inaros: ‘Give (or may it be given) the equipment (pꜣ sbty) to their bandagers (mnḫy.w) (I), their unguent-makers (ꜥnṱ.w)10 (II), their dignitaries of the temple (i҆ꜣw.t n ḥ.t-nṯr) (III) and their ritualists in chief (ẖry-ḥb ḥry-i҆b) (IV), who go [to] the embalming workshop (tꜣ wꜥb.t). May they go to Busiris, and may they enter ≤the embalming workshop≥ of the Osiris-king Inaros in the Chamber of the oil, and prepare him ointment and embalming […]’ (P. Krall VIII.13–16).11 The term mnḫy.w, it is suggested, may indicate a professional title formed from the name of the material used in the performance of the function, and thus refer to a class of individuals specialising in the bandaging of the embalmed body, and corresponding to the Greek stolistes.12 The latter were responsible for clothing divine statues and also for the wrapping of sacred animals, such as the dead Mnevis, according to P. Fayum 246 (1st–2nd century AD) and P. Tebtunis II.313 (AD210–211).13 6 7

8 9 10 11 12

13

Burford 1972, 80. A rare image depicting the wrapping of the body is that found in the tomb of Tjoy at Thebes (Spencer 1982, Fig. 46). The image on the top left quadrant shows two individuals winding bandages around the body. Shore and Smith 1960. However, given that the ‘evidence’ consists of a single document, it is not possible to reach any firm conclusion in this regard. On this title see below. Translated from Colin 2003, 82. Colin 2003, 83. However, the terms mnḫy.w and ꜥnṱ.w could also indicate the substances themselves and represent a kind of summary designation for all that was required for the mummification. In P. Rhind I, for example, the deceased is told ‘A mummification with unguent and bandages was carried out for you’ (IV d 11) (Smith 2005, 231 note b to line 23 col. V). Derda 1991, 21–22; Colin 2003, 83 note 64; see also Chapter 4 §3 above.

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A number of artisans probably worked in urban centres plying their trade from a workshop attached to their own dwellings, perhaps in a backroom or in the courtyard, with particular crafts being either grouped within the same city quarter, or scattered around the settlement.14 Here were perhaps based the craftsmen that produced wooden funerary furniture, including embalming beds and funerary biers, coffins, and any material culture intended for deposition in the tomb (statuettes, canopic boxes, wooden stelae etc.), and for whom no evidence survives. The only documentary text in which funerary equipment is mentioned is O. Leiden 288 [Inv. No. F 1897/6.70] (Ptolemaic Period), an oath concerning a dispute over ownership of a coffin and some copper. The defendants, Pete[…] son of PN and another individual whose name is lost, are to take an oath concerning a coffin, which they gave to a woman, possibly the wife of one of the parties concerned. If they take the oath, they will sell the coffin to the woman, if they refuse to swear it, they will have to give the coffin and copper to the plaintiff, Snachomneus son of Piuris.15 Two funerary-beds are listed in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) among the accessories and materials provided by the family for the embalmment of the deceased, and in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106BC), concerning their provision by the choachytes during the mummification of individuals under their professional care.16 However, it seems likely that the craftsmen or woodworkers that produced such items did not specialise solely in the production of funerary furniture (for one thing they would find it difficult to be in continuous employment and thus make a living), but rather made different kinds of furniture and wooden utensils too (as was, in fact, the case with carpenters in general till perhaps half a century ago), hence our difficulty in ‘seeing’ them in the archaeological and textual record.

14 15 16

Cannata 2012, 601. Nur el-Din 1974, 234. The document probably comes from Thebes. Depictions of funerary beds and/or biers are also found in a number of religious compositions [see for example the Book of the Dead of Men[…] (Late Period-Ptolemaic Period) BM EA10098,11; the Book of the Dead of the Priest of Horus, Imhotep (ca. 332–200 B.C.) (Meir) MMA 35.9.20a–w; the Book of the Dead of the overseer of the royal ships, Hekaemsaf (Ptolemaic Period) Princeton Pharaonic roll 8.A; and the Embalming Ritual portion on P. Louvre E 5158 (1st century AD)], as part of the decorative scheme of some coffins [similar imagery is found on the coffins of Djebastetiuefankh and of Mutirdis in the Roemerund Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim; and the coffin of Artemidoros (2nd century AD) BM EA 21810] and on the walls of some tombs [see for example the depictions in the tomb of Petosiris at Gebel el-Muzawaka (Roman Period) and the tomb Reliefs in Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa at Alexandria (Roman Period)], while actual remains have also been found among embalmers’ deposits (Smoláriková 2011) and in tombs [for examples of Roman Period funerary biers (from tombs at Dush) see Castel and Dunand 1981].

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Similarly, no evidence survives for those craftsmen that produced the plaster or clay mummy masks, the cartonnage masks and cases.17 The fact that the painters and goldsmiths named in P. Vindob. Barbara 58 (between 183–182 and 159–158BC)18 were granted permission to decorate the mummy masks suggests that the actual manufacture fell under the competence of a different class of artisans. Tax records of the Roman Period [BGU 471,15 and P. Fayum 23a, verso (2nd century AD)] suggest that some artisans could have been attached to temples,19 with the latter paying the tax due on specific trades, such as that of painters and plasterers. This in turn suggests that in some cases mummy masks and painted portraits were produced in temple workshops.20 The process of manufacture of cartonnage masks and cases consisted of wrapping layers of bandages (or papyrus scraps) soaked in plaster, or glue, around a mummyshaped core made from straw and mud, perhaps built around a light reeds frame. The core was then removed from a slit at the back of the case while the linen or papyrus sheets were still pliable. The cartonnage shell was then fitted around the mummy and secured with cords threaded though holes punched on the back of the case. Once hardened, the latter would be painted with the chosen decoration.21 Given that the discarded inner core consisted of organic materials, it is unlikely that traces of this process would be left in the archaeological record, hence the difficulty of finding evidence for possible workshops specialising in the production of this type of funerary material culture. With respect to the scrap papyrus needed in the manufacture of cartonnage, there is also very little surviving evidence on their mode of acquisition. On the one hand, the discovery of documents in dumps, particularly at Oxyrhynchus where virtually all of the papyri were recovered from rubbish heaps, suggests that used papyrus material was simply discarded.22 This means that it would have been freely available to any one, and thus that no paperwork would be generated, and possibly no money paid, for its acquisition, hence the almost total lack of documentation on the topic. On the other hand, the clerk Menches regularly reused papyrus from his own office, and even papyri belonging to other 17

18 19 20 21 22

The mention of a plaster-worker (γυφικῆς) in a list of temple’s tax payments (BGU 471, 15) from the Roman Period possibly suggests that these individuals may have been employed in the manufacture of mummy masks by the temple (Johnson 1936, 643). See below. As also suggested by the discovery of a possible Ptolemaic workshop near the main temple at Tebtunis (Anti 1930–1931, 389–391; Cannata 2012, 601). Johnson 1936, 539, 643; Grenfell et al. 1900, 130. Adams 1966, 55–66; see also Taylor 2004, 42–43 for a depiction of the various stages of the construction of cartonnage mummy cases. Skeat 1995, 82–83.

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people,23 thus possibly suggesting that there was a kind of central repository where one could acquire such scrap papyrus.24 This is, perhaps, indicated by P. Col. Zenon II 73 (258BC), a fragmentary text in which it is reported that a certain Teos, possibly a ship captain, is taking Herakleides downstream to an emporium in order to sell scrap papyrus that has been collected from various accounting offices and clerical bureaux.25 Receipt of used papyrus and linen to be used for the burial of crocodiles is recorded on a fragmentary temple record, P. Köln VIII 347.15–27, 24–25 (193? BC).26 Presumably these items were to be used for the manufacture of cartonnage cases and for the wrapping of the bodies of the animals sacred to the god Sobek. Verhoogt suggests that papyrus no longer usable as writing media had been donated by the inhabitants of a town, in this case Kerkeosiris, since this is the place whence originated a considerable number of the documents recovered from the Tebtunis crocodile mummies.27 However, it remains unclear whether scrap papyrus to be used in the manufacture of cartonnage for private individuals would have to be bought, or if it also came from ‘donations.’ Finally, whether produced in a temple setting or in a workshop attached to the artisan’s dwelling, masks and/or cases would need to be taken to the necropolis where, following the deposition of the bandaged mummy inside, they would be decorated.28 In addition, textual evidence indicates that there also existed a class of itinerant artists who travelled around the country and set up a temporary studio wherever they received a commission.29 This was the case of the painters and gilders Phatre and Psenobastis who were granted permission to travel around the Arsinoite nome to practice their trade (P. Vindob Barbara 58 (183–182 or 159–158BC)),30 and of the Alexandrian painter Theophilus who was responsible for the interior decoration of elite housing at Philadelphia.31 P. Vindob. Bar23 24 25

26 27 28

29 30 31

Verhoogt 1998, 29–31. It seems unlikely that this clerk would go around rubbish dumps collecting scrap papyrus. Westermann et al. 1940; Youtie 1943, 214; Winter and Youtie 1944, 255–256. The sale of new papyrus, on the other hand, is recorded in SB 12 11078 = SB 6 9629 (c. 100 BC), a letter from three contractors of the retail sale of papyrus rolls in which they inform officials in Tebtynis of the name of their new assistant in the papyrus trade and ask them to cooperate with him (Lewis 1974, 124–125). Gronewald et al. 1997, 129–135. Verhoogt 1998, 15. It is likely that the cartonnage would have been slightly damaged while depositing the mummy inside, by painting it afterwards it would have been possible to repair any visible damage. Ling 2000, 101; Nowicka 1984, 259. Clarysse 2001, 67–70. Nowicka 1984, 256.

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bara 58 (between 183–182 and 159–158BC) also suggests that the professions of painter and gilder of funerary objects could be combined together. Both classes of artists are slightly better attested in the textual record than craftsmen and plaster/cartonnage workers. A gilder is known from a short inscription on a gilt mummy bust from Hawara (Berlin 11746) (Ptolemaic Period), which reads ‘Musthas son of Alexander, the gilder.’32 Two graffiti (SB I 4274,2) (Ptolemaic Period) naming a painter, possibly the same individual, are found at Abydos,33 while the Alexandrian painter Theophilus is attested from documents in the Zenon archive. However, the sources never explicitly indicate their expertise, but rather suggest that neither group specialised in particular media (wall, wood, linen and so on), or in specific spheres (temple, funerary, domestic and so on). This is indicated by P. Cairo Zenon III 59445 (PSI IV 407) (263–229BC) which shows that the painter Theophilus was responsible for both mural and panel painting (pinakes). The latter writes to Zenon explaining that ‘[s]ince the jobs to execute for you are completed, and there is no more work, I remain without the necessities (of life); if you have any panels (pinakes)34 to paint, you should give them to me so that I have work and (enough) to live on. If you cannot give me (any), then you should give me some money for the journey so that I may return to my brothers in the city. Farewell.’35 Similarly, the gilders named in P. Vindob. Barbara 58 (between 183–182 and 159–158 BC) were engaged in the decoration of both temples and funerary masks. Both textual sources and the surviving material culture indicate that a wide range of materials were required during the various stages of a person’s mummification and burial and for the decoration of funerary equipment. The surviving evidence indicates that there were no strict rules concerning the provision of materials, which in some instances would be provided by the family, while in others they would be acquired by the artists themselves who would be reimbursed of the expenses. This is clearly shown by the estimate produced by

32 33 34

35

Depauw 2004, 235 and note 26. Perdrizet and Lefebvre 1919, 61 no. 319, 45 no. 247. Possession of painted panels was popular in Greek society during the third century BC (Nowicka 1984, 259) and already from the Ptolemaic Period there is evidence for the commissioning of a portrait (eikon) of rulers, officials, and members of the gymnasium, which would be displayed in public buildings or temples (Whitehouse 2010, 11; Łukaszewicz 1987; Nowicka 1979, 23). After the French translation by Nowicka 1984, 259. Interestingly, as noted by Nowicka (1984, 259), the fact that Theophilus requests a travel allowance in order to return home, may suggest that he belonged to that class of itinerant painters—half artists, half artisans—who did not make their fortune in the province, but rather travelled around taking commissions for any type of work relevant to their profession.

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Theophilos for his client giving alternative prices depending on who supplied the materials.36 Similarly, in P. Vindob Barbara 58 (183–182 or 159–158 BC) it is specified that the concessionaires are free to purchase the required products anywhere they wish,37 and would presumably be reimbursed these expenses by their clients.38 The latter document is a loan contract stipulated between the farmer of the goldsmiths’ tax and a goldsmith, which suggests that the latter acquired the raw material from the village farmer, undertaking to repay it within an agreed period of time.39 In P. Vindob Barbara Dem. 58 (183–182 or 159–158BC) the tax farmer is identified as the person ‘responsible for the gilders’ trade’ (nt ḥr tꜣ wp.t ḥm-nb-pḳe) (lines 2–3).40 This document also indicates that a form of governmental control existed on painting and gilding, since Maron and Marres, farmers of the painters and goldsmiths’ tax in the Arsinoite nome, grant Phatre and Psenobastis permission to exercise the trade of painter and goldsmith in both the religious and the funerary sectors. A monthly tax payment to the royal bank is due from the named individuals.41 That the sale of gold was a state monopoly during the Ptolemaic Period is indicated by P. Demotic Lille II 64 (226BC) and BGU VI 1242 (2nd–1st century BC). The state may have provided the gold extracted from mines and auctioned it in each nome to the highest bidder, who may have been forced to acquire a certain quantity at a fixed price. In turn, the nome farmers may have sold the gold to the various village farmers, who may also have been required to buy a certain quantity of 36

37 38

39 40 41

Nowicka 1984, 256–259; Ling 1991, 217. Additional evidence for customers providing the artisans with the required materials is found in a much later document, P. Vindob. G 29843 (6th–7th century AD), a list of pigments and colouring materials, with their quantity and prices, necessary for the production of specific colours. A certain Andronikos is also named in the list, whom, in view of his high ranking title (vir illustris), was more likely a customer than a trader in such substances, or a painter (Mitthof 2004, 181–182 note to line 1). Clarysse 2001, 68. In the Roman Period, documents mentioning the cost of gilt decoration suggest that during the 1st and 2nd centuries, 1 meaiaion (c. 28 grams) of gold cost 300 silver drachmae, or 2100 obols (Kramer and Hübner 1976, 132–133; documents include CPR 12 (AD93); BGU IV 1065 (AD 97); P. Oxy. III 496 (AD 127); and P. Oxy. unedited (AD158)). An indication of the process employed in the manufacture and gilding of the masks is given by P. Köln I 52 (AD 263), concerning the decoration of the ceiling in the Gymnasium at Antinopolis. Here it appears that the plasterer would first apply a layer of plaster, which would then be painted on with gold-coloured paint, to which the gold leaves would be applied by means of the glue (130–131, 141–142 note to lines 11 /12 = 59/60). Depauw 2004, 245–246. Depauw 2004, 235–236. Thus the document indicates that the decoration of mummy coverings was under the control of the state administration and, as such, subject to a tax (Clarysse 2001, 67–70).

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gold at a fixed price. Like the nome farmers, they would also be required to provide sureties guaranteeing their presence in the village and their payment of the gold borrowed.42 In P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), listing the funerary expenses undertaken by the family at the death of one of their members, there is a reference to ‘the ˹gilding:˺ 2 silver (deben)’ (tꜣ hḏ43 ˹nb˺ · 2) (col. II line 13), although without further specification. The entry is inserted between the cost of salt and that of unguent, and therefore it may be a reference to the gilding of fingernails during the mummification of the body, rather than to any gilt decoration applied onto the mummy coverings. The technical section in the embalming ritual [P. Boulaq 3 (1st–2nd century AD)], in fact, instructs the priest thus: ‘After this, attach his nails of gold to his hands and his feet, starting from the tips of his four fingers to the base of his nail(s)’ (col. 6/15).44 The same document [P. Florence 3667 (111BC)] also lists one i҆nw-cloth, some ḥbs-cloths as well as another type of cloth,45 the deceased’s gtn-robe, two mnḫcloths, and 29 sbn-bandages, among other materials. Cloth is also listed among the items the father of the deceased is to provide for the embalmment of his son in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC), and in P. Cairo 30960 (104 BC). In the latter document a man petitions the temple for ‘a cloth from among the šp-cloth of the clothing of [the] great [godde]ss Hathor’ (wꜥ ḥbs n pꜣ šp ḥbs n tꜣ mnḫꜣ.(t) n [tꜣ nṯr].t ꜥꜣ.t ḥ.t-ḥr)46 (lines 5–6) in order to pay for the burial of his dead father formerly employed in the said establishment. Indeed, the cost of linen would probably have been the largest single outlay in the entire funeral procedure.47 For the head alone, for example, the Embalming Ritual prescribes the application of a fringed cloth, four bandages, and forty-six wads, with the whole wrapped with a bandage measuring two fingers in width.48 Both new and old cloth would be used for the bandaging, depending on the family’s financial resources, and could come from a variety of sources, though, in general, it was household articles such as towels and cloths, as well as clothing, that would be used for this purpose.49 Wealthier individuals would be able to purchase new

42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

Depauw 2004, 245. CDD letter ḥ, 100; Glossar 282; Pestman 1992, 219, note 17. Smith 2009, 229 (in this quote, italics replace the underlining of the original edition). The only traces visible are those of the determinative which is the same as that for i҆nw, gnrṱ and šty (Pestman 1992, 218 note 6). CDD 103, letter š. In P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), for example, the i҆nw-cloth alone cost 290 silver (deben) (col. I line 10). Smith 2009, 231 col. 7; Jonckheere 1953, 64–65. Benson et al. 1979, 123; Vogelsang-Eastwood 2000, 295; Andrews 1984, 25; Bataille and Bruyère 1939, 102–103. Mummy 1770 in the Manchester Museum was wrapped using

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linen especially for the occasion, or, it is suggested, use the ‘cast-off garments’ of divine statues.50 An allusion to this is perhaps found in documents from the Searapion at Memphis, dating from around the middle of the second century BC, which refer to the sale of (probably old) garments.51 Given the variety of sources of the cloth used, it is not surprising that the quality of the wrappings could be quite variable, ranging from the finest texture to a coarse cloth, with the finer specimens reserved, at least in some cases, for the outer layers of wrapping.52 Beside plain bandages used in the wrapping of the corpse, decorated and inscribed cloths were also to be used. Their application is depicted in the second vignette above the third column of P. Louvre E 5158 (1st century AD), which shows the deceased laying on a bier and Horus of Hebenu approaching him with a strip of fabric in his hand,53 while in P. Boulaq 3 (1st–2nd century AD) the deceased is promised that ‘[c]loth will be fabricated for you in Sais as protection’ (Col. 6).54 More specifically the Ritual prescribes the application of inscribed or decorated linen bands over different parts of the body, and which, because of their apotropaic function, can be described as ‘amulets.’55 In particular, the ninth, tenth and eleventh operations described in the Ritual are concerned with the wrapping of the left hand, the right hand and the legs and feet of the corpse respectively. According to the Ritual’s technical notes, the left hand is to be wrapped with two fringed cloths on which Hapi and Isis have been drawn; while the right hand is covered with two fringed cloths of a special kind identified as the ‘august bandages of Horus the Behdetite.’ Of these, one is to be decorated with an image of Isis and Nephthys, and the other with an image of Re and Min. In addition, the latter is to be inscribed with the words ‘Grasp the sun for yourself, seize the moon for yourself.’56 The eleventh operation prescribes the application of two cloths on each leg, each decorated with an image of a jackal, an example of which may be that discussed by Sauneron.57 Of direct

50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57

household items, including parts of tunics and possibly even sacking, although, all of good quality (Benson et al. 1979, 135–136). Andrews 1984, 25; Vogelsang-Eastwood 2000, 295. Dunand 1979, 56; UPZ I, 378–381. Andrews 1984, 25; Benson et al. 1979, 123. Smith 2009, 223–224; Maspero 1875, plate II; Schreiber 2007, 338 and fig. 2. Smith 2009, 230. For an in-depth analysis of the surviving examples see Kockelmann 2003; for the examples found in TT32 and their contextual analysis see Schreiber 2007. Smith 2009, 222–223. Kockelmann 2003, 250 note 88; Smith 2009, 223; Sauneron 1952a, 53–55. For an analysis of the deities mentioned in the Embalming Ritual and their possible match with the decorated linen amulets from TT32 see Schreiber 2007, 337–340, Table 1 and Figs. 4–27.

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relevance here is the fact that the ritualist is instructed to execute depictions and inscriptions using specific materials: ‘draw Isis in pure orpiment on a single fringed cloth’ (Col. 9); ‘[a]dorn with a fringed cloth (…) on which Isis and Nephthys are depicted with fresh ink, frankincense, and the juice of tekhu-plants. Add a fringed cloth with an image of Re painted on it in orpiment, an image of Min in Nubian ochre and honey being painted on this cloth as well. Make into twelve folds after inscribing (20) them with black ink (…). Paint these things on the august bandages of Horus the Behdetite, the great god and lord of the sky’ (Col. 10); ‘Two jackals should be painted on two fringed cloths, one facing the other, on the cloth of Anubis lord of Hardai and the cloth of Horus master of Hebenu, with ink and extract of frankincense.58 Place Anubis on his right leg and Horus on his left leg’ (Col. 11).59 The fact that the ritualist is instructed to draw, inscribe and paint these cloths clearly indicates that decorated mummy linens were produced by the embalmers themselves directly in the embalming place. Interestingly, the residues of resin found on some mummy labels indicate that they too lay in the embalming place before being attached to the body, which, in turn, raises the possibility that these objects were also inscribed by the embalmers themselves.60 The same is also suggested by textual evidence dating from the Roman Period. SPP XXII 56 (2nd century AD)61 and possibly P. Société Fouad inv. 99 (2nd–3rd century AD),62 mention the provision of cloth by the family, as well as the pigment needed for dyeing them, which, again, suggests that they had yet to be decorated, and that this task fell with the necrotaphoi.63 58 59 60

61 62

63

Note that several scholars identify this substance as myrrh, see, for example, Colin 2003, 101 note 196; LiDonnici 2001, 66 and note 23, 68; and CDD 92 letter ꜥ. Smith 2009, 238, 240, 242 (in this quote, italics replace the underlining of the original edition); Kockelmann 2003, 250. The combination of titles held by the Old Kingdom painter Kaiemtjenenit, from Meir, who is variously identified as ‘inspector of outline draftsmen,’ ‘scribe of the house of sacred books of the palace,’ and, most importantly, as ‘lector-priest’ (Kanawati and Woods 2009, 12), further suggests the possibility of a link between funerary priests and a specific class of artists, those who inscribed and/or decorated some of the mummy bandages. Montserrat 1997, 40. The document originates from the Hermopolite area, and lists two tunics and some cushions, followed by the names of three vegetable substances, with their quantities in mines, two of which, thapsos and krimnos, were employed in the dyeing industry in antiquity (Fournet 2004, 91). However, it is important to note, that we do not know who wrote these ‘funerary expenses,’ or what their purpose may have been. They could have been drafted by the family as a kind of aide-memoire for the funeral outlay of a relative, or could represent accounts presented to the family by a mortuary priest listing the various expenses for work carried out by different individuals. In the latter instance, the dyeing of the bandages and the wrapping of the body could easily have been the responsibility of two separate groups of craftsmen.

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Textual sources and chemical analyses of surviving specimens64 also clearly indicate that a variety of materials and substances would be required during the actual process of mummification. The list recorded in P. Florence 3667 (111BC), for example, includes several hins of unguent (mtḥ), three (measures of) salt (ḥmꜣ), honey (i҆by), sgn-unguent (sgn), fat (ꜥt), two minas of mrḥ-resin (mrḥ mnꜣ), several hins of syf-resin (syf ), natron (ḥsmn), various hins of wine (i҆rp) and of embalming ˹wine˺ (˹i҆rp˺ ḳs),65 herbs (sm), and a mina of flowers (ḥrr mnꜣ). Similarly, the fragmentary list found in O. Leiden 96 [Inv. No. F 1897/6.24] (Ptolemaic Period) includes 35 hins of oil (nḥḥ), three hins of resin (syf ), some ˹flowers of Thebes˺ (˹ḥrry n nw.t˺) and some wine (i҆rp); while provision of natron (ḥsmn) is also mentioned in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC). Among the substances mentioned in the technical notes of the Embalming Rituals are: natron, very high quality frankincense (or myrrh), oil, moringa oil, unguent (with the ten oils in it), ointment, resin, resinous substance, juice of the gum of the ebony tree, mestenu-liquid, plants, white lotus, seneb-plant, menes-plant, a shoot of the aru-tree.66 A hieratic inscription on a bowl found among an embalmers cache at Saqqara (5th century BC) provides additional information on the range of substances that may have been used during the mummification: ‘gum resin 15, shr.t-resin 16, wax 16, coniferous oil, Libyan oil, soda 16, fresh frankincense 11, shaped frankincense 11, sfj-oil of cumin 10, sfj-oil of Lebanon 16; for the hand of Psammetich(?).’67 A number of them would probably have been common household ‘spices,’ or at least readily available in marketplaces,68 while others would have been imported into Egypt.69 Myrrh and incense, for example, came from Yemen and Somalia through trade routes linking Berenice to Coptos. A Demotic graffito along this caravan route, at the site of Al-Buwayb, by a certain Paches son

64 65

66 67 68

69

See for example Connan 2005; Buckley and Evershed 2001; Facchetti et al. 2014 and 2012. Wine in this context would probably have been used mixed with myrrh to bring out the fragrance. On the use of wine mixed with myrrh see Colin 2003, 85; and Manniche 2009, 2. Of these, some actually served for the preservation of the body, while others, particularly plants, had apotropaic powers. Töpfer 2015, 339; Lauer and Iskander 1955, 178; Aston 2011, 51–52. LiDinnici 2001, 63. Among the documents analysed here, ‘resin seller(s)’ (s-n-ꜣwš) are attested at Memphis (P. Louvre E 3266, 5) and in Middle Egypt (P. Count. 2.91 and 10.56), a ‘gum maker’ (s-n-ḳmꜣ) is attested at Memphis (P. Leiden I 380A–B, 3), a possible ‘pitch(?)dealer’ (s-n-nḏpṱ) is attested at Hawara (P. Hamburg 9, 9), and an ‘incense seller’ (s-n-snṯr) is attested from Thebes (P. Louvre E 3440 A–B and P. Berlin P. 3112). For the title of ‘incense modeller’ (sꜣḳ snṯr) see Quegebeur 1993. Manniche 2009, 2; Colin 2003, 73–74.

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of Panebweres, the unguent-maker (pꜣ ꜥnṱ)70 (or unguentarius), provides evidence for another class of specialists, and suggests that some of these may also have been involved in the import of aromata.71 In particular, these specialists appear to have been part of temples’ personnel, and to have played some role in the mummification rites.72 Indeed, the presence of unguent-makers among the individuals responsible for the mummification is implied by the stela of Annos/Anemher (Stela Cairo 31099, 73BC) where we read that from day 52 to day 56 they cooked for him mtḥ-unguents and ˹brought˺ for him the mnḫbandages (and) the royal-byssus (line 8). Thus, according to this text it was the embalmers who prepared (at least some of) the unguents used during the mummification.73 Indirectly, this is also indicated by the presence of ‘cookingpots’ among Late Period embalmers deposits.74 With regards to the acquisition of specific materials, unpublished tax receipts and a contract in Greek (Late Ptolemaic Period) from the Cynopolite nome, indicate that some substances, specifically kedria and pharmakon, were subject to government control and thus a tax.75 With respect to the herbs and plants necessary during the mummification, there is no evidence from Egypt for the existence of a specialised profession of drug-seller or plant-collector, such as the Greek rhizotomoi.76 Rather, the presence of an illustrated herbal from the second century AD, giving indication of where particular plants grew, and medical handbooks from different periods, explaining the appearance and use of particular plants, seem to imply that healers collected these plants personally.77 Thus, considering the level of specialistic knowledge the unguentmakers working in the embalming place possessed, it seems likely that they would also collect some of these plants personally. Finally, some indirect reference to funerary equipment may be found in P. Turin Suppl. 6083 (105BC), the acknowledgment of receipt of burial expenses. In the document party B,78 Tateathuris, the sister of party A makes a

70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78

For the reading of this title see Colin 2003. See also Quaegebeur 1993 and 1994. Colin 2003, 73–74. Two more individuals by this title are perhaps attested as house owners in one of the Hawara Papyri (P. O.I. 25258 [285–246]) (Colin 2003, 84). Colin 2003. Spiegelberg 1904, 32, line 9; Griffith 1900, 29–30, note to line 25. Smoláriková 2011; Aston and Aston 2010. Clarysse 2007. Lang 2013, 178. On these documents see Ryholt 2013 and Lang 2013, 177–181. That this is a statement of party B is shown by the use of the second person singular suffix pronoun to address the other party, and by the fact that the scribe left a gap in the text before this passage.

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statement and declares: ‘you will be the one to have authority over the things which you will desire to give for Psemminis, your father’ (scil. the deceased) (i҆w mtw=k pꜣ nt i҆r-sh̭ n nꜣ nkt.w nt i҆w tw=k mr ty s(t) ⟨˹n˺⟩ pꜣ-šr-mn pꜣy=k i҆ṱ) (line 5–7). It is possible that one of the entries in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) provides some evidence for what ‘things’ the family could give for the deceased since it lists: ‘[…] 30 silver (deben): price of the ring for/of Osoroeris’ ([…] · 30 swn tꜣ glṱ n wsi҆r-wr) (col. I line 21).79 Possibly this ring represents something the eldest son gave for the mummification and burial of his father, either as (part) payment for mummification requisites, or as one of the items used during this process, and the amount shown corresponds to its value.80 An attractive possibility is that of linking this ring to a passage in the Embalming Ritual where the technical note referring to the wrapping of the left hand instructs the ritualist to ‘place a gold ring on his finger’ (Col. 9). In some cases, the commissioning of funerary items may have been arranged by the deceased himself during his lifetime. This certainly appears was the case of the Theban priest Nesmin, who served in the cults of several deities at Thebes and at nearby Hutsekhem, and was buried with at least four funerary papyri.81 A short Demotic note, inscribed in his hand on an adjoining sheet to P. BM EA 10209, gives instructions for the placement of the latter papyrus: ‘Let a text be written for me in the receptacle of pine wood into which I shall be placed. Let the papyrus roll to be inserted within my mummy wrappings. Sminis has written’ (my sẖ=w n=y sẖ r-ẖn-n pꜣ ḥnw n ḳty nt-i҆w=w r ti҆.ṱ=y r-ẖn=f my tw=w pꜣ ḏmꜥ r-ẖn tꜣy=y ḳs sẖ ns-mn).82 The fact that Nesmin requests that a document be written for him, together with the fact that the Demotic note appears to have been written before the actual funerary composition, suggests that he commissioned the papyrus himself.83 Funerary papyri could also be purchased ready made with spaces left blank for future insertion of the beneficiary and his parents.84 Compositions could, in some cases, be copies owned by the deceased

79

80

81 82 83 84

Pestman (1992, 211 d, 218 note 8) suggests that the use of the definite article indicates this must have been a particular ring, and that it would have been given to Osoroeris (my italics). However, if this was the case, it is unclear why its price would be shown in a list of items provided by the family for the deceased. The eldest son was entitled to a greater share in the father’s inheritance, but would have to provide for the mummification and burial of the latter. It is possible that this additional payment was made by Osoroeris because he was the eldest son. P. BM EA 10188, P. BM EA 10208, P. BM EA 10209 (on which see Smith 2009, Text 2, 3, and 8) and P. Detroit Institute of Arts 1988.10 (Smith 2009, 96–97). Martin and Ryholt 2006; for the corrections to their reading see Smith 2009, 178 note 4. Martin and Ryholt 2006, 272–273. Smith 2009, 217.

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during his life, as perhaps is the case of P. Boulaq 3, the Embalming Ritual. The presence of short notes written in Demotic above each column indicates that the composition was actually used during the performance of the mummification rituals in the embalming place by the overseer of the mysteries. It is conceivable that Hatres, himself an overseer of the mysteries, was the one who actually used the manuscript before it was inscribed with his name and placed with him in his tomb.85 As the previous survey shows, with the exception perhaps of the artisans that manufactured wooden, plaster, and/or cartonnage funerary items, much of what could be classed as production of ‘decorative’ items, or decoration of such items, was executed in the embalming place. This is perhaps the reason for the elusiveness of the funerary artists. On the one hand, some of the items were crafted by the embalmers themselves, hence the lack of documentation relating to specific classes of funerary artists. On the other hand, individuals specialising in the gilding and painting of funerary items would have been based in the embalming place itself, hence the lack of remains from their work in the archaeological record.

2

Provision of Mummification Materials and Burial Equipment

Evidence on whose responsibility it was to provide mummification materials and burial equipment is found in a small number of documents from around the country. The earliest of these is P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270 BC), an embalming agreement between embalmer and the father of the deceased. Here Party A confirms receipts of natron, mummification wrappings, and everything else that will be required for the mummification of Party B’s son. Provision of embalming materials is also mentioned in P. Florence 3667 (111 BC), the aforementioned accounts of burial expenses, which lists contributions from the deceased’s offspring, and perhaps also from other choachytes, who were likely work colleagues.86 Thus, in these two instances, it seems clear that the provision of the mummification requisites was the responsibility of the family.

85

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Smith 2009, 224. However, not all the spaces were inscribed, some were accidentally left blank, others were filled in carelessly. Interestingly, in the vast majority of cases where the name of the deceased has been omitted, the space still includes the words ‘Osiris of the god’s father’ written in the same hand as the main text. This suggests that, even if not inscribed for a specific person, the manuscript was still intended for someone with this priestly title and rank (Smith 2009, 217). The list of funerary expenses found on O. Leiden 96 [Inv. No. F 1897/6.24.] (Ptolemaic

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In addition, individuals belonging to associations may expect a contribution either for part or for the entire cost of their mummification and burial. The most detailed of these is the list of the associations’ regulations recorded in P. Lille 29 (223BC). As mentioned before, the specific clause prescribes that the members’ representative will give ‘100 rations for the mourning (ꜥḳ nhpj)’87 (ꜥḳ nhpy 100) divided as follows: the price of hi[s ˹pr-nfr˺]: 50 rations; his (day) 35: 25 ⟨rations⟩; his ḥb ḳs: 25 rations (pꜣ swn pꜣ[ y=f ˹pr-nfr˺] ꜥḳ 50 pꜣy=f 35 ⟨ꜥḳ⟩ 25 pꜣy=f ḥb ḳs ꜥḳ 25) (line 18).88 In P. Cairo 30606 (157BC)89 and P. Cairo 31179 (147 BC) the members agree to give their dues, in the amount stipulated by ‘those of the house,’ for the deceased’s ḳs.t and pr-nfr (mtw=n ty n=f pꜣ ḥḏ ꜥl nt i҆.i҆r nꜣy=w pꜣ ꜥ.wy mt r=f ty st wbꜣ tꜣy=f ḳs.t ḥnꜥ pꜣy=f pr-nfr) (line 13 and line 14 respectively), while the regulations set down in P. Cairo 30619 (137BC) prescribe that members’ dues are to be given for the deceased’s ḳs.t (i҆w=n ty [ḥḏ ꜥl]? wbꜣ tꜣy=f ḳs.t) (line 7). In P. Prague (137BC) the amount of the individual contribution is set at five deben and it is intended for the person’s ḳs.t too (i҆w=n ty ḥḏ 5 r wꜥ rmṯ n-i҆m=n wbꜣ tꜣy=f ḳs.t) (line 24).90 In P. Berlin P. 3115 (Text A 109BC), the list of regulation of the association of the Theban choachytes, it is agreed that, in case of death of one of the members, the others are to give for him 1½ hin of syf-resin for/in 10 days. ‘(as for) the man, from among the people who are written above, who will die, they (scil. the members) will give for him 1½ hin(s) of resin, for each of the man written above, for/in 10 days’ (pꜣ rmṯ nt i҆w=f r mwt ẖn nꜣ rmṯ.w nt sẖ ḥry mtw=w ty n=f syf wꜥ ½ hyn r pꜣ rmṯ nt sẖ ḥry n hrw 10). Text A, col. 3, line 5

P. Cairo 30960 (104BC) from Pathyris, mentioned above, suggests the possibility of priests working in a temple having some entitlement to help with burial expenses. In the document Party A requests that the temple of Hathor contribute for the burial expenses of his father in consideration of his service there.

87 88 89

90

Period) is fragmentary and does not give any indication of who was responsible for the provision of these materials. For this word see Sethe and Partsch 1920, 428 § 61. The members will also give 2 kite each to the ‘house’ for him (i҆w=n ty ḥḏ r-r=f r pꜣ ꜥ.wy tn 2 r s 1) (line 18), but I am not sure of the reason for this contribution. In this document the members stipulate to give for him eight rations (mtw=n ty ṯ=w n=f ꜥḳ 8) (line 14), in addition to their contribution towards the deceased’s ḳs.t and pr-nfr. Presumably these are to be understood as mourning rations, which would be taken to the house of the bereaved family. Contributions are also prescribed in the event of death of a close relative of one of the members.

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On the other hand, a number of clauses in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC), concern the provision of accessories and materials for use during the mummification of individuals who may have been under the professional care of a specific choachyte. One of the regulations prescribes that: ‘they will not go to the ḳs.w,91 (the) 35 (days ceremonies), (and) the štyceremony besides those on the heart of (scil. chosen by) the choachyte of the house (and) besides the person whom the choachyte of the house will request’ (bn=w šm r ḳs.w ḥnꜥ 35 tꜣ šty m-sꜣ nꜣy.w ḥr-ḥꜣ.ṱ pꜣ wꜣḥ–mw pꜣ ꜥ.wy m-sꜣ rmṯ mtw (scil. nt i҆w) pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw ꜥ.wy tbḥ=f ); Text C lines 2–4

the members also agree: ‘not to give [cloth] to a man of Djeme who is dead, not to give ḥbs-cloth (or) i҆nw-cloth to a man who stands in (the) ˹house of rejuvenation,˺ (nor) a bed, (nor) a cover, not to administer (embalming)-medicaments to (the) dead of our house’ (r tm ty.t [ḥbs] r-ḥr rmṯ ḏmꜣ i҆w=f mwt r tm ty.t ḥbs i҆nw n rmṯ i҆w=f ꜥḥꜥ r ˹pr-nfr˺ glk prḫ r tm ḥwy pẖr.(t) r mwt n pꜣy=n ꜥ.wy), Text D lines 2–3

except for the person who was in their personal care. In addition, P. BM EA 10561 (157BC), an agreement stipulated between two groups of lector-priests from Siut, indicates that one of their activities concerned the provision of, mainly, cloths during the various stages of the mummification process. The agreement prescribes the number of cloths to be given during specific stages of this process, and the individuals to whom they are to be given. The parties also stipulate that they are not to give any other item besides the cloths listed, and that they will not be able to appoint any other man for the performance of specific tasks (anointing and wrapping), beside the man who will be approached. The latter statement indicates that their services would be enlisted by another person, either the family of the dead person, or their choachyte.92 This is further indicated by a clause in Text C of P. Berlin P. 3115 (109–106 BC) which stipulates that: ‘no man at all within the association will bring doctors (scil. embalmers) to the association of Amenope besides the choachyte who goes to (the) 91 92

A stage in the mummification process. On this see further Chapter 11 §3, Appendix §1 and Cannata 2007. Or a person acting in such a capacity. On this text see further Chapter 11 §3.

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ḳs, (the) purification, (and the) 35 (days ceremonies) to give (the) cloth (and a) bed (for) his šty-ceremony’ (i҆w bn.w rmṯ pꜣ tꜣ ẖn tꜣ 6-nt i҆n swnw r tꜣ 6-nt I҆mn-i҆py mtw93 bnr wꜣḥ–mw mtw=f šm r ḳs wꜥb 35 r ty ḥbs glg pꜣy=f šty). Text C lines 10–12

Taken together, the evidence suggests that, in general, the provision of embalming materials was the direct responsibility of the family. However, they could delegate such a task to their choachyte, who was already in charge of the deceased. Alternatively, it was also possible for the deceased’s relatives to request the lector-priest to acquire the necessary materials on their behalf, who would then receive a total payment for both their activity and the materials. This may have been the case if perhaps the family did not have the means, or did not want to, employ the services of a choachyte for the organisation of the entire process. This type of arrangement is found in P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301BC), a contract of sale of a house to a lector-priest as payment for the mummification of deceased individuals. A similar type of agreement is also attested in P. Louvre E 7450 (532BC) where a person gives a bull to the overseer of the necropolis ‘instead of the things one (normally) gives’ (lines 4–5). The latter perhaps indicates that already during the Late Period it was customary for the family to provide the necessary materials, and that different arrangements were simply the result of personal circumstances.

3

Burial Taxes

Evidence for the payment of a burial tax is found only at Thebes and Edfu, although it is unlikely that an equivalent tax was not charged in the rest of the country.94 At Thebes two different types of funerary taxes are attested for the Ptolemaic period: the transfer-tax for the amount of 2½ kite paid on the purchase of immoveable property in the necropolis,95 and the tax, or money, of the overseer of the necropolis (tny / ḥḏ mr-ḫꜣs.t), for the sum of ½ kite paid on each of the deceased individuals brought into the necropolis. In a number of cases, 93 94 95

A comparison between the writing for mtw and that for m-sꜣ in lines 2 and 3 above suggests that this is also the reading of mtw here in line 11. For a detailed study of funerary taxes and bibliographical references to earlier studies see Muhs 2005 and 2011. On the transfer-tax see Chapter 15 § 3.

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the latter receipts state that the payment has been made to the temple (r ḥ.tnṯr) without formal identification of the tax paid. Both types of taxes were paid by the choachytes, on behalf of the family, as shown by the extant receipts in which some taxpayers are clearly titled as choachytes, while several others can be identified with the door-keepers that appear as contracting parties in the surviving contracts.96 That this tax was not charged to the choachytes themselves, but rather to the family, is shown by its inclusion in the list of expenses produced by the choachyte for the building of a s.t-tomb recorded in P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301BC).97 The published Theban burial taxes can be divided in two groups, a group of 97 receipts98 spanning approximately the period between regnal year 7 of Alexander IV (310 BC?) and regnal year 23 or 24 of Ptolemy III (224BC?),99 and a second group of only seven currently known ostraca,100 and seven wooden mummy labels, all dating to the late Ptolemaic Period or later.101 The tax amount in the first group, the overseer of the necropolis tax, appears to have been increased by 1 obol, thus raising from ½ kite (= 6 obols) to ½ 1/12 kite (= 7 obols) per interment, during the reign of Ptolemy III.102 Typically this type of tax receipt would read: (1) Pa-i҆mn-i҆mnt(?) son of Petemestous has brought ½ silver kite for the money of (2) the Overseer of the necropolis in the name of the daughter of Psenenteris (3) who was brought to the necropolis. Has written Petemestous son of Poulemis in (4) regnal year 23, month four of the harvest season (Mesore), day 20 of pharaoh Ptolemy (5) son of Ptolemy, with Ptolemy his son.103 Indirect evidence for the overseer of the necropolis tax during the first century BC is provided by P. Brooklyn 35.1462 (P. Brooklyn Museum 14) (225? BC), a note 96 97 98 99 100

101

102 103

See Table A.1 and A.5. On this text see Chapter 16 § 3. See Table A.1 for a list of published burial tax receipts, and Table A.34 for a list of the variant formulae used in these documents. Muhs 2005 88–95; Muhs 2011, 149–176. These are: O. VOK 1 (152 BC or 141 BC), and O. VOK 2 (151BC or 140BC) (Muhs 2009, 394–395); O. Wångstedt 69 (Wångstedt 1981, 23–24); O. BM EA 25886 (Wångstedt 1964, 50); O. IFAODeir el-Médineh 1 and 2 (Devauchelle 1987, 151); and possibly OIM 19301 (Muhs 2005, 144 ¶13), on which see Muhs 2009, 394–395 and Muhs 2003, 104. The mummy labels date range falls either in the reign of Augustus (between 16BC and AD 7) or in the reign of Ptolemy X (between 100 and 88 BC) (Muhs 2009, 393 and note 3, 394). Between the Egyptian year 13 and 20 of this king. See further Table A.1 and Muhs 2005, 89. For the transliteration see Muhs 2005, 178 ¶ 60.

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which urges the recipient not to hinder a third party with respect to the tax of the overseer of the necropolis. Other payments to the overseer of the necropolis are attested in P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC), P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) and O. Leiden 96 [Inv. No. F1897/6.24] (Ptolemaic Period), although it is not clear whether they refer to the payment of the tax known by this name. The accounts recorded in P. Turin 2141 (c. 131BC) include ‘the reckoning of the money: what belonged to me from his reckoning as money as chief of the necropolis: 35 silver (deben)’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w r-wn-nꜣ.w mtw=y ḥr pꜣy=f i҆p ẖr nꜣ ḥḏ.w n tp ḫꜣs.t ḥḏ 35) (lines 6– 7), ‘the reckoning of the money: ⟨whi⟩ch came to me here in Djeme for ⟨regnal year⟩ 39: 15 silver (deben) as money as chief of the necropolis’ (pꜣ i҆p n nꜣ ḥḏ.w ⟨i҆.⟩i҆r i҆y r ty n ḏmꜣ ẖr ⟨ḥꜣ.t-sp⟩ 39 ḥḏ 15 ẖr ḥḏ n tp ḫꜣs.t) (lines 11–12).104 P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) lists as part of the expenses undertaken at the death of a choachyte ‘[the] overseer of the necropolis: 15 silver (deben)’ ([pꜣ] mr-ẖꜣs.t ḥḏ 15) (col. III line 14), and similarly O. Leiden 96 (Ptolemaic Period), also relating to funeral expenses, which lists ‘the overseer of the necropolis: 5 silver (deben)’ (pꜣ mr ḫꜣs.t ḥḏ 5) (col. 1 line 10). However, it is difficult to reconcile these amounts with a specific number of people. The first document records the accounts of two lector-priests, and thus the sums could refer to multiple burials, but in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) and O. Leiden 96 (Ptolemaic Period), the amounts refer to a single deceased. It is to be wondered whether the difference is temporal, and thus indicative of an increase in the tax amount, or if it does not concern the tax by the same name, but a different type of service (perhaps during the embalming process or during the funeral) provided by the overseer of the necropolis, which cost could depend, for example, on the elaborateness of the service. The second group of Theban ostraca, on the other hand, is characterised by the use of a clause granting permission to bury the deceased, which employs the causative imperative ‘Cause that PN (= the deceased) is buried’ (my i҆r=w ḳs PN), or the imperative ‘Bury PN (= the deceased)’ (ḳs PN).105 They are very similar to a group of nine ostraca from Edfu, dating to the years between 144 and 107BC, also recording receipt of payment for a funerary tax paid on individual burials.106 These are also characterised by the use of a clause giving permission 104

105 106

Another entry in the same document lists ‘the reckoning ⟨of the silver (debens)⟩ due from Petenephotes ~ Lolous in Hermonthis: 5 silver kite’ (pꜣ i҆p ⟨n nꜣ ḥḏ.w⟩ nt r ꜥ.wy lwlw n i҆wnwmnṱ ḥḏ ḳt 5) (lines 5–6), which Pestman suggests may be part of the money of the ‘First of the necropolis’ that Petenephotes ~ Lolous has received at Hermonthis part of which is due to Amenothes (Pestman 1981, 51 note j). However, this is not clear from the text and, therefore, I have left it out. Muhs 2009, 394–395. Published by Devauchelle 1987; for an analysis of these ostraca see also Muhs 2003, 102– 105.

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to bury the deceased, although, unlike the Theban receipts, they acknowledge receipt of payment. Typically they employ an opening address: PN1 son of PN (and PN2 son of PN) greets (var. before) PN son of PN (= the tax-payer), which is then followed by one of four variant formulae: 1. Perform (the) entombment of PN (son/daughter of PN), we are (var. I am) paid 1/10 for his/her burial, there is no claim that we (var. I) can call after you concerning it (i҆-i҆ry ḳs PN (sꜣ/ta PN) tw=n (var. tw=y) mḥ pꜣ r-10 n tꜣy=f (tꜣy=s) ḳs mn mt i҆w=n (var. i҆w=y) ꜥš m-sꜣ=k n-i҆m=s);107 2. Perform (the) entombment, I am paid (the) money (for) the burial (˹i҆-i҆ry ḳs˺ tw=y mḥ ḥḏ (n) pꜣ ḳs);108 3. Let them perform (the) entombment of PN (son/daughter of PN), I am paid 1/10 for his/her burial, there is no claim that we (var. I) can call after you concerning it (my i҆r=w ḳs PN (sꜣ/ta PN) tw=y mḥ pꜣ r-10 n tꜣy=f (tꜣy=s) ḳs mn mt i҆w=n (var. i҆w=y) ꜥš m-sꜣ=k n-i҆m=s);109 4. I am paid by you (for) the mnḳ of PN (son/daughter of PN), there is no claim that I can call concerning you (tw=y mḥ.ṱ=k pꜣ mnḳ PN (sꜣ/ta PN) mn mt i҆w=y ꜥš n-i҆m=k).110 The other group of published Edfu funerary ostraca consists of proofs of payment of the tni҆.t ḫꜣs.t, or necropolis tax, known from twenty-two receipts dating to the years 234 and 233BC, and written in a number of variant formulae.111 The payments are all made by two different payers monthly over a period of about a year and a half, and are all for different amounts.112 Seven different recipients are attested on them, in one case four on the same receipt, though generally between two and one are named on each. The individual payments are quite large and vary between 6½ kite (= 13 drachmae) and 5 deben 7¼ kite

107 108 109 110 111 112

This formula is attested in O. IFAO 882 (144 BC), O. IFAO 883 (144BC), O. IFAO 884 (c. 144BC) and O. IFAO 81 (Ptolemaic). This formula is attested in O. IFAO 781 (Ptolemaic). This formula is attested in O. IFAO 205 (120 BC) and O. IFAO 130 (117BC). This formula is attested in O. IFAO 255 (110 BC) and O. IFAO 623 (107BC). See Table A.35 for a list of these burial tax receipts, and Table A.36 for a list of the variant formulae used in these documents. The date on the receipts goes from year 13 to year 16, presumably of the same king. Twenty of them are in the name of Nespachy son of Pasas, and date between year 13 Mekheir to year 14 Phamenoth 30, that is, around 13 or 14 months. The other two are probably in the name of Patipasegena(?) son of Thotsytmis (Muhs 2003, 83).

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(= 114 drachmae and 3 obols), for a total of 1259 drachmae and 2½ obols.113 They represent a portion of what was owed, since several of them state the money has been received on account, thus suggesting that the amount paid is not the total owed for a specific tax-period. Neither the individual payments nor the total sum can be reconciled to a specific number of people, and, in fact, they are never made ‘in the name of’ a specific individual, who is said to have been brought to the necropolis. Instead, they sometimes include the expression ‘the money concerning which he wrote at his command,’ which in Demotic can be an idiom meaning ‘to contract for something,’ which could suggest that the payers had contracted to underwrite the funerary tax during a specific period.114 If so, the receipts indicate that at Edfu the necropolis taxes were farmed out, as it appears was the case at Thebes according to the evidence of P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC).115 Additional evidence for the existence of this practice at Edfu is provided by P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225–224 BC) in which a certain Pat[… son of] Thotsythmis writes to the praktor Euphronios to inform him that the taricheutes Horos, son of Pasas, has contracted to underwrite the collection of the taricheia-tax for the temple.116 The latter has apparently collected 2800 copper drachmae, of which he has already deposited 2200. He still owed 600 copper drachmae for which he was able to offer guarantee, since his father had recently received 160 drachmae, possibly from a tax collection.117 It is possible that the writer of this letter is to be identified with ˹Patipasegena˺ son of Thotsytmis, one of the two tax payers in the Edfu ostraca.118 If this identification is correct, the document would closely parallel the agreements detailed in P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC) where a lector-priest declares he has written to the state authorities to inform them that he will pay a certain amount of money for the right to collect the necropolis taxes. The difference between the two rests on the fact that in the latter document the individual may have been acting in place of the overseer of the necropolis, whereas in P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225– 224BC) the writer is informing the relevant authorities that another individual, a lector-priest, has contracted to farm out the necropolis tax. 113 114 115 116

117 118

Muhs 2003, 83. Muhs 2003, 86–87 and note 67. On this document see Chapter 1 § 1. Muhs 2003, 87–88. Unfortunately, the ostraca do not provide any information as to the exact nature of this funerary tax, or on the profession of the payers and of the recipients. However, P. Elephantine Gr. 8 (225–224 BC) indicates that the tax may have been farmedout among lector-priests, or taricheutai, as appears to have been the case in Thebes on the basis of the evidence of P. BM EA 10528 (291 BC). The letter is part of the archive of the praktor Milon, for which see Clarysse 2003. Translated in Muhs 2003, 87–88. Muhs 2003, 88.

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Thus the various groups of ostraca from both Thebes and Edfu represent different aspects of the funerary tax payment and collection, as well as diverse tax-periods. Both groups of funerary-tax receipts from Thebes, as well as the small group of nine ostraca from Edfu giving permission to bury, relate to payments made by the choachytes, on behalf of the deceased’s family. At the time the dead were brought to the necropolis, the choachytes would receive a receipt acknowledging this payment of the burial-tax. According to the evidence of P. BM EA 10528 (291BC), this money could be collected by the other lector-priests in case of absence of the overseer. Any amount thus collected would then have been paid to the overseer by the individual lector-priests. The second group of tax receipts from Edfu could thus represent payments made to the temple by the overseer(s) of necropolis, or even lector-priests acting in such a capacity, for the funerary taxes collected from the choachytes. Among the early Theban funerary tax receipts, O. Bodleian Eg. Inscr. 1116 (Ptolemaic Period)119 stands out because of the unusually high number of deceased listed. The ostracon records payment of the burial tax, which it is specified was made to the temple, and comprises: 1⅓ kite for two people, 1⅓ kite for two more, 1 kite for one person, and ⅔ kite for another, for a total of 4⅓ kite. In a total of 97 published receipts only 10 or 11 (one is damaged and the number of deceased uncertain) list more than one person, and even then it is for no more than two deceased. For example, O. BM EA 5780 and O. BM EA 5785 issued by the same official for the same scribe, Panas son of Pchorchonsis, and on the same day (regnal year 22, fourth month of the winter season, day 20), for two (related?) individuals. The first receipt is in the name of Pamonthes the doctor, and the second in the name of the sister of Pamonthes the doctor. In this case two separate receipts were issued for two individuals, who were apparently brought to the necropolis at the same time, and may even have been related. It is certainly possible that O. Bodleian Eg. Inscr. 1116 (Ptolemaic Period) represents a particular case when six individuals died all at the same time, and that all six were under the care of the same choachyte. Indeed, its wording is consistent with that found on other funerary tax receipts. However, in this case, one would expect the payment to be the same for all of them. It is possible that this is evidence for a differentiation of cost on the basis, for example, of the elaborateness of the funeral, though the fact that all other receipts are remarkably uniform in terms of the

119

Devauchelle (1987, 142–143) suggested the ostracon dates to the late Ptolemaic Period, also noting that no further examples of this type of tax survive, but see Muhs (2003, 105) for its re-dating to the early Ptolemaic Period.

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amount paid strongly suggests that this was not the case in this receipt. Alternatively, it is possible that the list records part payments of a funerary tax made by rather than for the people listed. In this respect it would be similar to the Edfu ostraca also recording the periodical part payment of the same tax. As mentioned above, there is no clear evidence for funerary taxes from other parts of the country. The only exception is represented by the mention of a ‘tax of the necropolis’ in P. Cairo 50127 (1st century BC) (line 8). The context of the letter is not entirely clear, but it does seem to indicate that the embalmers had stopped working because they had not been paid, and that the payment discussed in the letter was intended to cover both the tax amount and the cost of the mummification of the deceased. This being the case, it is possible that families paid for both expenses at the same time, and that it was the responsibility of the mortuary priests to pay the tax to the relevant authority from this sum. The transaction did not generate any ‘paperwork,’ at least in this instance, since, if it had, the writer of the letter could have used the receipt as proof of payment. Thus the lack of evidence from Lower Egypt, the Fayum, and possibly Middle Egypt, for funerary taxes may be due to a difference in which these imposts were collected from these parts of the country.120 With respect to the taxation point, no explicit information is found on the vast majority of the documents, which only state that the deceased has been brought to the necropolis. From those burial-tax receipts granting permission to bury the deceased, as in the case of O. Wångstedt 69 (Late Ptolemaic) which reads ‘Let them bury ˹Pꜣ-ḥtp-ẖrṱ˺’ (my i҆r=w ḳs ˹pꜣ-ḥtp-ẖrṱ˺) (lines 3–4), it is clear that the taxation point was the time of burial. The same is also true of the burial-tax receipts from Edfu121 granting permission to bury the deceased, which read ‘Perform (the) entombment, I am paid 1/10 for his/her burial.’ This was also the taxation point during the earlier Ptolemaic Period, as shown by the receipts recorded in O. GMi 114 (Kaplony-Heckel MSS) (247 BC) and O. GMi 120 (Kaplony-Heckel MSS) (247 BC),122 the first of which reads ‘Panas son of Pchorchonsis has brought ½ silver kite to the temple in the name of Senamounis daughter of Pesyris whom he brought to the necropolis when she was buried’ (i҆n pa-nꜣ sꜣ pꜣ-ḫl-ḫnsw ḥḏ-ḳt ½ r ḥw.t-nṯr rn tꜣ-šr.t-i҆mn ta pꜣ-i҆šwr r-i҆n=f r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t

120 121

122

It is also true that ostraca do not survive well in Lower Egypt and the Fayum, but they could survive in Middle Egypt. O. IFAO 882 (144 BC), O. IFAO 883 (144 BC), O. IFAO 884 (c. 144BC), O. IFAO 205 (120 BC), O. IFAO 130 (117BC), O. IFAO 81 (Ptolemaic), and O. IFAO 781 (Ptolemaic), all of which employ the formula i҆-i҆ry ḳs (var. my i҆r=w ḳs) tw=y mḥ pꜣ r-10 n tꜣy=f (tꜣy=s) ḳs. Muhs 2011, 168–170 receipts 126 and 127.

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i҆w=s ḳs.t) (lines 1–3).123 Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine whether this was also the taxation point in the early Ptolemaic Period. Another aspect worth considering is the possibility of studying the monthly death incidence using the data from burial taxes. The study of historical demography, mortality rates, and disease incidence have, during the last few decades, greatly advanced our understanding of Greek and Roman societies.124 This is especially the case in Egypt whence much relevant textual data survives, including census lists, epigraphic material and mummy labels. In particular, using dated epigraphic records and mummy labels, Scheidel undertakes an analysis of the disease environment of Roman Egypt with a view to determine its effects on demography, and variables such as seasonal mortality and life expectancy, amongst others.125 Theoretically this type of analysis could be performed using the data provided by burial taxes in order to determine seasonal mortality in Ptolemaic Egypt. However, despite this being an attractive suggestion, neither type of document can, in my opinion, be used for such an analysis. In fact, neither the dates on mummy labels, nor those on the burial tax receipts refer to the time of death. Scheidel argues that the dates on mummy labels refer to the end of the mummification process, which it is taken as being standardised at 70 days. The dates on mummy labels, therefore, should be moved back by this same length of time in order to arrive at the time of death.126 The same argument could be put forward for the burial tax receipts that probably indicate the day of burial, which, normally, would take place at the end of the embalmment. Of the Theban published receipts, spanning a century or slightly longer, 19 date from the inundation (ꜣḫ.t) season, 43 from the winter (pr.t) season, and 28 from the harvest (šmw) season.127 A tabulation of these receipts indicates that a higher number of burials took place during the winter season (pr.t), which, taken at face value, indicates a higher mortality rate between the end of the inundation season and the beginning of the winter season, with another, smaller, peak between the end of the latter and the beginning of the harvest season. That death rates should be higher during particular times of the year is not surprising, since for example seasonal weather conditions could result in an increase in the number of deaths. Assuming that the individuals attested in 123 124

125 126 127

The corresponding passage in O. GMi 120 (247 BC) reads ‘who was brought to the necropolis when he was buried’ (r-i҆n=w r tꜣ ḫꜣs.t i҆w=f ḳs.t) (line 3). See for example the study of Boyaval (1975, with bibliographical references to earlier studies; 1976 and 1981) on age at death and seasonal mortality using the data from mummy labels and funerary inscriptions from Roman Egypt. Scheidel 1998 and 2001. Scheidel 1998 and 2001. See Table 7 infra.

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these receipts underwent some kind of embalmment, the dates of the burial ceremony should be moved back by the number of days the deceased spent in the embalming place. And here lays the first problem in using these data to establish seasonal mortality—can we be certain that the mummification process lasted 70 days in every single instance? As discussed above,128 the length of the treatment varied according to the length and elaborateness of the various rituals performed as part of the mummification process, which, in turn, meant a difference in its total cost. If the deceased and his/her family could not afford the cost of the more complex body treatment, the number of rituals and, consequently, the number of days spent in the embalming place would be reduced. The period of 70 days is linked to religious factors and, therefore, this is the ideal length of the embalmment. In practice, however, there was a considerable variation in the duration of this treatment that could range from 9 to 83 days.129 This means that we cannot assume in every instance that the deceased died 70 days prior to the burial. Even a difference of 13 days (70 + 13 = 83) would have an effect on the results since this could mean that a date presumed to fall in one month in reality fell in the month before. Another incognita is represented by the fact that it is uncertain whether the burial tax would be paid only at the time of final burial, or if it was levied on bodies placed in temporary storage too. As discussed above, the temporary storage of corpses could extend over a period of several years, thus affecting the results of this type of analysis.130 Even if we were to assume that all of the dead in the sample spent 70 days in the mummification place, and that the burial tax was paid at the time of interment, irrespectively of whether it represented final or only temporary burial, there remains the problem of the sample size. For approximately 419 dead per century attested in the care of the Theban choachytes, which is already hardly representative of the population as a whole, there are only 97 burial receipts, which constitute only 22.9% of the total dead in the care of the choachytes. Consequently, in my opinion, the size of the sample is too small to be representative of Thebes’ inhabitants. and thus of any quantifiable variation in the monthly death incidence. 128 129

130

See Chapter 11. Although in the majority of cases for which the actual length of the mummification process can be determined, this is either 70 days or a figure very close to it (see Table 5 in Chapter 11 § 3), the simple fact that we have a monument on which such dates were recorded means that its owners in most instances probably had the means to afford the ideal mummification process. Even so, variations are attested among these too. For the delayed burial of some individuals see Chapter 12 §4. In addition, there is the added difficulty of clearly distinguishing between the orthography of pr.t and šmw during the early Ptolemaic Period especially on ostraca, which is the medium commonly used to record most of these receipts.



3





7

4 Mesore

3 Epiphi

2 Payni

1 Pachon

Harvest (šmw)

1



2

4

5

6

8



9







••



4 Pharmouthi











3 Phamenoth

2 Mechir

1 Tybi

Winter (pr.t)

••

4 Choiak

••



3 Athyr

2 Phaophi

1 Thoth



••

•••







••





••





















•••

••





••



























• •



















••

••



10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

••









Monthly death incidence according to the data from burial tax receipts

Inundation (ꜣḫ.t)

table 7

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funerary expenses

4

305

Cost and Payment of the ‘Mummification and Burial’

In literature on the funerary practices of the Greco-Roman Period it is quite common to find statements on the low cost of mummification at this time, though no actual figures are ever given. In fact, from the Ptolemaic period there is only very limited evidence for what the actual cost of the embalmment and burial would have been. The problem is further compounded by the Ptolemaic copper inflation and the resulting increase in prices of common products and wages, and by the presence of diverging rates for houses, lands and even clothing.131 In addition, the available data are not spread evenly across the entire Ptolemaic Period. In P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301 BC) party A is selling a house to pay for the embalmment of his deceased wife and possibly that of her parents. The text does not specify the cost of this house or that of the mummification. However, an indication of the cost of the latter is given by house prices which have been estimated to range from 35 to 480 drachmae around the second half of the third century.132 Two additional figures from a close date range are found in P. Philadelphia II (314 BC), in which party A stipulates that party B is to pay five silver (deben) for her mummification and burial, and P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC) in which party A stipulates that party B is to pay five silver (deben) for her mummification and burial for three years, which means either that the latter is to pay a total of 15 deben, thus five deben per year, or that this is the total of what he has to pay during the threeyear period. By comparing these figures with prices of commodities, such as artabas of grain and measures of wine, or with the monthly wage of a labourer, it is possible to get an idea of how expensive the ‘mummification and burial’ of a deceased person could be, and by consequence of how affordable a service it was. From the very end of the second century, the most detailed document on the cost of a burial is P. Florence 3667 (111BC), which lists the expenses undertaken by the family, and the colleagues, at the death of Horos son of Horos, one of the Theban choachytes, to provide for his embalming and burial. The beginning of the document and an undetermined section to the right of the roll is lost.133 As noted above, the list is divided into various sections under specific

131 132 133

Clarysse and Lanciers 1989, 117. Depauw 2000, 169–170. The text on the recto is a palimpsest, the original contents were washed away although some words may still be seen. The verso is inscribed with lists, accounts or notes apparently unrelated to the text on the recto of the papyrus; Pestman 1992, 207. See also Appendix 2 for a translation of this document.

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headings, although it is not always possible to determine whether the itemised materials and expenses are to be understood as being a specification of the amounts given previously, or as additional costs. The first four lines mention some amounts of money in relation to houses, both in Thebes and in Djeme.134 It is possible that these are to be understood as contributions relating to the burial expenses, although in this case it is unclear why in the first line the house is mentioned as a southern neighbour. That colleagues contributed to the burial expenses of a deceased choachyte is, of course, not surprising since in agreements of religious association it is stipulated what contributions its members are to make when a member dies.135 The list ends with the amount paid by the family to the choachyte of the deceased: ‘Mutmehit:136 50 deben for the choachyte of Horos’ (mw.t-mḥyt · 50 pꜣ wꜣḥ-mw n ḥr) (col. III line 23). The total of the expenses is over 2200.9 deben, or 44023,4 drachmae. If this amount is compared against the cost of a house, which for the period between 175 and 90BC ranged from 4000 to 36000 drachmae,137 it is clear that the price of an embalmment and burial could be quite high. However, given the position of the deceased as a member of the choachytal community, it seems reasonable to assume that this was probably at the top end of the price range and that more modest embalming treatment could be chosen. A possible indication for the cost of a less elaborate mummification procedure is perhaps found in P. Cairo 30960 (104BC), in which Party A requests as contribution from the temple of Hathor a cloth, in order to give 541 deben for his father’s burial expenses. Although it is not possible to be certain that the payment was intended to cover the entire cost of the person’s mummification and burial, the wording seems to imply that this was the case. If so, this figure could give an indication of the cost of a lower ‘class’ of embalmment. Another list of accounts relating to burial expenses, albeit fragmentary, is that found in O. Leiden 96 (Ptolemaic Period). The total of ‘1093 (deben) and

134

135 136

137

‘[…]˹south˺ the house which is in Thebes: 30 silver (deben); […] Thebes: 1 talent and 9 (silver deben); [… the son of Pe]tous and (or: the) […]; […] 100 silver (deben) from (lit. under) the house in Djeme; […] house: 2 silver (deben)’ ([…] ˹rs˺pꜣ ꜥ.wy nt n nw.t · 30 […] nw.t krkr 1 i҆rm (ḥḏ) 9 [… pꜣ šr n pa]-tꜣ.wy i҆rm (or: pꜣ) […] ḥḏ 100 ẖr pꜣ ꜥ.wy ḏmꜣ […] ꜥ.wy ḥḏ 2) (col. 1 lines 1–4). The small dot before the numeral 30 stands for the sign ḥḏ (Pestman 1992, 209). See below. According to Pestman this is an unetymological writing for the name Montuemhat. He also suggests that the person may have been the choachyte of Horos, and apparently not a member of the choachyte’s association nor a relative of the deceased (Pestman 1992, 221 note 42 and 43). However, a like-named person is listed in P. Berlin P. 3115 (109 BC), although it cannot be proven that it is the same person. Samuel 1984, 189.

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5 kite’ in line 14 gives only an indication of the cost of the mummification and burial, because this would not have been the total cost since the list is fragmentary. In its surviving state, the price stands in between that recorded in P. Florence 3667 (111BC) and that found in P. Cairo 30960 (104BC) and could be representative of yet another ‘class’ of mummification and burial. In P. Prague (137BC) the members of the association agree to pay five deben each towards the cost of the dead member’s burial expenses. The document ends with a list of 13 members, while on the left hand side there is a list of 49 members, and possibly more given that it is incomplete. Thus the total contribution made would range between 65 and 245 deben, depending on which list one takes into account. The amount is much smaller than that found in the documents listed above, and perhaps indicates that the members only paid part of the total expense. In P. Berlin P. 3115 (Text A 109 BC), the choachytes stipulate that each of them138 is to give for a deceased member 1½ hin of syf-resin in ten days. The members listed in this part of the document are 26 in total, which means that a total of 39 hins of syf-resin would be given for the deceased within ten days. From P. Florence 3667 (111BC) we learn that each hin of syf-resin cost 30 deben, (col. II line 9), thus the members’ contribution amounted to 1170 deben worth of syf-resin. A comparison between the scant information available on the cost of the mummification and burial with the price of houses, wheat, wine and a labourer’s monthly wage clearly shows that a person’s embalmment was not cheap.139 Considering that an artaba of wheat was enough to sustain a family for a year, and that its price at the end of the fourth century was four drachmae, it means that the cost of the mummification and burial corresponded to a family food ration for 25 years. Similarly, a comparison with the house price we have for this period indicates that it cost almost as much as half a house. The same holds true for the other periods for which we have evidence, with prices falling at the lower and mid-range of house prices, as well as above. It is, of course, possible that all of these prices are indicative of the top range of the embalming treatment, and that lower rates were also available for the less well-off citizens, but, as it stands, this is the only hard evidence available. According to the ubiquitously quoted passage from Herodotus’ Histories (II.86–88), there were three different methods of embalming, hence prices, from which the family could choose. However, this is not supported by the documentary evidence analysed

138 139

The text specifies that the contribution is to be made by each of the individuals that had been listed in the preceding lines. See Table 8 infra.

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here. Ultimately, the cost of the mummification depended on the quality and quantity of materials used, as well as on the number and length of the rituals recited for the deceased, hence the difference in the length period of time spent by the deceased in the embalming place. Therefore, a decrease in the length of time would correspond to a decrease in its cost, and so rebirth into the afterlife could be achieved in a mere 9 days.140 Commodities’ comparative price chart141

table 8 Commodities

End of 4th cent. BC

3rd century BC

210–183 BC

183–173BC

173–130BC

130–30BC

‘Mummification and burial’

100 dr.142

A house143 100 or 300 dr.144





1300–4900 dr.145

45.543,8 dr.146 10.820 dr.147

House price range

240 dr.148

60 dr.149 120/180/300 dr.150

700–9.600 dr.151 1600 dr.152

4.000– 36.000 dr.

4.000– 36.000 dr.

4.000–36.000 dr.153 12154– 15.000155 dr.

1 artaba of wheat 4 dr.156

1.5 dr.

120–180 dr.



500–900 dr.

1.000–1.800 dr.

1 keramion of wine

5–6 dr.157

220–300 dr.

420–600 dr.



2.000–4.000 dr. 5100+3300 dr.158

2.5–5 dr.

150–600 dr.

300–900 dr.

600–2.400 dr.

1.500–3.600 dr.



1 month labourer 10–20159 wage dr.

140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147

See Chapter 11 § 3 above. Prices from Clarysse and Lanciers 1989, unless otherwise stated. P. Philadelphia II (314 BC) (el-Amir 1959), the cost is 5 silver (deben). P. Brussels 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301 BC) (Shore 1968). P. Louvre 2424 (267 BC). P. Prague (137 BC) (De Cenival 1972), contribution by the association members towards the cost of mummification and burial of a co-member. P. Florence 3667 (111 BC) (Pestman 1992). P. Cairo 30960 (104BC) (Spiegelberg 1908), the petitioner requests 541 deben as contribution towards the cost of the mummification and burial.

funerary expenses

309

The surviving documents also provide information on who was responsible for the payment of a deceased’s mummification and burial, and on the variety of arrangements and dispositions that could be made in this regard. Several documents clearly indicate that the responsibility for payment of these expenses fell with the family. In general, it would have been the children and heirs of the deceased who would be providing for his/her burial too.160 This is shown, for example, by P. Strasbourg 1 (324BC) in which the testator stipulates that his three sons are to contribute ⅓ each toward the cost of his mummification and burial. In P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC), mentioned above, a will styled as a sale between a mother and her son, party A stipulates that her son is to pay five silver (deben) for her mummification and burial from the day of her death until the completion of three years. Similarly in P. BM EA 10026 (265–264 BC), another will styled as a sale, in which party A stipulates that party B, her eldest son, is to provide for her mummification and burial in accordance to the custom of people of the same status as her. Further evidence is found in P. Berlin P. 3099

148

149 150 151 152

153 154 155 156 157 158 159

160

P. Brussels 8255b (311 BC) (Depauw 2001). The range of house prices can only be indicative since it could vary enormously depending on their typology, from a small hut to a large house. P. OI. 25260 (Hughes et al. 1997), perhaps the cost for half a house. SB XVI 12342 (239 BC), SB XVI 12343 (237 BC) and SB XVI 12344 (236BC) (Uytterhoeven 2009, 327). Or 35–480 deben. Prices attested from the second half of the third century BC (Samuel 1984, 193). P. BM EA 10721 (182 BC) (Andrews 1990). On the basis of the date alone this should be inserted in the following column, but the house price seems to fit better into this period’s price range. This is the price range from around 175 to 90 BC (Samuel 1984, 189). P. Ashmolean Gr. 47 (75 BC) (Reymond 1973). P. Ashmolean Gr. 46 (72–71 BC) (Reymond 1973). Amount the contracting party is liable to pay as penalty in P. Dem. Loeb 3 (305BC) for breach of contract’s stipulations (Cadell and Le Rider 1997, 32). In the tablet Louvre E 8087 (243 BC) the listed price for a keramion of wine is 3 kite (Muhs 2011, 210–212 no. 157 line 3). P. Köln 13.522 lists a keramion of wine for 5100 dr. and another for 3.300 dr. (Gronewald et al. 2013, no. 522). P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301 BC) (el-Amir 1959), see also Chapter 16 §3. As noted by Clarysse (Personal communication 18/04/19) these figures appear to be too high, although they are based on those given in P. Philadelphia XXX: 1 day building work: 2 obols (l. 4); 1(?) day stonework: 3 obols (l. 9); 1 day carpenter’s work: 3 obols (l. 12); 1 worker’s day with food: 4 obols (l. 21) (see Thissen and Zauzich 2018, 156). See Pestman 1969a; Janssen and Pestman 1968.

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(124BC), P. Berlin P. 3100 (124 BC) and P. Berlin P. 5508 (124 BC), recording the donation of a share of liturgies by a father to three of his five children, in which the testator stipulates that each son is to contribute 1/5 towards the embalmment and burial of their parents. Finally, in P. Turin Suppl. 6083 (105 BC) a man acknowledges his sister’s payment of her ⅓ share of the expenses for the burial of their father, which suggests that, as eldest son, he would be liable for the payment of the remaining ⅔. A slightly different case is that of P. Philadelphia II (314BC), also mentioned above, a will styled as a sale between a woman and her daughter-in-law, in which party A stipulates that party B, is to pay five silver (deben) for her embalmment and burial in exchange for a share of her house and everything she owns and that which she will acquire. Parents would be responsible for the embalmment and burial of their deceased offspring, presumably if these were unmarried and still living at home. This is the case in P. BM EA 10077 a–b (270BC) where a father provides for the necessary materials for the embalmment of his deceased son. In some cases it would be the surviving partner responsible for the payment of burial expenses, possibly because their children were still minors. This is the case in P. Brussels E 6032 + P. BM EA fragments (301 BC) where a man sells a house to cover the burial expenses of his wife and her parents. To the contract is appended an abstract in which the seller declares: ‘you have paid me, you have caused my heart to be satisfied with the money for the price of the house of the woman Senchonsis, daughter of Paibis, my wife, together with my heir, my son’ (mḥ=k ṱ=y tw=k mtr ḥꜣ.ṱ=y n pꜣ ḥḏ swn pꜣ ꜥ.wy n sḥm.t tꜣ-šr.t-ḫnsw ta pꜣ-hb tꜣy=y ḥm.t ḥnꜥ pꜣy=y ꜥꜥ pꜣy=y šr) (lines X+1–X+3). Finally, four marriage documents, P. Louvre E 2439 (330BC), P. Louvre E 2429bis (292 BC), P. Rylands XI (284 BC) and P. Marseilles 299–298 (235BC), include a specific clause in which the husband stipulates that his wife will be responsible for the payment of his burial expenses. The reasons for the inclusion of this clause in the contract may be the absence of children from the marriage at the time the document was drawn up.161 Indirect evidence from Hawara suggests that the same was also true in this area. P. Carlsberg 37b (220BC) indicates that arrangements for the mummification and burial were made by members of the deceased’s family, in this case the surviving spouse. Thus, it seems logical to assume that the next of kin would also be responsible for the payment of all the expenses incurred. As noted above, individuals belonging to associations, religious or otherwise, were entitled to a contribution either for part or for the entire cost of their mummification and burial. This was clearly indicated in the regulations of

161

See also Pestman 1969a.

funerary expenses

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the religious associations from the Fayum and that of the Theban choachytes, mentioned above. Similar agreements can be inferred from two petitions from Magdola, P. εντευξεισ 21 (218 BC) and P. εντευξεισ 20 (221 BC). In the first the woman Theroys and her brother-in-law Teos present a petition against the other women, members of the same association (thiase), inhabitants of Kerkethoeris, in the district of Polemon. They explain that at the death of her sister, Soeris, wife of Teos, member of the same thiase as the accused individuals, and priestess of the association for four years, these individuals did not pay the funerary indemnity (ταφιχόν) due. Thus the petitioner requests that the strategos Diophanes write to the epistates Ptolemaios to oblige them to pay the indemnity. In the second document, a certain Crateia presents a petition against Philippos, priest of a thiase and Dionysios, president of the same. The petitioner states that at the death of his brother, Apollodotos, a member of the same thiase as the accused individuals, they did not attend his funeral nor did they accompany the deceased to his burial, as prescribed in the association’s regulations. In addition, they did not pay the funerary indemnity (ταφιχόν) due to him. Thus the petitioner requests the intervention of the strategos Diophanes to force them to pay him the indemnity. P. Cairo 30960 (104 BC) from Pathyris, suggests the possibility of priests working in a temple having some entitlement to help with burial expenses. Although the outcome of the request remains unknown, its presence in itself seems to indicate that there was a precedent for such provision. Members of ‘soldiers’ clubs’ were also entitled to a burial benefit, which apparently could be sold and/or given back to the club itself.162 P. Rylands 580 (78BC) records such a case.163 Party A, Herakleides bequeaths his burial benefit (ταφιχόν) worth 100 drachmae to which he is entitled as member of the club. However, no beneficiary is named in the document, thus suggesting that the payment would have been made to anyone presenting it, or that Herakleides was giving his burial benefit back to the club.164 162 163

164

Roberts et al. 1952, 32. The document consists of an inner text of three lines and below this an outer text of six lines. The contract is signed at the bottom of the papyrus by the president and the secretary of the club who acted as witnesses to the document (Roberts et al. 1952, 31). The editors mention a similar case in a loan (74BC) recorded in P. Mich. Inv. 6051 (= SB 7532) in which a blank space has been left, in both outer and inner text, where the name of the creditor should be, thus suggesting that the contract was negotiable (Roberts et al. 1952, 32).

chapter 14

The Deceased The first two sections in the following analysis are based almost exclusively on textual evidence from the Theban area, both because the largest number of documents available originates from this area, and because the practice of using epithets to refer to the dead in the care of funerary workers does not appear to have been as widespread in the rest of the country. In a small number of the documents analysed a clear distinction is made between the living and the dead, although in several others this distinction is not very clear. Because of this, it is not always possible to be certain whether the labels used referred to the ‘quick,’ who owned tombs in the necropolis, or to the dead, given that the noun rmṯ, or people, is one of the appellatives also used to refer to the deceased. The dead themselves are variously identified as wꜥb, rmṯ, nṯr, ḥry and ḥsy, with the difference in meaning between each of these epithets being often unclear.

1

The Living and the Dead

A clear distinction between the living and the dead is made in P. Berlin P. 3099 (124BC) where among the deceased listed there is: ‘Pchorchonsis son of Osoroeris and his children who are among the pure ones (scil. dead), and his women, and his children who are among the ˹people˺ of the town (scil. living), and their women, together with their resting places’ (pꜣ-ẖl-ḫnsw sꜣ wsi҆r-wr i҆rm nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w nt ẖn nꜣ wꜥb.w i҆rm nꜣy=f sḥm.wt i҆rm nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w nt ẖn nꜣ ˹rmṯ˺.w n tmy i҆rm nꜣy=w sḥm.wt ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w ꜥ.wy.w n ḥtp). lines 4–5

The same document (line 15), as well as P. Berlin P. 5508 (lines 13–14) and 3100 (line 13) (124BC), list a number of shares in revenues which are identified as being received from the living (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ rmṯ.w tmy). However, this distinction is less clear in P. Naples 8414 (124BC). The seller lists a share of his: ‘šty-revenues and i҆h̭y-profits of the ḥ.t-tombs of the pure ones who are in the necropolis of Djeme, and (…) those who rest therein, those who are

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buried in them (and) their people’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ i҆h̭y.w n nꜣ ḥ.wt n nꜣ wꜥb.w nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n ḏmꜣ ḥnꜥ (…) nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=w i҆rm nꜣy=w rmṯ.w) (line 3); a share of the ‘šty-revenues and offering(s) of the ḥ.t-tombs of the people of the town which/who are in the necropolis of Djeme, and (…) those who rest therein, those who are buried in them, (and) their people’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ i҆h̭y.w n nꜣ ḥ.wt n nꜣ rmṯ.w n tmy nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ ḥnꜥ (…) nꜣ nt ḥtp ẖn=w i҆rm nꜣ nt ḳs r-r=w i҆rm nꜣy=w rmṯ.w) (line 3); and a share of the ‘šty-revenues and i҆h̭y-profits of the s.t-tombs and of the mꜣꜥ-chapels of the blessed ones in hiding’1 (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ i҆h̭y.w n nꜣ s.wt i҆rm nꜣ mꜣꜥ.w n nꜣ ḥsy.w n ḥp). line 4

Thus three different groups of tombs are listed: the ḥ.t-tombs of the pure ones, the ḥ.t-tombs of the people of the town, and the s.t-tombs and the mꜣꜥ-chapels of the blessed ones. This suggests that the ‘people of (the) town’ (rmṯ.w n tmy) should be understood as a category of deceased persons different from the pure ones (wꜥb.w) and the blessed ones (ḥsy.w). In view of the apposition made in P. Berlin P. 3099 (124BC) between those among the ‘pure ones,’ and the ‘people of the town,’ it is possible that the term was used to refer to towners who already owned a tomb in the necropolis and were going to be buried there at their death, although this does not explain why they are listed separately from the other two groups. A similar distinction is made in the agreement between heirs recorded in P. Berlin P. 3118 (116BC), which specifies that the heirs had a share of ‘the šty-revenues of the people of the town, making 1/5 share for each one of the five people’ (mtw nꜣ šty.w rmṯ tmy i҆r wꜥ tny.t 1/5 r wꜥ n-i҆m=n n pꜣ s 5) (line 7), while they also agree ‘to share our revenues for the pure ones for which our `father´ drew up for us a ˹deed of division˺’ (mtw=n pš nꜣy=n šty wꜥb r-i҆r n=n pꜣy=n `i҆ṱ´ ˹sẖ tny.t ˺ r-r=w) (line 6).2 Another problematic entry is found in P. BM EA 10413 (124BC) that lists ‘the revenues of the pure ones (of/and) the people of the town’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ wꜥb.w nꜣ rmṯ.w n tmy) (line 9), with an omitted genitive or a conjunction. In the latter instance the text would be classifying the two groups 1 This document provides a unique example of the term ḥsy.w n ḥp which has been translated as ‘the hidden venerated ones’ (Pestman 1992, 201, 203 line 4). However, beside the fact that grammatically the epithet should be translated as ‘blessed ones of/in hiding,’ it would presuppose the presence of an otherwise unattested category of deceased people. Instead, it seems plausible to take it as a scribal error where the scribe confused the epithet ḥsy (on which see below Chapter 14 § 2) with the expression ꜥ.wy.w n ḥp. 2 The text also specifies that ‘Osoroeris son of Horos will not be able to take šty-revenues (from) the people of the town which are outside those ascribed to him above’ (bn i҆w rḫ wsi҆r-wr sꜣ ḥr ṯ šty.w pꜣ rmṯ tmy n nt pꜣ bnr r nꜣ nt sẖ ḥry r-r=f ) (line 5).

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as separate categories of deceased.3 The document recorded in P. Berlin P. 3116 (114BC) is headed by the statement ‘the list (of) the pure ones that devolved upon Osoroeris son of Horos’ (pꜣ wn nꜣ wꜥb.w i҆.i҆r pḥ r wsi҆r-wr sꜣ ḥr) (col. 1), while column III begins with the statement ‘other people of the town’ (ky.w nꜣ rmṯ.w tmy). Although it is not clear whether this should be taken as a heading, or as an additional entry concerning unnamed individuals, two entries in column III and one in column VI include the statement ‘together with his/their people,’ not found in the previous columns, which again would suggest that these are two different categories of deceased. Two separate listings are also found in P. BM EA 10026 (265–264BC) where the document begins with the heading ‘my (revenues from my) work as choachyte in the tombs which are in the necropolis of Djeme. Their specification: the blessed ones’ (tꜣy=y wp.t wꜣḥ-mw n nꜣ ḥ.wt nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ pꜣy=w wn nꜣ ḥsy.w) (line 5). Following a list of names, the contract continues under the heading ‘the tombs of the (ordinary?) people’ (nꜣ ḥ.wt n nꜣ rmṯ.w) (line 6), amongst which is listed ‘the large s.t-tomb of the people who are in Djeme’ (tꜣ s.t ꜥꜣ.t n nꜣ rmṯ.w nt ḏmꜣ) (line 7), which suggests these were towners who were going to be buried in that tomb at their death. On the other hand, different terms are used to distinguish between the living and the dead in P. Turin 2137 (123BC), a division of inheritance among four brothers. The text lists: ‘the ḥ.wt-tombs of the pure ones, the people [˹of the village˺], the blessed ones and the rest of the place(s) belonging to our father in [˹the necropolis˺], and the rest of the šty-revenue(s) belonging to him which devolved upon us, (both) `to those alive and to those dead´’ (nꜣ ḥ.wt n nꜣ wꜥb.w nꜣ rmṯ.w [˹n tmy˺] nꜣ ḥsy.w pꜣ sp mꜣꜥ nt i҆w mtw pꜣy=n i҆ṱ ḥr [˹tꜣ ḫꜣs.t˺] i҆rm pꜣ sp šty nt mtw=f r-pḥ r-ḥr=n`n nꜣ nt ꜥnḫ i҆rm nꜣ nt mwt´). lines 3–5

Thus the text uses the terms wꜥb and rmṯ tmy to identify the deceased belonging within the liturgies for whose mortuary service the priests received a payment, and the verbs ꜥnḫ (‘to live’) and mwt (‘to die’) to identify the deceased who are related to the contractual parties. This seems confirmed by P. Louvre E 2439 (330BC), P. Rylands XI (284BC) and P. Marseilles 299–298 (235 BC), where the testator states ‘You are the one who has a responsibility over me whether I am

3 However, one of the entries in P. Amherst 60b (153 BC) concerns ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of the blessed one Psemminis together with the blessed ones of the people of Papa’ (Pestman 1993, 472), which suggests that perhaps a genitive should be restored between the two clauses.

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alive or dead’ using the verbs ꜥnḫ and mwt, thus suggesting these verbs were used to indicate a close relationship between the concerned individuals.4

2

Epithets of the Dead

2.1 wꜥb.(w), rmṯ.(w) and nṯr.(w) As mentioned above, a number of labels are used in the documents to refer to a dead person, including wꜥb (pure one), nṯr (god) and rmṯ (person/people). The first two are used only in a small number of documents, while the latter is the term most commonly used to refer to deceased individuals resting inside the tombs listed. Typically the clause reads ‘the tomb of PN together with his/her people’ (tꜣ s.t/ḥ.t n PN ḥnꜥ nꜣy=f/nꜣy=t rmṯ.w), which can denote both the deceased relatives of the tomb owner already entombed there, and those who will be buried there at their death. With regards to the epithet nṯr.(w), or god(s), the earliest document in which it occurs is P. Philadelphia V (302BC) in which party A states: ‘to you belong the offerings of our master Parates, your god’ (mtw=k nꜣ ḥtp.w pꜣy=n ḥry pa-rṱ pꜣy=k nṯr) (line 2). In P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC) (line 3), P. Louvre E 2443 (249 BC) (line 6) and P. Louvre E 2431 (243BC) (line 4) the liturgies alienated include ‘the large ḥ.t-tomb of the master Pachnoumis and the gods who are with him’ (tꜣ ḥ.t ꜥꜣ.t n pꜣ ḥry pa-ẖnm ḥnꜥ nꜣ nṯr.w nt i҆rm=f ).5 Similarly in P. Louvre E 3440 B (line 7b)–A (lines 8a–b) + P. Berlin P. 3112 (line 15) (175 BC) where the liturgies listed include the half of the ‘šty-revenues of the ḥ.t-tomb of the gods of Bastet’ (šty.w tꜣ ḥ.t nꜣ nṯr.w bꜣst.t). In particular, the evidence from P. Berlin P. 3089 + P. BM EA 10426 (230BC) (line 3) and P. BM EA 10377 (214 BC) (lines 5–6) suggests that there was a perceived difference between this category of deceased and those identified simply as rmṯ.w or person(s). The contracts list ‘the s.t-tomb of the master Panas,6 the blessed one and every person who belongs to him, and

4 However, this suggestion is not entirely supported by the evidence of P. Berlin P. 3115 (109– 106 BC) since the members agree ‘not to give cloth to(?) a man of Djeme who is dead (…) and not to place (scil. give) (embalming)-medicaments to the dead of our house’ (r tm ty.t [ḥbs] r-ḥr rmṯ ḏmꜣ i҆w=f mwt (…) r tm ḥwy pẖr.(t) r mwt n pꜣy=n ꜥ.wy), where in the first clause one would expect to find wꜥb used in place of mwt given the lack of relationship between the members and the deceased. 5 In P. Louvre E 2438 (245 BC) this individual, identified with both the titles master (ḥry) and blessed one (ḥsy), is listed ‘together with the rest of the people who are inside it’ rather than ‘the gods’ as in the other three contracts. 6 Vittmann (1982) read the name as Pa-nꜣ (Panas) while Andrews (1990, 53 note 14) suggested reading it as Pa-wꜣ (Paues).

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the gods7 of Peteamounis [and] every [p]erson who belongs to him’ (tꜣ s.t pꜣ ḥry pa-nꜣ pꜣ ḥsy ḥnꜥ rmṯ nb nt mtw=f ḥnꜥ nꜣ nṯr.w n pꜣ-ty-i҆mn [ḥnꜥ r]mṯ nb nt mtw=f ), thus distinguishing between the gods and the people buried therein. On the basis of the Sign Papyrus from Tanis (Roman Period) it could be argued that the title nṯr refers to individuals that have actually been mummified and buried, since this syllabary translates the noun nṯr as i҆w=f ḳs ‘embalmed’ (col. XV, line 2).8 In P. Berlin P. 3139 (98 BC) (line 4) the gods (nṯr.w) are listed alongside the people (rmṯ.[˹w˺]) followed by a lacuna where perhaps the stative form of the verb ḳs should be restored, which may refer to individuals that are buried, thus arguing against the suggestion that this was also the meaning of god (nṯr).9 Another translation given for the entry in the Tanis Sign Papyrus (Roman Period) is ‘it is enwrapped,’ which is based on the deification of the deceased as a result of the wrapping of the corpse in bandages believed to possess the power to confer divinity.10 This would then suggest that the epithet god (nṯr) was used to identify individuals that had been wrapped in bandages prior to their burial. However, the fact that the number of individuals identified by such an epithet is extremely limited suggests that this is not the meaning given to this noun in the documentary sources, since the archaeological evidence suggests that a large number of deceased would have been wrapped whether they had been mummified or not.11 This is also the only epithet attested among the Memphite documents. It is found in P. Saqqara 71/2 DP 136 (350–275BC) where the writer states: ‘see to the gods of the people (of) the Quarter of the Greeks who are ˹brought˺ up’ (my nw r nꜣ nṯr.w n nꜣ rmṯ.w (n) tꜣ i҆wy.(t) n nꜣ wꜣny nt i҆w=w ˹i҆n˺ rḥry) (lines 2–5). In the majority of instances within the documents analysed, where this title is used the individuals thus titled are identified as belonging to another dead person, thus indicating a close relationship between the named deceased and the god (nṯr). If this understanding is correct, the only possibility I can suggest is that individuals thus titled were, perhaps, venerated ancestors.

7

8 9

10 11

Vittmann (1982) took nꜣ nṯr.w to be a defective writing for the name Pꜣ-šr-nꜣ-nṯr.w (Psenenteris). However, a similar reference is also found in P. Louvre E 2424 and 2443 that mention the gods of a ḥsy (Andrews 1990, 53 note 15). Griffith and Petrie 1889, 16 and Pl. III–IV. However, it is also possible that we need to restore the term as rmṯ tmy rather than rmṯ ḳs.t, since the latter verb is in a lacuna. It would also be possible to translate the term as ‘mummified people,’ although this would be a unique example for its use in this context. Smith 1993, 40, line 18 note (b). See Chapter 17 § 1.

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2.2 The ḥry and ḥsy Two more terms are used as epithets for a number of the deceased listed in the choachytes’ deeds: master (ḥry) and blessed one (ḥsy).12 With the exception of one document from Hawara, their use appears to be limited to Thebes.13 Their exact meaning and the process by which they were acquired remain uncertain and cannot be determined on the basis of the evidence provided by the documentary sources.14 However, a number of points become apparent from an analysis of these texts. With regards to the epithet master, which is by far the more common of the two, it appears that its bestowing upon an individual was not influenced by gender, status, or ethnicity. That gender was not an influencing factor is shown by the fact that both men and women bear this title, while people labelled as master include both high ranking individuals, such as the god’s father Petenephotes, and lower class individuals such as Thotsytmis, a lettercarrier, thus indicating that status was probably not a determining factor either. However, as can be seen from table 9, the number of individuals whose professional title is mentioned is rather limited and probably not truly representative. In addition, it is interesting to note that individuals bearing these epithets are in some cases found in temporary ‘storage’ in others persons’ tombs, which could be taken as an indication of them lacking the resources to build their own tomb, hence that their economic position was not high, but this is not always the case.15 Finally, it appears that the epithet master could be borne by Egyptians and Greeks alike, although the former are 12

13

14

15

These epithets, attested in a number of funerary texts, have already been the object of a number of analyses. See for example Griffith 1909a; Murray 1914; Spegelberg 1917; Kees 1932; Rowe 1940; el-Amir 1951; Morenz 1959; Quaegebeur 1977, 1977a and 1990; Quaegebeur and Evrard-Derriks 1979; Chauveau 1990; Traunecker 1992, 388–391; Delia 1992; Pestman 1993, 470–471; Wagner 1998; and von Lieven 2017 and 2010. De Cenival’s (1972a) reading of ḥsy.w in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) line 2C seems uncertain to me. The fact that they are not attested outside Thebes does not necessarily mean that they were not in use, since it may be due to different scribal practices with Lower and Middle Egyptian scribes tending not to include this type of epithets in documentary texts. Over a total of about 630 male individuals circa 126 bear one of these two titles, or both (95 ḥry, 9 ḥsy and 22 both), while, over a total of about 97 female individuals, circa 29 bear one of the two epithets, or both (23 ḥry.t, 1 ḥsy.t and 5 both), with a ratio of 1:5 in the first instance and 1:3.5 in the second. These figures are only approximate because it is not always possible to determine whether homonyms are to be understood as referring to the same individuals or not. According to these figures, 20% of males and 29.9% of females bear one of these titles, or a combination of the two. See for example Harmais, the prophet of Ptah, who received offerings for nearly four decades, but was placed in a ‘waiting tomb,’ which could also be suggested meant the family had not enough resources to build their own (see Chapter 12 §4).

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table 9

Name

Professional titles of people titled ḥry

Epithet

Professional title

Structure

Document and date

Petenephotes (our) ḥry god’s father s.t-tomb P. Marseilles 299 (235BC) Piminis ḥry of the men of Ope s.t-tomb P. Berlin P. 3089 (230BC) Thotsytmis ḥry letter-carrier mꜣꜥ-chapel P. BM EA 10615 (175BC)

certainly more numerous than the latter. In P. Marseilles 299 (235 BC) one of the tombs sold is described as being ‘at the entrance of the s.t-tomb of our master Chomaros’ (ḥr rꜣ tꜣ s.t n pꜣy=n ḥry gmrws) (line 6), who may have been Greek.16 Another example is possibly found in P. Brussels E 6037 (153 BC), which lists the master Siepmous whose father Polianthes may be another individual of Greek descent.17 On the other hand, the epithet ḥsy, or blessed, does not appear to be a very common one, since it is borne only by ten individuals out of a total of 155 (not including the remaining 27 instances in which both epithets are used). As was the case with the epithet master (ḥry), it is clear that the bestowing of the title blessed one (ḥsy) was not influenced by gender, since it was used for both men and women, although slightly more frequently in the second instance (1.9 % men and 4.1% women). Age was not a contributing factor either as shown by the presence of young children being identified by it, as in the case of Asklepias aged 5, and that of Syria aged 10, both identified as ‘blessed’ on their respective stela.18 With regards to the status of these individuals it is perhaps more difficult to be certain since professional titles are indicated for only three of them, and they all belong to the priestly milieu as can be seen from table 10 below.19 However, whether ethnicity was an influencing factor or not is more difficult to ascertain. With the exception of the two children mentioned above, Asklepias and Syria, both of whom bear a Greek name, which may or may not be a true indication of their ethnic background, no other individuals of seemingly Greek descent are identified by this title, though this could be due simply to accidents of preservation. A small number of people bear both epithets as well as their occupational title, and, again, they may have all had a connection with the temple, since we 16 17 18 19

See Clarysse 1995, 13 note 30. See Clarysse 1995, 10. For these monuments see Wagner 1998, 1073–1074. See also Table A.37 and A.38.

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the deceased table 10

Professional titles of people titled ḥsy

Name

Epithet Structure Professional title

Achoapis ḥsy Patysesu ḥsy Harmais ḥsy

s.t-tomb ḥ.t-tomb ḥ.t-tomb

Document and date

choachyte P. Louvre E 2431 (243 BC) third prophet P. BM EA 10026 (265–264BC) herdsman of Montu P. BM EA 10026 (265–264BC)

find a byssos-weaver, a blessed one of the priests, and a blessed one of the doorkeepers (see the following table).20 However, whilst these two epithets are in some cases borne by the same individual, they are never used together with any of the other three labels: pure one(s) (wꜥb.(w)), person(s) (rmṯ.(w)) and god(s) (nṯr.(w)). In addition, both ḥry.w (masters) and ḥsy.w (blessed ones) can be found in other people’s tombs.21 Similarly, other individuals could be placed in the tomb of a master or of a blessed one as suggested by the fact that other tomb occupants are identified either as the deceased’s own people, or as persons resting therein. Both masters and blessed ones are often listed alone without the mention of relatives buried with them as was common for ‘ordinary’ persons,22 although the incidence of these individuals alone in a tomb is not greater than that of ‘ordinary’ persons and is probably not significant. The evidence of P. Philadelphia V (302BC) suggests that the offerings presented to some of the masters (ḥry.w), presumably by private unrelated persons, belonged to the owner of the funerary structure, since party A states: ‘I have given to you this s.t-tomb (…), to you belong the offerings of our master (ḥry) Parates, your god’23 (tw=y n=k tꜣy s.t (…) mtw=k nꜣ ḥtp.w pꜣy=n ḥry Pa-rṱ pꜣy=k nṯr) (lines 1–2). In this document no time limit is imposed on the buyer’s receipt of the offerings, whereas in P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) the buyer is granted the offerings destined for a named master (ḥry) for just under a month, thus indicating that different arrangements were possible.

20

21 22 23

In the latter two instances, that of priest and of door-keeper are identified as the profession of the deceased on the assumption that the individuals held these posts in life and came to be venerated among these professional groups after their death. See Table A.37 and A.38. Pestman 1993, 471. For a possible interpretation of the meaning of the phrase ‘your god,’ and for a discussion on the ḥsy attested from Demotic documentary texts, see Von Lieven 2017.

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table 11

Professional titles of people titled ḥry and ḥsy

Name Epithet Epithet Professional title Paches ḥry Teos ḥry Teos ḥry

ḥsy ḥsy ḥsy

Structure Document and date

byssos-weaver ~ of the priests ~ of the door-keepers ~

P. Berlin P. 3089 (230BC) P. BM EA 10227 (230BC) P. Louvre E 2415 (225BC)

Finally, as mentioned above, these two labels are not attested in documents from Memphis and Middle Egypt. The epithet blessed one (ḥsy) is possibly used in one document from Hawara, P. Ashmolean D. 13–12 (1968.8+ 1968.11, upside down) a list of accounts, seemingly with the same usage and meaning as at Thebes, although its reading is not certain: Line 6. Third month of the Inundation season, day 22: blessed one(?) […] the man of Ptolemais: burial 1 (i҆bt 3 ꜣḫ.t sw 22 ḥsy(?) […] pꜣ rmṯ pꜣ-sy-mꜣ ḳs 1).24 The two terms, it is suggested, were used arbitrarily, as for example in the case of the man Kedjadja who is identified by the epithet blessed (ḥsy) in P. Amherst 60b (153 BC) (col. 1 lines 12–13), and by those of master and blessed one (ḥry and ḥsy) in P. Berlin P. 3119 (146BC) (line 4); the case of Paiu who is listed without any epithet in P. Amherst 60b (153 BC) and with both those of master (ḥry) and blessed one (ḥsy) in P. Berlin P. 5507–3098 (136BC); and the case of Taishebti who is listed with no epithets in P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) (lines 15–17), and with both epithets in P. Amherst 60b (153 BC) (col. 1 line 4).25 However, although it is true that there are a number of cases in which the use of these two epithets is not consistent,26 an analysis of the data shows that the opposite is also true. Cases in which the titles are used consistently include: the master Psenchonsis mentioned in P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC), P. Louvre E 2443 (249 BC), P. Louvre E 2431 (243BC); Panoubis the blessed one, listed in P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) and P. Berlin P. 5507–3098 (136BC);27 the master Panas, the blessed one, who appears

24 25 26 27

On this text see further Chapter 7 § 3. Pestman 1993, 470–471 and note xx. For additional examples see Tables A.37 and A.38. In P. Amherst 58a (153 BC) the individual is said to be temporarily placed in a s.t-tomb, while in P. Berlin P. 5507–3098 (136BC) he is said to be in a ḥ.t-tomb. The latter could be his definitive tomb thus explaining the apparent inconsistency in tomb typology.

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in both P. Berlin P. 3089 + P. BM EA 10426 (230BC) and P. BM EA 10377 (214 BC); the master Paches, the blessed one, the byssos-weaver who is listed in P. Berlin P. 3089 + P. BM EA 10426 (230BC) and P. BM EA 10377 (214 BC);28 the master Pachnoumis listed in P. Louvre E 2424 (267BC), P. Louvre E 2443 (249 BC), P. Louvre E 2438 (245 BC) and P. Louvre E 2431 (243BC);29 and the master Kedjadja, the blessed one, who is listed in P. Amherst 60b (153BC), P. Berlin P. 3119 (146 BC) and P. Bibl. Nat. 218 + P. BM EA 10396 (146 BC).30 In addition, had the two epithets been used arbitrarily, one would probably expect the term blessed one (ḥsy) to occur with greater frequency than it does, given that it is attested in only 37 cases (10 ḥsy, 27 ḥry+ḥsy) over a total of 155 instances. According to Pestman the ‘term ḥry “master” simply denoted a ḥsy and does not seem to have had a specific meaning.’31 In reality, the term ḥsy appears to have both a specific and a general meaning. In the first instance it is used to identify a certain category of deceased individuals who are distinguished from others by means of this title, although the exact reasons are not evident from the available documentation. In the second instance the term is used to refer to the deceased in general. In P. Louvre E 2424 (267 BC) are listed a total of 24 individuals, of which only three identified as master (ḥry), while in the clause of transfer and possession the properties are summarised as ‘the half of the ḥ.wt-tombs (and) of their blessed ones (ḥsy.w) who are in the necropolis of Djeme’ (tꜣ pš.t n n nꜣ ḥ.wt n nꜣy=w ḥsy.w nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜥs.t ḏmꜣ) (line 4). Similarly in P. Philadelphia XVII (241BC) where the liturgies transferred are identified as ‘the s.wt-tombs located in the necropolis of Djeme which belong to Teos son of Paoros, and the blessed ones (ḥsy.w) that are in the necropolis of Djeme’ (nꜣ s.wt nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ nt mtw ḏ-ḥr sꜣ pa-ḥr ḥnꜥ nꜣ ḥsy.w nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ) (line 3). In P. Marseilles 299 (235BC) the list of liturgies transferred, consisting of 21 individuals, of which only four identified as master (ḥry), is headed by the 28

29

30

31

In P. Berlin P. 3089 + P. BM EA 10426 (230 BC) an unknown man is said to be therein with Paches together with every person belonging to them, although the tomb’s name is not specified, while in P. BM EA 10377 (214 BC) he is said to be in a s.t-tomb together with every person belonging to him and every person therein with him, which probably means there are some unrelated individuals resting in the same tomb. The only text that provides contrasting information about this individual is P. Louvre E 2438 (245 BC), which identifies him as also a blessed one and as resting in a large s.ttomb rather than a ḥ.t-tomb. However, these inconsistencies are probably scribal errors since the scribe of this contract has made a number of other errors. On this subject see also Chapter 16 § 1. As well as the discrepancies between P. Amherst 60b (153BC) and the other contracts, it is important to note the consistency between P. Berlin P. 3119 (146 BC) and P. Bibl. Nat. 218 + P. BM EA 10396 (146 BC). Pestman 1993, 470–471.

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statement: ‘my s.t-tombs which are in the necropolis of Djeme together with their blessed ones (ḥsy.w)’ (nꜣy=y s.wt nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ ḥnꜥ nꜣy=y ḥsy.w) (line 2), while the remaining assets sold include: ‘the properties (…) (consisting of) their (burial)-places and their masters (ḥry.w)’ (nꜣ nkt.w (…) nꜣy=w ꜥ.wy.w ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w ḥry.w) (lines 11–12). In P. Philadelphia XXVI (217 BC) party A sells the ‘the mꜣꜥchapel of the master (ḥry) Petobastis together with the s.t-tomb in which he rests’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry pꜣ-ty-bꜣst.t ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t nt i҆w=f ḥtp ẖn=s) (line 3), and ‘the mꜣꜥchapel of the master (ḥry) Herpa[…] (…) together with the s.t-tomb in which he rests’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ ḥry Ḥr-pꜣ-[…] (…) ḥnꜥ tꜣ s.t nt i҆w=f ḥtp ẖn=s) (lines 4–5), while in the clause of transfer and possession he states ‘to you belongs these two blessed ones (ḥsy.w) together with their religious services, together with their s.t-tomb, and their offerings’ (mtw=˹t˺ pꜣy ḥsy.w 2 ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w šms.w ḥnꜥ tꜣy=w s.t ḥnꜥ nꜣy=w i҆ḫy.w) (line 6). Another possible example for this usage is found in P. BM EA 10830 (198BC) where the seller declares ‘you have caused my heart to agree to the money for the price of the blessed ones (ḥsy.w) who belong to me in the necropolis of Djeme whose specifications are written below’ (tw=k mtr ḥꜣ.ṱ=y n pꜣ ḥḏ swn nꜣ ḥsy.w nt mtw=y ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ nt i҆w pꜣy=w wn sẖ ẖry) (lines 4–5), although of the 16 individuals listed, five are titled master (ḥry), but none bears the epithet blessed one (ḥsy). Similarly in P. Louvre E 3440 B (line 5c–d)-A (line 6a) + P. Berlin P. 3112 (line 11) (175 BC), which opens with the statement ‘the šty.w-revenues and the offerings of the ḥ.wt-tombs of the blessed ones (ḥsy.w), their specification’ (nꜣ šty.w nꜣ i҆ḫy.w nꜣ ḥ.wt nꜣ ḥsy.w pꜣy=w wn), but then lists 44 people identified as master (ḥry). In P. Berlin P. 5507 + 3098 (136BC) the list of liturgies includes ‘Pemaus the fisherman, together with his blessed ones (ḥsy.w)’ (pꜣ-i҆my pꜣ wḥ ḥnꜥ pꜣy=f ḥsy.w) (line 5). Finally, in P. Turin 2132 (98BC) the sellers declare ‘you have caused our heart to agree to the money for the (religious)-services, the purificatory offerings, and the šty-revenues for (the work as) choachyte of Petous son of Pachnoumis, his woman, his children, their servants, their nurse, their blessed ones (ḥsy.w) (and) their places (for/of) hiding’ (tw=k mtr ḥꜣ.ṱ=n n pꜣ ḥḏ n nꜣ šms.w nꜣ ꜥrš.w nꜣ šty.w n wꜣḥ-mw n pa-tꜣ.wy sꜣ pa-ẖmn tꜣy=f sḥm.t nꜣy=f ẖrṱ.w nꜣy=w bꜣk.w tꜣy=w mnꜥ-i҆ry.t nꜣy=w ḥsy.w nꜣy=w ꜥ.wy.w ḥp) (lines 3–4). Rather than being examples of inconsistency, these are probably cases in which the term ḥsy, the blessed one, was used in the same way as the earlier epithet mꜣꜥt, the justified, that is, as a general designation for the deceased. This would explain the presence of a number of them within the same family as in the case of Pemaus the fisherman, who is said to be buried together with his blessed ones (P. Berlin P. 5507–3098).32

32

However, although this explains the presence among those thus titled of children, women

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On the basis of the available evidence, it is possible to suggest that the epithet master was perhaps borne by individuals who had distinguished themselves among their community, and, as such, it could have been bestowed upon them during their lifetime.33 This would explain the absence of clear examples of children bearing such an epithet, although it is true that the age at death of individuals is but rarely evinced from the documentary sources. On the other hand, the epithet blessed one (ḥsy) was probably acquired only at death. On the basis of classical sources it is suggested that this title referred to a category of people who had died by drowning and had thus acquired a particular blessed status among the local population.34 Such an explanation is rejected by Quaegebeur who argues that not everybody who is identified as blessed one had necessarily drowned, citing as example the Rhind Papyrus in which the hieratic ‘hall of the justified’ is rendered in Demotic as ‘hall of the blessed.’35 Indeed, Osiris, the ‘ḥsy par excellence,’ did not drown, but was dismembered by Seth. Rather, he prefers to see the epithet as indicative of a supernatural character of the deceased, acquired either through drowning, or ritual immersion, or for other unknown reasons, which were deemed worthy of veneration.36 However, Herodotus (II.90) actually refers to ‘any one, Egyptian or foreigner, who has lost his life by falling a pray to a crocodile, or by drowning in the river,’37 thus, as noted by Quaegebeur, it is not just death by drowning, but other forms of violent death too, by falling pray of crocodiles or snake bites, for example,38 that may have been at the origins of a particular veneration.39 If one takes this a step further, it is clear that a violent death is also a premature one, even that of Osiris himself in fact, who is lamented as a ‘Fair youth who departed when it was not the proper time’ (ḥwn nfr šm n nw) (line 14) (P. Bremner-Rhind I).40 The theme of premature death, and its tragedy, is found in a number of texts where their sort is lamented,41 as in P. Harkness

33 34

35 36 37 38 39 40 41

and men, unfortunately it does not explain the absence of Greek citizens. For these individuals see Table A.37 and A.38. Thus also el-Amir 1951. Griffith 1909, 132–134; Quaegebeur 1977, 138–139. In Coptic the epithet survives as ϩⲁⲥⲓⲉ, ⲉⲥⲓⲉ with the meaning of drowned (lit. blessed person) (Crum 1939, 710), in Greek as Ἁσιῆς and Ἐσιῆς and in Latin as Esietus (Quaegebeur 1977, 140). Quaegebeur 1977, 139. Traunecker (1992, 390) suggests that that of the ḥsy may be a state acquired as a result of the libations of the decades performed on the tomb of privileged individuals. Rawlison 1992, 161. Von Lieven 2010, 3; Von Lieven 2017, 243. Quaegebeur 1977, 140. Faulkner 1936, 133; Smith 1987, 105 note (c) to line 16. Smith 2009, 9.

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and P. BM EA 10507 where the deceased is allegorically said to have ‘abandoned the feast.’42 The notion of the tragedy of premature death is also found in P. BM EA 10507 where it is said that the deceased ‘was ushered into the strange darkness within a few days’ (r-ꜥq=w n=f r pꜣ kky šmꜣꜥ n hrw sbk).43 The same concept is found in the stela of Isenkhebe who bemoans ‘I was driven from childhood too early! Turned away from my house as a youngster. Before I had my fill in it! The dark, a child’s terror, engulfed me, while the breast was in my mouth!’44 Premature death is also the theme of the address by Petosiris’ son Thothrekh who explains his fate to passersby saying that he was ‘a small child snatched by force, abridged in years as an innocent one, snatched quickly as a little one (…) without having had my share.’45 One of the Memphite legal documents provides some indirect evidence for the possibility that the premature dead were perceived as being different from the ‘normal’ dead, since a distinction is made between a deceased person and a young deceased person.46 Such a distinction is found in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) which mentions ‘that which is paid for a deceased person (ḳs) and a young deceased person (ḫm-ẖl) belonging to the revenue-villages aforesaid together with the (burial-)places of the people whose names are written above’ (pꜣ nt mḥ […] ḳs ḳs.t ḫm-ẖl i҆w=s nꜣ tmy.w n šty nt ḥry ḥnꜥ ꜥ.wy.w n nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w pꜣy=w rn sẖ ḥry) (line 11 C–D).47 Indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that individuals who suffered a premature death may have been deemed worthy of a special veneration, or were thought to receive a privileged position in the afterlife.48 Mention of premature death is a common formula in both Greek epitaphs and Egyptian funerary literature

42

43 44 45 46 47

48

‘You are the goodly son who has abandoned the feast’ (mtw=k sꜣ nfr i҆-i҆r ḫꜣ[ꜥ] hrwṱ) (P. BM EA 10507 col. VIII line 16, and P. Harkness col. II line 31 (Smith 1987, 46, 105 note (c) to line 16; Smith 2005, 155 note (a) to line 31)). Smith 1987, 105 col. VIII line 17. For the Egyptian view of the underworld as a place of darkness see Smith 1987, 65 note (c) to line 5 col. II, with additional references. Lichtheim 1980, 58–59, Stela V 55, Leiden Museum. Lichtheim 1980, 53, Inscription No. 56 on the door of Petosiris’ chapel. It is not clear, though, if the payments received for this particular category of dead were higher than those received for the ‘normal’ dead. Similarly further down in the same document where the seller states: ‘I will not be able to take (away) a deceased person (ḳs) and a young deceased person (ḫm-ẖl), nor will [a ˹man be able to take (away) in my name˺] a deceased person (ḳs) and a young deceased person (ḫm-ẖl) belonging to the revenue-villages aforesaid together with the (burial)-places of the people whose names are written above’ (bn i҆w=y rḫ ṯ ḳs ḳs.t ḫm-ẖl bn i҆w rḫ [˹rmṯ ṯ ḳs n rn˺]=y i҆w=s nꜣ tmy.w n šty nt ḥry ḥnꜥ nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w n nꜣ rmṯ.w nt i҆w pꜣy=w rn sẖ ḥry) (line 11 H–I). A very close expression is also used in P. Louvre E 2409 (184BC) (Revillout 1880b, 115–116, Pl. IV). Chauveau 1990, 6.

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and inscriptions. However, despite the wide attestation of this theme, there does not appear to be an Egyptian equivalent of the Greek aoros (aôros).49 In fact, it is to be wondered if the epithet blessed one (ḥsy) should not be understood in these terms, that is, as referring to premature, not natural death. Nothing is known about the process of deification, how it was organised and by whom it could be initiated. A decree of Ptolemy VIII50 prescribed that ‘the expenses for the interment of the Apis and Mnevis will be borne by the royal treasury, as in the case of deified individuals; (and) similarly for the expenses of interment of the other sacred animals’ (Col. IV lines 77–79).51 This clearly indicates that the deification of individuals was regulated in some way, presumably by having to prove that there was a case for deification, although no evidence appears to survive for this process.

3

Social Status and Ethnic Background of the Deceased

In order to determine how much of the Egyptian society is represented in the sources analysed it is first necessary to establish a framework within which the data can be placed and understood. Thus it is necessary to define how one understands this society to have been structured and the terms used in defining these social units. The exercise is not without difficulties since even in modern societies it is difficult to define what we mean by upper, middle, low and/or working class, and above all where the boundaries of each ‘class’ stand. To this

49

50 51

Dunand 1998, 968, 973. Dunand’s comparative analysis of two groups of funerary stelae, one form Terenuthis (Middle Egypt) and the other from Tell el-Yahudiya, showed that in the vast majority of cases the Greek term was used for individuals who had died before the age of thirty, although there were examples where it had been used with individuals who had reached a good age (for example 73 and 82 years of age). In these cases, she suggests, the use of this epithet should probably not be taken literally, but as a way of conveying the grief of the bereaved at the loss of a loved one, since for the bereaved death always comes too soon (Dunand 1998, 968, 973). In a Greek epitaph from Tell el-Yahudiya, for example, (Leibovitch, J. 1942, 43 and Pl. 3) the deceased is identified by the adjective μικρά, although he had lived to the relatively long age of 35 years (Smith 1987, 68, col. II note a to line 10). The same is also attested in Egyptian sources. In P. BM EA 10507 (col. II line 10) the deceased laments the brevity of his life: ‘I was deprived of youth and made to become an old man when I was small’ (ḫb=w ṱ=y m nḫn tw=w i҆r=y i҆ꜣw i҆w=y sbk) (col. II line 10), although in line 3 of the same text the deceased is said to have been: ‘Long-lived, I was not given a son’ (q n ꜥḥꜥ bn-pw=w ti҆ n=y š[r]) (col. II line 3) (Smith 1987, 36–37, 68). Lenger 1980, section 53 ‘Collection of amnesty decrees and of complementary prostagmata issued by Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II Cleopatra II and Cleopatra III (121/120–118BC).’ Lenger 1980, 136, 154; von Lieven 2010, 3.

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figure 5

Range of professions attested in the Theban documents analysed

we must also add the ethnically different group of individuals that became part of the Egyptian society in the Ptolemaic Period, and to whom the ruling class belonged. I use the term ‘Upper level’ to indicate the highest levels of the Egyptian society during the Ptolemaic Period, which I further divide into two sub levels in order to accommodate the hierarchical divisions that were present within, for example, temple institutions. Here I also include individuals with connection to the ruling class and the administration of the country. The term ‘Middle level,’ also divided into two sub levels, is used to refer to lower status temple workers, and lay sectors such as crafts, trade and services. Under the tem ‘Lower level’ I include the lowest socioeconomic groups, which comprised riverine professions, agriculture and husbandry, and other non-literate occupations. It is clear that this is only a ‘relative,’ and somewhat arbitrary, class system intended to show the levels represented in the documents analysed. The Theban contracts analysed span a period of two centuries, from 302 to 98BC, with a total of 850 named individuals.52 The range of titles present is representative of quite a wide spectrum of society, although some professions are clearly better represented than others as can be seen from figure 5 above. The same range of titles is attested from the other areas analysed, although some areas are not particularly well represented. From Edfu there are only two funerary tax ostraca that provide some information about the occupation

52

There is a total of about 1251 entries and a total of 1184 names. This total can be reduced to about 814 names by the elimination of cession documents and copies of sale contracts. Through the analysis of the information provided for each person in the contracts, such as patronymics and occupational titles, it is possible to identify several that are repeated from one document to another. This further reduces the number of named individuals to circa 728, to which are to be added 106 individuals named on burial taxes receipts and 16 on transfer tax receipts.

the deceased

figure 6

327

Range of professions attested in the Memphite documents analysed

of the deceased. In O. IFAO 255 (19th May 110BC) among the listed deceased there is the wife of Harpebechis the builder, and Psenaes the priest, while in O. IFAO 623 (27th February 107BC) are listed the daughter of Horemsynis the craftsman, and Petous the fodderer. From the Memphite area the most informative document on the social status of the deceased is P. Louvre E 3266 (197 BC), since it lists individual tombs identified by the name of their owners or occupants. The levels represented are indicated in figure 6 above. On the other hand, the majority of the remaining documents from Memphis53 list the endowments, identified by the name of their original owners, followed by a formulaic expression listing a range of professions as a way of including ‘everybody’ living within a particular area. An illustrative example is found in P. Leiden I 380 a–b (64BC) which list includes: ‘the endowment of (the) god’s seal-bearer Patis son of Chenouphis (…) which is in the Memphite Necropolis, together with my 1/6 share of their priests, their scribes, their door-keepers, their brewers, their merchants, their farmers, their kalasiris, their weavers, their men-of-Nut, their dancers, their men-of-Anubis, their servant(s)-of-the-ibises, their serv[ant](s)-of-the-falcon, their water-carriers, [their] gum-makers, their temple offices (and) their town offices; together with my 1/6 share of their men, their women, their in-laws, their siblings, their children, their male servants, their female servants’ (pꜣ sꜥnḫ n ḫtmw-nṯr pa-ti҆.t sꜣ kꜣ-nfr (…) nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n mn-nfr ḥnꜥ tꜣy(=y) tni҆.t 1/6 nꜣy=w wꜥb.w nꜣy=w sẖ.w nꜣy=w wn.w nꜣy=w ꜥtḫ.w nꜣy=w šweṱ.w nꜣy=w wyꜥ.w nꜣy=w gl-šr.w nꜣy=w sḫt.w nꜣy=w s-ni҆n-nw.t nꜣy=w ṱnf.w nꜣy=w rmt.w-n-i҆np nꜣy=w sḏm-ꜥš-hb.w nꜣy=w sḏm-[ꜥš]-

53

As indeed is also the case with some sections in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC).

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figure 7

Range of professions attested in the Hawara documents analysed

bk nꜣy=w i҆n-mw.w [nꜣy=w] s-n-ḳmꜣ nꜣy=w i҆ꜣw.wt n ḥ.t-ntr nꜣy=w i҆ꜣw.wt n pꜣ dmy ḥnꜥ tꜣy(=y) tni҆.t 1/6 nꜣy=w ḥwṱ.w nꜣy=w s.ḥmt.w nꜣy=w šm.w nꜣy=w sn.w nꜣy=w ẖrṱ.w nꜣy=w bꜣk.w nꜣy=w bꜣk.t.w).54 lines 2–3

A similar difficulty is encountered with the Hawara documents, since only a few contracts give a list of the owners or occupants of the specific tombs, and even less often their titles. The levels represented are summarised in figure 7. With respect to Middle Egypt, the only document that provides some information on this subject is P. Mallawi 602/1–5 (79BC), since it records the various shares belonging to each of the parties listing the name, patronymic and, in some cases, the profession of the individuals, tomb owners and/or occupants, included in each of these endowments.55 As can be seen from figure 8, the levels represented are somewhat different from those from other parts of the country, in that crafts and riverine occupations are better represented than, for example, temple personnel. However, the data are too limited to be truly meaningful. The Theban data gathered from the various lists of liturgies provides also information on the ethnic background of the deceased in the care of the choachytes, particularly individuals bearing Greek names. Only in a few instances can these be clearly categorized as being of Greek descent rather than Hellenised Egyptians, although some can be identified with individuals known

54 55

For the reading i҆n-nw.t see Zauzich 1998, 745–750; Martin 2009, 121 note g. I have not been able to read all of the titles attested in this document, and even for some of those listed the readings are not entirely certain due to the low quality of the photograph available.

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Range of professions attested in the Middle Egypt documents analysed

from other documents.56 The presence among tomb owners of officials belonging to the Greek milieu is very important since it is a clear indication of the scale of integration reached around the 2nd century BC by the descendants of the original Greek settlers and of the degree of interaction between the two ethnic groups. At Memphis, due to the limited amount of evidence available, particularly for the 3rd century BC, it is not possible to determine to what extent people of different ethnic backgrounds chose to be buried in an Egyptian fashion, although the mention in these documents of Carians and of people from the Quarter of the Greeks suggests a certain degree of interaction between the Egyptians and the descendants of the original Greek settlers. Because of the form of the contracts in other parts of the country, it is not possible to determine the extent of the foreign element choosing to be buried in Egyptian fashion. With respect to the Egyptian element, and the social level represented in the textual record, the data is fairly consistent countrywide, and shows a predominance of titles belonging to the temple milieu, which is probably not surprising. The data from Sharuna (Middle Egypt) differs in that riverine professions are more frequently attested than temple offices,57 although, given that the data is limited quantitatively, temporally and spatially, it is quite possible that such a picture would change with the introduction of additional evidence from other parts of Middle Egypt.58 By combining together the data from the different 56 57 58

For an analysis of a number of these individuals see Clarysse 1995. The title ‘sailor’ is by far the most frequent of all, followed by that of ‘fisherman’ and then ‘farmer,’ while the titles of ‘stone-mason’ and ‘weaver’ are also fairly common. The reference here is only to individuals attested in mortuary priests’ records, which is an indication of who used the services of these priests. For an overview of a range of professions attested in Middle Egypt see Clarysse and Thompson 2006a–b.

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figure 9

Combined range of professions attested in the different parts of the country analysed

parts of the country it is possible to get an idea of the social levels represented in the surviving mortuary priests’ records and thus of who used their services. Although all levels are represented, it is clear that it was individuals from the middle class, particularly high middle class, that employed the services of those priests whose records have survived. This is consistent with the fact that individuals would normally use the services of priests from the same, or higher, social level.59 The presence of individuals belonging to a fairly wide spread of social levels may be an indication of a diversification of services, and therefore of costs, according to the families’ financial means.60 This raises the question of how many individuals actually used the services of these funerary priests. A calculation can perhaps be attempted on the basis of rough estimates for pre-modern societies which give a typical annual death rate for agricultural societies of about 30 per 1000 people, with a nuclear family of five to seven contemporaneous individuals contributing approximately 20 bodies per century.61 Thus if one takes the Theban data of roughly 425 dead in a century, it follows that these figures represent approximately 21–22 families per century.62 On the other hand, on a living population of 50.000, such as that of Thebes, the number of dead would be around 1500 per year, and 150.000 per century. Consequently, the Theban sample represents only 0.28% circa of the total dead in a century. Even allowing for accident of preservation of the textual data, I believe that the figures indicate that only a very small minority of families employed the services

59 60 61 62

The same conclusion was reached by Bataille 1952, 252–254; and Schreiber 2007, 344–345. Unfortunately, the sources do not provide any information on what these mortuary priests charged for their services. Manning 1998, 44. The total number of individuals is 850 over two centuries, thus 425 dead per century : 20 bodies per family = 21.25.

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of the choachytes for the performance of the mortuary cult of their dead. This, in itself, is not surprising since the role these mortuary priests explicated was that of the ‘eldest son,’ who was supposed to care for the dead parents by making offerings, libations and prayers. However, if only a few families used the services of the choachytes, whose task, among others, was that of arranging for the burial of the dead, who managed all the other burials?

part 3 Necropolises, Tombs and Burials



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Necropolises The study of funerary archaeological remains of the Ptolemaic Period presents considerable challenges, not least because of the dearth of material clearly datable to this time, which results from the combined activity of sebbakh diggers and illicit excavations. In addition, the fact that many sites were excavated at the beginning of the last century, mainly in search for papyri, or for the older and more glamorous past, has meant that the stratigraphically earlier remains have been removed without proper recording or, at best, noted in passim, while the vast majority of field-notes and journals made during these early excavations still remain unpublished. Such a limited interest for the later periods of Egyptian history has also characterised several of the published archaeological reports in modern times, where, with some notable exceptions, the publication of a particular monument often concentrates on the period of its original construction and primary use, rather than being a clear record of the entire use-life of the tomb. These problems are further compounded by the difficulties in dating material culture (such as pottery, coffins and cartonnage), particularly that of the transitional phases, the end of the fourth century BC and the beginning of the first century AD. The following sections discuss the location of the main burial grounds in the five areas under analysis during the Ptolemaic Period, followed by a survey of textual references to specific areas, or features, of the individual necropolises, and an analysis of the mode of acquisition of burial plots.

1

Location of Burial Grounds

In the Memphite area1 the Saqqara necropolis was one of the main burial grounds of the Ptolemaic Period, which incorporated a vast area, and included not only funerary structures, but also religious establishments (Pl. 1 and 2).2

1 The textual evidence from this area makes frequent reference to the Memphite districts and necropolis, although it is not clear from the documentation what other areas, beside Saqqara, such a definition covered. 2 These were the Main Temple Complex of the Sacred Animal necropolis, with sanctuaries and underground catacombs for the sacred cows, baboons, ibises and hawks; the Serapieion, the temple complex dedicated to the double cult of the gods Osiris and Apis, where the bulls of

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Human burial sites of this period were located in different zones within the vast area defined by the monastery of Apa Jeremias in the south, the pyramid of Teti in the east, the Archaic cemetery in the north, and the hemicycle of philosophers near the Serapieion in the west (Pl. 2). Within this extensive cemetery, a prominent area was that flanking the Serapieion Way, which may reflect a desire to be close to the religious procession of the god Osiris-Apis that would have proceeded along this avenue on the god’s final journey to the Serapieion.3 Therefore, it is probable that the earlier graves were located closer to this processional way with the cemetery gradually expanding toward the north and the south. Its farthest northern reaches are perhaps represented by the interments in stone anthropoid coffins found scattered around the archaic necropolis, traditionally dated to the Ptolemaic Period.4 Additional evidence for burials by the Sarapieion Way is found to the west of Mariette’s house. Here, excavations uncovered seven Late Period tombs and a number of shaft-tombs dug in between them and dating to the Ptolemaic Period.5 Similarly, the use of the southern side of the Serapieion Way as a burial ground during this time is suggested by the discovery of a number of stone sarcophagi in the area around Teti pyramid.6 Another cemetery area has been excavated between the step pyramid enclosure to the east and the hill between the Gisr el-Mudir and the tomb of Ptahhotep to the west.7 The site was used as a burial ground probably already from the Late Period, although the Ptolemaic and perhaps even the Roman period seem to have been its most intensive period of use.8 Ptolemaic burials have also been found in the area north of Unas funerary complex, where are located a number of tombs dating from different epochs

3 4 5 6

7 8

the god Apis were buried; the Anubieion, dedicated to the god Anubis, linked with underground burials for the sacred dogs located to the north; the Bubastieion, dedicated to the goddess Bastet, with underground burials for the sacred cats; and the Asklepieion, dedicated to the deified Imhotep who was identified with the Greek god Asklepios, which has yet to be located on the ground. For these temple complexes see, for example, Ray 1976, 147–149; Davies and Smith 1997, 118 and note 32; Davies and Smith 2005; Davies et al. 2006; Smith et al. 2006; Zivie 2000 with further references; Thompson 1988, 24, 33. Smith 1997, 390. A parallel may be provided by the processional way of the Osiris temple at Abydos which was flanked by numerous votive stelae and memorial chapels. Smith 1997, 390. Basta 1966, 15, Pl. I. PM III Part 2.1, 507. This is given as the place of provenance of a group of coffins ascribed chronologically to the long time span between the Ramesside and the Roman periods, although no specific date is assigned to the individual artefacts, PM III Part 2.1, 573 (d). Myśliwiec 1997, 103. Ćwiek 2000, 115–116.

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that were used for burial from the Late to the Roman periods (Pl. 2).9 In particular, interments have been found in the hypogeum of Ninetjer, in use from the New Kingdom to the Roman Period,10 the Saite hypogeum of Bocchoris,11 and the Old Kingdom mastaba of Akhethotep, which late cemetery the excavators dated to the end of the Pharaonic and the beginning of the Ptolemaic period.12 Another group of tombs used as burial ground during the Late and Ptolemaic periods are those located west of Apa Jeremias monastery, dating to the New Kingdom (Pl. 2). In particular, evidence for Ptolemaic activity is found in the tomb of Horemheb, where have been discovered burials dated to the 4th and 3rd century BC,13 in the tomb of Paser and Raʿia in use during the Late and/or early Ptolemaic periods,14 and possibly in the Tomb of Maya and Merit which may have been used as a burial place until the early Ptolemaic Period.15 By contrast, no evidence for use during the Ptolemaic Period has been found in the nearby tombs of Iurudef,16 Meryneith,17 Ramose, Khay and Pabes,18 Pay and Raʿia,19 and in that of Tia and Tia.20 In fact, burial activity at this site appears to cease around the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. Possible reasons for this may be both the increased importance of central Saqqara at this time as a cult place for the sacred animals, as well as the tendency of this area, and therefore its tombs, to become sanded over and thus perhaps requiring considerable clearance at the time of new interments.21 Ptolemaic burials are also found at Abusir around the Saite-Persian cemetery that overlays the ruins of the pyramids and mortuary temples—such as the funerary complex of queen Khentkawes II, the mastabas of Ptahshepses,

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Bresciani 1990, 112; Dunand 1995, 3229–3230. Dreyer 2006, 153–154. Bresciani 1976, 5–6. Janot et al. 2001, 254. Schneider 1996, 1–2. Martin et al. 1985, 8, 14–15, 20–21. Raven 2001, 14–15; Schneider et al. 1991, 14. For this tomb see Raven et al. 1991, and Raven et al. 1998 for the dating of the secondary burials found in this tomb. Raven 2002, 26. Martin et al. 2001. Schneider et al. 1995. Martin et al. 1997, 13–14, 63–65. The tomb of Maya and Merit, for example, shows signs of having been excavated following the deposition of wind-blown sand. On the basis of the artefacts and a strange graffito discovered in the tomb’s superstructure, the excavators suggest that some excavation may have taken place during the Ptolemaic Period (Raven 2001, 14–15).

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Tepemankh, Userkafankh and that of the Princesses (Pl. 5).22 A number of the inhumations in this area have been identified by a number of excavators as belonging to a Greek ethnic group.23 This so-called ‘Greek cemetery’ was in use for a period of about 20–30 years and appears to have been abandoned around the time of Alexander the Great’s conquest of Egypt, although the reasons behind this remain unknown. During the Ptolemaic Period only some areas of the Giza plateau were used as burial ground, particularly around the Old Kingdom pyramids and mastabas, as well as further out into the desert. The area on the plateau is divided into a number of discrete areas known as the western and Eastern mastaba fields, associated with the pyramids of Kafre and Khufu, and the central and the southern necropolises (Pl. 3). The Eastern mastaba fields were used during the Late and Ptolemaic periods,24 while, by contrast, there is very little evidence for the use of the western mastaba fields during these periods. This may be due to the fact that not only was this area completely sanded over, it was also the farthest away from the more important areas of the plateau, the temple of Isis and the temenos of the sphinx.25 To the north-west of the sphinx, hewn out in the rock escarpment surrounding its temenos, there are a number of tombs decorated and used from the Saite Period, although it is possible that they were actually dug in the Old Kingdom and were then used again from the Late Period onward (Pl. 4).26 A number of Old Kingdom rock-cut tombs located in the escarpment between Kafre’s and Menkaure’s pyramids were also used during the Ptolemaic Period,27 while a number of burials were found inside Menkaure’s pyramid temple itself.28 Another cemetery area, dating between the 26th dynasty and the beginning of the Roman Period is the south necropolis located south-west of the Giza pyramids, towards the desert (Pl. 3).29 Here, the area known as the Gebel Ghibli appears to have served as a burial ground especially from the Saite to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.30 22 23 24 25 26

27 28 29 30

At least two building phases can be distinguished within the mastaba of Ptahshepses. Strouhal and Bareš 1993, Introduction. See Schäfer 1908, Pl. I; Verner 1976a, 34; and Smoláriková 2000, 68. Zivie-Coche 1991, 273–274. Zivie-Coche 1991, 281. Zivie-Coche 1991, 288–289. One such tomb, belonged to an official called Petobastis, which Zivie-Coche suggests may date to the end of the 30th dynasty or the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. It remains uncertain how intensively this area of the plateau was used during the Ptolemaic Period (Zivie-Coche 1991, 289–290). Zivie-Coche 1991, 291. Dunand 1995, 3229. Zivie-Coche 1991, 301.

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Additional burials have also been found on the east bank of the Nile at Tûra El-Asmant, with burials spanning the period between the Archaic and the Roman periods (Pl. 1 and 6).31 At Hawara (Pl. 7 and 23) four distinct areas were used as burial ground during the Ptolemaic Period, while a number of ‘scattered’ burials are found in other parts of the site. One cemetery area was that identified by Petrie as ‘pit tombs with box coffins’ (Area VIII Leuven survey) (Pl. 9 and 8), another was to the north-east of the site in the area of ‘Crocodile Tomb Chapels’ (Area IX Leuven Survey).32 The latter was a newly created Ptolemaic necropolis over the 12th dynasty tombs located in this area, and was used for the burials of crocodiles as well.33 Another burial zone lay at the south-east corner of the pyramid (Area X Leuven Survey) and south-west of the pyramid (Area XI and possibly XII Leuven Survey).34 The surface ceramic collected in these areas dated from the 3rd–2nd century BC (Area XI Leuven Survey) and form the 4th–3rd century BC (Area XII Leuven Survey).35 Pharaonic tombs were also used during the Ptolemaic Period, particularly the rock-cut shafts located east and north-east of the pyramid (sub-areas VII/5 and VII/6 Leuven Survey).36 Here Petrie excavated a large number of ‘Tomb shafts cut in rock,’ which he dated, on the basis of parallels with other sites, to the Third Intermediate and later periods. Many of these showed signs of having been used in later times, as indicated by the discovery of finds dating to the Late Period inside the shafts.37 A number of Ptolemaic mummies with gilt-faced masks may have been found in shallow pits to the north-east of the site in the area of the later Roman necropolis (Area IX Leuven Survey).38 At Siut, in Middle Egypt, tombs of the Late and Ptolemaic periods appear to be located in the northern part of the necropolis, especially in the upper reaches of the mountain, as well as at the southern edge of the modern cemetery and even under it.39 Some indication for the use of Pharaonic tombs during ‘the Saite, Ptolemaic and Greco-Roman periods’ was apparently found in a

31 32

33 34 35 36 37 38 39

Yacoub 1983, 103. Petrie 1889, 8 and Pl. XXV. The site was surveyed by the Leuven Katholieke Universiteit which confirmed the presence of the mudbrick ruins reported by these earlier excavators (Uytterhoeven and Blom-Böer 2002 and Uytterhoeven 2009). Uytterhoeven 2009, 465. Uytterhoeven 2009, 465–466. Uytterhoeven 2009, 466. Uytterhoeven 2009, 466. Petrie 1889, 8; Uytterhoeven 2001, 68. Uytterhoeven 2009, 466. Kahl 2007, 62.

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number of the hypogea located at the top of the hill, although no information is given as to the nature of the evidence.40 Further north, at Sharunah/el-Kom el-Ahmar Sawaris (Hutnesu), a study of tomb typology, distribution, and decorative elements, as well as ceramic analysis, indicates that the necropolis was in almost continuous use from the Old Kingdom to Late Antiquity (Pl. 10 and 11).41 Evidence for Ptolemaic activity, for example, is found in a group of Old Kingdom rock-cut tombs used from the 26th dynasty to the Roman Period.42 The area identified as Theban necropolis consisted of a number of separate cemetery areas, although it is not entirely clear whether their use was contemporaneous or sequential. Ptolemaic burials have been found at Dra abu el-Naga, Deir el-Bahari, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, el-Khokha, Qurnet Murrai and in the funerary temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu (Pl. 12). At Deir el-Bahari, the tombs located on the Asasif were one of the main burial grounds of the Ptolemaic Period. In particular, interments of this time have been found in Theban Tomb43 27 (Sheshonk),44 TT36 (Ibi),45 TT37 (Harwa),46 TT188 (Parennefer),47 TT190 dating from the Ramesside Period, and used from the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period by an official called Nesbanebdjed,48 TT196 (Padihorresnet),49 TT389 (Basa),50 TT410 (Mutirdis),51 TT411 (Psamtek-tierneheh),52 and TT414 (Ankhhor).53 This was also the location of 40 41 42

43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53

Palanque 1903, 121; PM IV, 265. Gestermann et al. 1988, 56–57. For example, the Old Kingdom rock-cut tomb of Ipy (G7), Gomaá 1983, 140 and note 20; Gestermann et al. 1989, 9. It is in one of these tombs that a jar containing the Mallawi Papyri was found, Zaghloul 1988, 137–138; Zaghloul 1991, 255. Henceforth TT. Manniche 1987, 90; Donadoni 1971, 19; Sheshonk was chief steward of the divine adoratrices Nitocris and Ankh-nse-nefer-ib-re, who lived during the reigns of Apries and Amasis. Anonymous 1975, 14; a steward of the palace of the divine adoratrice Nitocris, in the reign of Psamtek I. PM I part 1, 68–69; originally built for the chief steward of Nitocris (Nt-i҆ḳrt), who lived during the 25th dynasty and died in the reign of Taharka. Reign of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten, and used already from the Late Period, Redford 1996, 227–229. Kampp 1996, 480. For a reconstruction of this man’s genealogy see Quaegebeur 1995, 148– 149. Anonymous 1975, 24; reign of Nekau II and Psamtek II. Burkard 1986, 11; Manniche 1987, 144; PM I part I, 440; Chamberlain of Min and Governor of the Southern City, Saite Period. Arnold and Settgast 1970, 4; Burkard 1986, 11; Manniche 1987, 145; chief follower of the divine adoratrice, reign of Nitokris and Psammetik I. Arnold and Settgast 1966. Manniche 1987, 145; Chief steward of the divine adoratrice, the Governor of Oxyrhynchus, of Bahariya oasis and Memphis.

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the new Ptolemaic cemetery excavated by Winlock, Lansing and by Carter and Carnarvorn, which consisted, mostly, of brick built tombs. However, the unpublished excavation notes of Winlock and Lansing clearly show that a number of these tombs had already been built during the Late Period, and probably continued to be used during the successive period, together with those newly built at this time (Pl. 13).54 Ptolemaic burial grounds were also located at Sheikh Abd el-Qurna—elKhokha, especially in TT32 (Djehutymose),55 which had been used as a burial place from at least the 21st dynasty onward,56 TT41 (Amenemope, called Ipy),57 which continued to be used as burial place in later periods,58 TT253 (Khnummose),59 which was used almost continuously from the 18th dynasty to Coptic times,60 and TT373 (Amenmessu).61 In the Valley of the Eagle, evidence for Ptolemaic burials concentrates in and around the Bab el-Muallaq tomb, which remained in use from the New Kingdom through to the Roman Period.62 Similarly, there is limited evidence for the use of the area of Qurnet Murrai as a burial ground during this time, and consists mainly of an inscribed architectural element found in Theban tomb 380,63 indicating that the tomb was owned by a man called Anchefenrahorakhty, a chief of Thebes.64 Another large Ptolemaic burial ground was located over the ruins of the funerary temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu, north of Medinet Habu (Pl. 12 54

55

56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

A full publication of the excavation notes and photographs made by Winlock and Lansing is in preparation by the author (Cannata in preparation). The north-west area of the Asasif was excavated during the 60’s and 70’s by an Austrian mission led by M. Bietak, for which see now Budka 2010. He was one of the officials at the court of Ramses II, who counted amongst his several titles that of royal scribe and that of great steward of Amun (Kákosy and Gaál 1985, 13). This is probably the tomb where the Soter family group was discovered in 1820. I thank M. Smith for drawing my attention to this. Kákosy 1985, 295. Chief steward of Amun in the Southern City, who lived under Ramses I or Seti I. Manniche 1987, 133. Assmann 1991, 217 ff.; Kampp 1996, 236. Strudwick and Strudwick 1996, 23–24; an accounts scribe who lived during the time of Tuthmosis IV or Amenhotep III. Strudwick and Strudwick 1996, 188–189. The tomb dates from the Ramesside Period and belonged to the Scribe of the altar of the lord of the two lands (Manniche 1987, 144; PM I part 1, 433). The tomb was built during the 18th dynasty, though the identity of its original owner remains unknown (Strudwick 2003, 179; Gabolde et al. 1994, 173–259). PM 1 part 1, 435. Manniche 1987, 90 and 144; Kampp 1996, 601.

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and 34),65 while a group of tombs of seemingly late date has been discovered in more recent times to the north of Medinet Habu, at the junction between the road to the Valley of the Queens and the road from Dra Abu el-Naga to Malkata.66 No dating is suggested by the excavator for these tombs, although Strudwick sees this cemetery area as a continuation of the Roman necropolis located in the mortuary temple of Ay and Horemheb and extending to the west of them.67 Use of the Ramesseum as a burial ground appears to have been discontinued after the Third Intermediate Period or at the beginning of the Late Period.68 Many factors may be responsible for the decision to find new burial grounds at certain periods, not least a lack of free space. Quibell excavated around 200 tombs within this temple area, which suggests that by the beginning of the Late Period there may have been very little space available for burials.69 In addition, there is some evidence indicating that this continued to be a cult place during the Ptolemaic Period, which may also help explain why it was not used as a cemetery at this time.70 The site of Deir el-Medina, including both the New Kingdom village and its cemetery, was excavated by Bruyère in the 1930’s. Many burials of later date were found in the cemetery and even in houses inside the village. Unfortunately, the excavator’s dating of the finds and of the later interments is, at best, problematic, while the publication of his excavations contains a large number of contradictory and/or unclear statements.71 Such lack of clarity is also found in the excursus on the archaeological material from this area presented by Bataille.72 Very little funerary material from this area can be firmly attributed to the Ptolemaic Period, and it is possible that it was not used as a burial ground at this time. Indeed, the site was an active religious centre as a result of the construction of the temple to Hathor in the reign of Ptolemy IV.73 In addition, textual sources attest to the religious activities of a group of door-keepers attached to various shrines of gods and deified individuals, while no evidence for choachytal activity is found for this site.74 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74

Robichon and Varille 1936, 43. El-Bialy 1992, 83. Strudwick 2003, 178. Lecuyot 2000. Quibell 1898. Vandorpe 1995, 227; Strudwick 2003, 183. Strudwick 2003, 176. See for example Bataille 1952, 186–187. Strudwick 2003, 176. For the archives of the Deir el-Medina door-keepers see Botti 1967.

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There is also no indication for the use of the tombs in the Valley of the Queens during the Ptolemaic Period, although at least one Demotic graffito dating to year 49, perhaps in the reign of Ptolemy VIII (122–121 BC), attests to the presence there of visitors during the period under analysis.75 Similarly, there is no evidence for the use of the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the Ptolemaic Period.76 Indeed, use of the latter as a burial ground was already ceasing before then. The Valley of the Kings and the Ramesseum began to be used as a cemetery for private individuals during the 22nd dynasty, particularly those of high status in the case of the latter. However, during the 25th and 26th dynasties there is a decrease in the use of the Valley’s royal tombs, which coincides with the increased preference for the area around Hutshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahari as the location for private burials. A number of suggestions have been put forward to explain this status quo. One possibility is that the area was perceived as being too sacred to be used as a burial ground.77 However, given the evidence for the use of Pharaonic and Late Period tombs in other parts of the Theban necropolis during the Ptolemaic Period, such an explanation does not entirely account for the lack of use of the Valley of the Kings tombs. In addition, the tombs in this area had already been robbed of valuables and used again for burial during the Third Intermediate Period.78 Another possible explanation is that this area had become a place of visit by pilgrims and tourists, as attested by the graffiti left by these travellers.79 Nevertheless, this would hardly account for the lack of Ptolemaic burials here given that travellers and pilgrims’ graffiti were, for example, discovered at Dra abu elNaga in the vicinity of the burial place of the sacred Ibis and Hawk.80 A more plausible explanation for the lack of use of the tombs in both the Valley of the Kings and that of the Queens rests with the remoteness of these areas, which were perhaps too distant for the funerary priests to travel to carry out the mortuary cult of the deceased in their care, or even too distant from the main burial grounds to ensure the safety of the tombs.81 In addition, not all tombs may have been accessible or even visible at this time. Bataille notes that the discovery of graffiti in the royal tombs provides an indication of the state in which these 75

76 77 78 79 80 81

Strudwick 2003, 178. The inscription is rather strange in that the first line, where the name of the dedicator would normally be, consists instead of several fractions which are then followed by a dedicatory formula to ‘Pashai of the mountain’ (Spiegelberg 1928, 26–27, B). As already noted by Bataille 1952, 174. Strudwick 2003, 184. Taylor 1992. Bataille 1952, 168–169. Spiegelberg 1908, 19–25, Pls. XXVI–XXX. Bataille 1952, 174; Strudwick 2003, 184.

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tombs lay at certain periods. He notes that Strabo counted 40 tombs, while graffiti were actually recorded in only ten of the 62 tombs, and of these only two dating to the Ptolemaic Period.82 This may indicate that these tombs were not easily accessible, or even visible on the surface, and that clearing them would have been too costly and/or labour intensive. During the Late Period the Edfu cemetery was transferred to Nag el-Hisaya, 12km south of the town, also identified as an elite cemetery and used from at least the 26th dynasty onwards.83 During the Ptolemaic Period both Hager Edfu and Nag el-Hisaya were used as burial grounds, the latter being an elite cemetery, while a small cemetery was later located at el-Adwa on the east bank (Pl. 52).84 A countrywide overview of the tombs’ original construction period and its later use is summarised in the following table. In general, the data do not indicate major relocation of burial grounds during the Ptolemaic Period. Rather, the chronology and pattern of tomb (re)use shows that Ptolemaic cemeteries were located in the same areas as (or at least in proximity of) those of the Late Period, in many cases even using the latter period’s tombs. This is suggested, for example, by the absence of interments dating to these periods in the Valley of the Kings and of the Queens, the Ramesseum and the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari, which had been used as burial grounds during the Third Intermediate Period. Even the Edfu cemetery, following its relocation to Nag el-Hisaya, continued to be used during the Ptolemaic Period, and its status as an ‘elite’ burial ground maintained. This did not mean, of course, that burial grounds were not extended or new ones sought, as shown by the presence of a small cemetery at el-Adwa on the east bank of Edfu. Similarly, the ‘new cemetery’ located on the Asasif is a development of the Late Period burial area already located at the bottom end of the Deir el-Bahari temples’ causeways. An exception may be the Memphite area where use of particular burial grounds was discontinued. At Abusir, for example, use of the so-called Greek cemetery ceases at the very beginning of the Ptolemaic Period, while the rest of the area shows only some sporadic use for this period. Similarly, at Saqqara itself, use of the New Kingdom tombs to the west of the Apa Jeremias monastery was discontinued around the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. By contrast, the area near the step pyramid and the Sarapieion Way appears to have become the necropolis of choice of different 82 83 84

Bataille 1952, 169–170. Rzeuska 1997, 157; Maspero 1885, 78; Maspero 1885a, 3–4; Daressy 1901, 127 note 2. A. Effland personal communication. The only published references for el-Adwa appear to deal with the predynastic cemetery.

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Period of tombs’ use life

Area Memphis West of Mariette house, by the Serapieion way Between Step Pyramid and Ptahhotep mastaba North of Unas complex – Ninetjer hypogeum – Bocchoris hypogeum – Akhethotep mastaba West of Apa Jeremias monastery – Horemheb tomb – Maya and Merit tomb

Construction period

Later use

Late Period

Ptolemaic Period

Old Kingdom and FIP

Possibly from Late Period, but most intense use dates from Ptolemaic Period Area in use from Late Period From New Kingdom to Roman Period Ptolemaic Period Late Period till early Ptolemaic Period Late Period to early Ptolemaic times Shafts from 4th and 3rd century BC Shaft viii maybe used until early Ptolemaic Period Late and/or early Ptolemaic periods (two underground burial chambers in tomb of Raʿia)

Early Dynastic Saite Old Kingdom New Kingdom New Kingdom

– Paser and Raʿia tomb

New Kingdom

Abusir Pyramids, mortuary temples, and mastabas

Old Kingdom

Saite-Persian cemetery used in Ptolemaic Period

Possibly Old Kingdom Old Kingdom

Saite Period?

Saite Period onward Ptolemaic Period (some continue into Roman Period) End of dynasty 30—beginning of Ptolemaic Period Saite to Ptolemaic and Roman periods

Archaic to Ptolemaic and Roman periods

Ptolemaic and Roman periods (unclear if new or if used existing ones)

Fayum Hawara Area IX Areas VII/5 and VII/6

12th dynasty TIP and later periods

Ptolemaic Period Late and Ptolemaic periods

Middle Egypt Siut Deir er-Rifeh Sharuna Tomb R22

Pharaonic Period (hypogea) Pharaonic Period Pharaonic Period Old Kingdom(?)

Saite, Ptolemaic and Roman periods Ptolemaic (and Roman?) Period Old Kingdom to Late Antiquity Ptolemaic Period—high priest of Horus Peteamounis

Giza necropolis – North-west of Sphinx Giza central necropolis – Menkaure pyramid temple – East Khafre pyramid South Giza necropolis – Gebel-Ghibli Tura el-Asmant

Old Kingdom

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chapter 15 Period of tombs’ use life (cont.)

Area

Construction period

Later use

Tomb 120

Old Kingdom(?)

Tomb V23 G7—Ipy rock-cut tomb Hypogeum N16-O15-O17-O17a

Old Kingdom(?) Old Kingdom Old Kingdom(?)

Ptolemaic Period—high priest of Horus is that of Iuefaa ( I҆w=f-ꜥꜣ) Ptolemaic Period—high priest of Horus Late and/or Ptolemaic periods Ptolemaic Period—female relatives of the Horus priesthood

Thebes Dra Abu el-Naga TT156

19th dynasty

TT157 Asasif TT27 TT36 TT37 TT188 TT190 TT196 TT389

TT410

TT411

TT414

21st–22nd dynasties onward (none clearly recorded for Ptolemaic Period) Nebwenenef—19th dynasty Ptolemaic Period Sheshonk—26th dynasty Iby—26th dynasty Harwa—25th dynasty Parennefer (Pꜣ-rn-nfr)— 18th dynasty Ramesside Period? Peteharresent (Pꜣ-ty-ḥrrsn.t)—26th dynasty Basa (Bꜣsꜣ)—Saite Period (built over Middle Kingdom tomb of Intef) Mutirdis—26th dynasty (built over Middle Kingdom tomb of Intef) Psammetichos-tierneheh (Psmṯk-ty-r-nḥḥ)—Saite Period (built over Middle Kingdom tomb of Intef) Ankh-hor (ꜥnḫ-ḥr)—26th dynasty Late and Ptolemaic periods

New tombs built over Ramses IV– VI temple, temple-tombs, 17th dynasty cemetery Sheikh Abd el-Qurna—el-Khokha TT32 Djehutymose (Ḏḥwtyms)—19th dynasty TT41 Amenemope ( I҆mn-m-i҆pꜣ.t) called Ipy—19th dynasty TT253 Khnummose (H̱ nmw-ms) 18th dynasty

Ptolemaic Period Ptolemaic Period Ptolemaic Period Late and/or Ptolemaic periods Ptolemaic Period—official Nesbanebdjed Ptolemaic Period and(?) Roman Period Ptolemaic Period

dynasty 30—Ptolemaic Period (and? Roman Period) Ptolemaic Period

dynasty 30—Ptolemaic Period Late and Ptolemaic periods

21st dynasty onward Ptolemaic Period almost continuously from the 18th dynasty to Coptic times

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Period of tombs’ use life (cont.)

Area

Construction period

Later use

TT373

Amenmessu ( I҆mn-msw)— Ramesside Period

Ptolemaic Period

Ramesseum Valley of the Eagle Bab el-Muallaq

Not used in Ptolemaic Period

18th dynasty rock-cut tomb

Deir el-Medina

New Kingdom to Roman Period Not used in Ptolemaic Period

Qurnet Murrai TT380 Royal scribe Amenhotep son of Hapu Funerary temple

Ptolemaic Period?

Ptolemaic Period (and Roman Period?)

North of Medinet Habu

Roman Period?

Not used in Ptolemaic Period

Valley of the Queens

Not used in Ptolemaic Period

Valley of the Kings

Not used in Ptolemaic Period

Edfu Naga el-Hisaya Hager Edfu

Late Period Pharaonic (until NK)

Late Period—Ptolemaic Period Ptolemaic Period

social groups. Reasons for this change may be the increased importance of the central Saqqara, as well as the tendency of some areas to become sanded over and thus requiring constant labour to maintain tomb accessibility. Thus, even in the case of the Memphite necropolises, the data show an increase in the use of some cemeteries followed by a decrease in others, rather than major relocations of burial grounds. This, in turn, indicates that a level of continuity in burial practices existed between these periods, a factor already apparent from the analysis of textual evidence.85 The extant archaeological remains also indicate a possible zoning of burial grounds, or areas, according to the socio-economic status of the deceased. At

85

It could also indicate that there was a desire to be closely associated with this period of Egyptian history.

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Saqqara, for example, excavations in the area between the Step pyramid and the mastaba of the vizier Meref-nebef (Old Kingdom) provided some indication of a division of the necropolis according to social status. The majority of mummified and coffined human remains, and those with cartonnage, were found on the eastern side of the concession between the step pyramid and the mastaba of Meref-nebef, while skeletonised inhumations are predominant on the western side of the concession between the ledge of the natural terrace and the so-called ‘dry moat.’86 The Saite-Persian cemetery at Abusir was a denselycrowded burial ground, which may have been used for interments of the lower strata of the population given the poverty of the inhumations, and by the very limited presence of burial goods.87 At Medinet Ghoran, in the Fayum, the area to the east, near the Kom, appears to have been reserved for the poorer burials.88 At Thebes there is, as yet, no evidence for a separate burial ground for lower level inhumations, while at Edfu the Nag el-Hisaya burial ground appears to have been an elite cemetery.89 Another factor that becomes apparent from the analysis of burial grounds is the lack of planning of cemetery areas.90 In fact, individual tombs did not follow a specific layout or arrangement, rather they appear to have grown mostly organically, which is, perhaps, not surprising given that even settlements were, in the main, unplanned. This in turn raises the question of the tombs’ visibility above ground. In the case of chapel-tombs this would not be a problem, but for shaft-tombs backfilled after each interment, and for simple pits in the ground, there must have been a way of clearly locating them. The fact that several bodies, presumably family members, are placed side by side also indicates some knowledge of the location of such burials. Clearly some form of marker must have been used to identify these burials, and, indeed, tomb stelae have been recovered from many sites around the country.91 In the Fayum, with the exception of Hawara where a small number of tombstones have been found, tomb markers are conspicuous for their absence. Instead, a range of organic materials appears to have been used for the purpose of marking the location

86 87 88 89 90

91

Myśliwiec 2002, 354. Strouhal and Bareš 1993, Introduction. The site also provides evidence for the existence of a separate ethnic burial ground (for which see above). Jouguet 1901. The only published references for el-Adwa appear to deal with the predynastic cemetery. Strudwick (2003, 178) for example remarks on the haphazard arrangement of the burials in the funerary temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu by comparison with the Roman cemetery located nearer to Medinet Habu. See for example those published by Abdalla 1992, Bernand 1992, and Winnicki 1992.

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of the grave.92 At Tebtunis tombs were marked using limestone slabs, column disks, bricks arranged in geometrical patterns, necks of vessels, rose wreaths, and plated palm fronds placed vertically into the ground.93 The use of organic material as tomb markers in the Fayum was also noted by a number of early excavators. At Medinet Ghoran most of the tombs, even the poorer ones, were marked with two vertical, parallel branches, tied with a horizontal, smaller one by means of a fibre cord. These generally stood at the head, and sometimes at the feet, of the deceased. In some cases, the extremity of the larger branches was crudely carved with human figures. Rarely, the name of the person was roughly inscribed on the wood.94 The same use of branches was attested by Grenfell and Hunt at Kasr el-Banat, in later Ptolemaic burials (from 150 BC), and at Theadelphia and Umm el-Baragat in tombs of the Roman Period, when their use became very common. These reeds—tied reeds, individual branches, and reed bundles—were interpreted by the excavators as the remains of the bier used to bring the deceased to the necropolis, which was then buried with the deceased to demarcate the burial area and protect it from damage when digging for a new grave. The excavators also suggested that these would not be visible above ground, but stood just below the surface.95 However, if this was their purpose, they must have projected out of the ground, even if by a few centimetres,96 especially given that at Medinet Ghoran the tombs lay just below the surface.97 It is possible that the use of organic grave markers was more widespread than it would at first appear, though their use is attested only in the Fayum cemeteries where, because of their remoteness, were more likely to be preserved, while in the more central burial grounds they disappeared without any record.

92 93

94 95 96 97

Uytterhoeven 2009, 251. Gallazzi and Hadji-Minaglou 2000, 26–27; Grimal 1995, 589; Davoli 1998, 197. The palm branch was viewed as a symbol of time and was used for reckoning years, while in a funerary context it was a symbol of eternal life, hence the reference in funerary texts to its presentation to the deceased (Smith 2009, 256 note 55; Smith 1987, 83 notes to Col. IV line 8; Dils 1990, 82). The tombs showed no evidence for the use of a superstructure covering the inhumations (Jouguet 1901, 402). Jouguet 1901, 402; Grenfell et al. 1900, 56. Thus also Davoli 1998, 219 note 362. Jouguet 1901, 402.

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Funerary Landscape: Topographical Textual Notes

While the texts offer tantalising glimpses on how the funerary landscape was perceived, at least by the funerary attendants, specific evidence on its topography is lacking. In general necropolises were identified by the name of the city or town to which they belonged. Thus the Theban necropolis is described, in relation to the main city, as being in ‘the areas in the ˹west of˺ Thebes in [the necropolis] of Djeme’ (nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w n tꜣ ˹i҆mnṱ n˺ nw.t n [tꜣ ḫꜣs.t] ḏmꜣ) (lines 1–2) in P. BM EA 10226 (185 BC), while the cemetery land is defined as ‘the plot[s of land of Thebes in the] necropolis of Djeme’ (nꜣ wrḥ.[w nw.t n tꜣ] ḫꜣs.t ḏmꜣ) (line 4) in P. E. Adler 31 (178–177? BC). Another example is found in P. Mallawi Museum 602/7 (101BC), from Middle Egypt, where party B is identified as a ‘god’s seal-bearer in the necropolis in the north of ˹Ḥ.t-nn-nsw,˺ Horos son of Heremdjertief and Senpsais’ (ḫtmw-nṯr n tꜣ ḫꜣsy.t n pr-mḥṱ n ḥ.t-nn-nsw ḥr sꜣ ḥr-m-ḏr.ṱ=f mw.t(=f ) tꜣ-šr.t-n-pꜣ-šy) (lines 2–3).98 Otherwise necropolises are identified simply as belonging to a specific settlement. For example, ‘the necropolis of Taachiar,’99 ‘the necropolis of Hutnesu,’100 and ‘the necropolis of Shaiueshetep.’101 The Demotic documents from the Fayum identify the Hawara burial grounds as ‘the necropolis of Hawara,’102 as ‘the necropolis of the Sobek settlement, Hawara,’103 or more fully as ‘the necropolis of the Sobek settlement, Hawara, within the outskirts on the northern side of the Moeris canal, in the district of Herakleides in the nome of Arsinoe’ (tꜣ ḫꜣs.t nt n tmy sbk ḥ.t-wly ẖn nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w bnr ḥr pꜣ ꜥt mḥṱ tꜣ ḥny mꜣ-wr tny hyrḳltꜣws pꜣ tš ꜣrsynꜣ) (lines 3–5).104 Similarly, smaller burial grounds in other settlements are identified by the name of the settlement to which they belong. For example, the necropolis of Pabunim, the necropolis of ˹Waherker,˺105 the necropolis of Mendes and the necropolis of Pawawa.106 In some instances documents give additional information on the location of these necropolises, as in the case of P. Hamburg 4–8 (92 BC) which specifies that the endowments are attached to the necropolises of Hawara and to those

98

99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106

Such a specification does not necessarily imply that there was another necropolis in a different area of the town. A similar description is also found in P. BM EA 10226 (185BC) which describes the Theban necropolis as being in ‘the areas in the ˹west˺ of Thebes.’ P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC), Middle Egypt. P. Mallawi 602/7 (101 BC) and P. Mallawi 602/9 (100 BC), Middle Egypt. P. BM EA 10575 (181 BC) and P. BM EA 10591 (170 BC), Middle Egypt. For example P. Ashmolean D. 3 (1968.3) (115 BC) and P. Cairo 50126 (116–107BC). For example P. Ashmolean D. 4 (1968.4) + D. 5 (1968.5) + D. 6 (1968.6) (98 BC). P. BM EA 10604 (85 BC). P. O.I. 25262 (292 BC). P. Hamburg 2 (83 BC).

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in ‘Ptolemais Hormou, Syron Kome, Kerkesoucha Orous, Psenharyo and Sele, which are on the outskirts of the district of Herakleides in the nome of Arsinoe’ (rꜣ-tꜣ-ḥny pꜣ-sbt-nꜣ-i҆šwr.w pꜣ-grg-sbk, pꜣ-sy-ḥr-wḏꜣ šy-ꜥlꜣ nt ẖn nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w bnr tꜣ tny.t hyrḳlty pꜣ tš ꜣrsynꜣ) (lines 5–6). However, what is perhaps surprising is that the Hawara necropolis is never identified in Demotic by reference to the Labyrinth, only in Greek documents. Thus the petitioner in P. Rylands 577 (146 or 135 BC) is identified as ‘Protomachus son of Harmais, an embalmer of the Labyrinth.’ Party B in S.B. 1 5216 (1st century BC) are identified as ‘the stolistai of the Labyrinth (in Hawara),’ while the letter recorded in PSI 857 (196–195/172–171BC) is addressed to ‘the stolistai of the Labyrinth.’ Similarly, the Greek subscription on the recto of P. BM EA 10604 (85BC) and P. Hamburg 2 (83BC) identifies the burial income object of the transactions recorded in these documents as that of ‘the taricheutes of the Labyrinth,’ and as that of ‘the taricheutes of the dead which is in the Labyrinth.’ On the other hand, the Siut necropolis appears to have had a separate name. This is indicated by P. BM EA 10575 (181 BC) in which Petetumis, son of Totoes, and his son Tuefhapi are identified as a ‘lector-priest in the necropolis of Taanch in Siut’ (ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n tꜣ-ꜥnḫ n sywṱ) (line 2), and in P. BM EA 10561 (157BC) where both parties are also identified as a ‘lector-priest in the necropolis of Taanch in Siut’ (ẖr-ḥb n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n tꜣ-ꜥnḫ n sywṱ) (lines 10–11). In addition, the Theban necropolis itself was perceived as being on two levels, an upper one, possibly referring to the Dra Abu el-Naga mountain, and a lower one, perhaps referring to the Asasif, and the plane between Dra Abu elNaga and Wadi Qabbanet el-Qirud.107 This is clearly indicated in P. BM EA 10388 (223BC), a contract of sale for a plot of land which is described as being ‘located in the upper necropolis of Djeme’ (nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣst ḥry ḏmꜣ) (line 2). On the other hand P. BM EA 10240 (228–227BC), a contract for the hiring of a choachyte’s services, describes the tomb in which the priest is to work as being in ‘the lower necropolis of Djeme’ (tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ẖry ḏmꜣ) (recto II line 3). An indication of the possible division of the necropolis in discrete areas, for example according to the four cardinal points, is found in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) where three of the tombs listed are said to be ‘on the southern part of the necropolis of Memphis’ (ḥr pꜣ mꜣꜥ rs n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n mn-nfr) (line 3).108 Another 107 108

Strudwick 2003, Fig. 8. Presumably others could have been described as being in the northern, western or eastern area of the necropolis, but direct evidence for this is lacking. This may perhaps be suggested by the description of some of the revenues transferred in P. Leiden I 380 a–b (64 BC) which are identified as ‘pertaining to endowment revenue (and) lector-priest revenue (…) (in) the Memphite Necropolis, south (to) north’ (n.m-sꜣ šty sꜥnḫ šty ẖr-ḥb (…) tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr pꜣ rs pꜣ mḥt) (line 4), although it is also very possible that the clause is used to convey a sense of inclusiveness.

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example is found in P. Mallawi 602/10 (111 BC), from Middle Egypt, in which the plaintiff, the lector priest Petenoubis, declares to have divided with his colleagues some places of revenue located on the ‘northern side of (the necropolis of) Hutnesu.’ In addition, the discovery in the Giza necropolis of three stone blocks, dating to the Late Period, inscribed in the Demotic script with the names of a number of choachytes, suggests that a division into discrete areas, each under the control of different mortuary priests, may have been implemented in the Memphite necropolis too.109 The excavator had originally assigned these artefacts to the Roman period. Spiegelberg dated them to the Ptolemaic period, while, in view of the cursive character of the script, Vleeming suggests they date to the pre-Ptolemaic period.110 Petrie posited that because of the lack of funerary formulae, and because of the mention of choachytes’ names, these blocks could have designated the necropolis’ districts for which the named funerary attendants were responsible.111 Unfortunately, he does not provide any detail as to the archaeological context in which these were discovered, beyond the fact that they were scattered in the cemetery, or whether remains of associated structures were present, and it is, therefore, difficult to determine with certainty what function they served.112 It is possible that these blocks were inserted within masonry courses, above the door, or even inside a niche cut in the rock, to identify (funerary) properties belonging to the named individuals. A number of stelae used to identify home owners have been found, for example, at Karnak, to the east of the sacred lake in an area reserved for priestly quarters, where they were placed above the doorframe.113 At Thebes, P. BM EA 25285 (241 BC) indicates that the area in which the new Ptolemaic brick tombs were located was perhaps identified as the ‘necropolis (of) vaulted tombs’ (tꜣ ḫꜣs.t ˹ꜥ.wy kpi҆.w˺) (line 3), although the reading of the passage is not certain.114 Features within the landscape were also used as landmarks to facilitate the identification of the various funerary structures. Thus P. BM EA 10240 (228– 227BC) gives as the northern and western neighbour of the tomb the mountain, probably again the Dra Abu el-Naga mountain. Similarly, in the agreement concerning the division of tombs recorded in P. BM EA 10612 (175 BC) one of the

109 110 111 112 113 114

Petrie 1907, 29 § 81.1–3, Pl. XXXVIIA. Spiegelberg 1932, 8; Vleeming 2001, 245–247. The texts are also published by Farid 1995, 241 § 18.1–3. Petrie 1907, 29 § 81.1–3. Petrie 1907, 29. Anus et al. 1971, 220, 228, Fig. 8 and 16; Lauffray et al. 1971, 72. The document is a burial tax receipt, for which see Muhs 2011, 171, doc. 129.

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structures listed is described as ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel which is destroyed and which borders the ˹dam˺ of the blessed one Esptais’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ nt ḫfṱ nt tm r ˹tn˺ pꜣ ḥry ns-ptḥ) (line 10).115 Similarly in P. Leiden I 373b–c (204–203 BC) and P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) from Memphis, which give the mountain as the western neighbour of the tombs mentioned, while P. Leiden I 373 b–c (204–203BC) also mentions a canal to the north of the tomb and along which stood two storehouses. P. BM EA 10240 (228–227BC), cited above, indicates that another way of identifying a particular funerary structure in the necropolis was by means of the name of its (original) owner.116 In P. BM EA 10827 (273–272 BC), from Thebes, for example, one of the tombs listed is identified as ‘the s.t-tomb of Petemestous son of Esminis which is called the ḥ.t-tomb of Harwa’ (tꜣ s.t n pꜣ-ty-i҆mn-nswtꜣ.wy sꜣ ns-mn nt i҆w=w ḏ n=s tꜣ ḥ.t n ḥrwꜣ) (line 4).117 In P. BM EA 10226 (185 BC) the seller describes the tomb alienated as ‘my s.t-tomb [which is called] the s.ttomb of Psemminis son of Harmais (in) the areas in the ˹west of˺ Thebes in [the necropolis] of Djeme’ (tꜣy=y s.t nt [i҆w=w ḏ] ˹n˺=s tꜣ s.t n pꜣ-šr-mn sꜣ ḥr-mḥb nꜣ ꜥ.wy.w n tꜣ ˹i҆mnṱ n˺ nw.t n [tꜣ ḫꜣs.t] ḏmꜣ) (recto III lines 1–2). And similarly, in the same document, which lists: ‘the other s.t-tomb which is north of the s.t-tomb of P˹semminis˺ together with my other s.t-tomb which is called the [˹s.t-tomb of˺] Paoueris son of ˹ Repu˺ which is north of the blessed one Esminis’ (tꜣ ḳ.t s.t nt i҆r mḥṱ n tꜣ s.t pꜣ-˹šr-mn˺ ḥnꜥ tꜣy=y ḳ.t s.t nt i҆w=w ḏ n=s tꜣ [˹s.t n˺] pa-wrṱ.w sꜣ ˹rpw˺ nt i҆r mḥṱ pꜣ ḥry ns-mn) (col. IV lines 1–2). Additional examples are found in several other documents including P. BM EA 10227 (230 BC) which lists ‘the s.t-tomb of Thatres which is in the northern ˹area˺ of the mꜣꜥ-chapel of Chrates’ (tꜣ s.t n tꜣ-ḥtr.t nt n nꜣ ˹ꜥy˺ (or ꜥꜣ) mḥṱ pꜣ mꜣꜥ n grts) (line 3). In P. Louvre E 2415 (225BC) one of the tombs sold is described as ‘this s.t-tomb which is south of the šꜥšꜥ-chapel of Amenothes’ (tꜣy s.t nt i҆r rs n pꜣ šꜥšꜥ i҆mn-ḥtp) (line 5). Similarly in P. BM EA 10615 (175BC) one of the tombs transferred is identified as ‘the s.t-tomb which is near the s.t-tomb of Sopatros on the west’ (tꜣ s.t nt tm r tꜣ s.t n swptrws n pꜣ i҆mnṱ) (line 4), and ‘the mꜣꜥ-chapel of Pꜣ-[…] which is near to Phthomouthes’ (pꜣ mꜣꜥ pꜣ-[…] nt tm r pꜣy-fdw-mnṱ) (line 8). P. Hermitage 1122 (135BC), from Memphis, lists the ḥ.t-tomb of Pabastet and the ḥ.t-tomb of Taes (line 4), while in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) are listed a large number of ꜥ.wy-rmṯ

115

116 117

Andrews notes that if this is not another variant writing of the word ‘dike’ it probably is some other kind of structure (1990, 74 note 8). Interestingly, an ancient dam is marked on a map of the central part of the Valley of the Queens (Strudwick 2003, Fig. 7), although it is not possible to determine whether this is the place where the mꜣꜥ-chapel was located. This may or may not be an indication of them being reused tombs. For correction from Tarua to Harwa see Den Brinker et al. 2005a, 69.

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tombs, all of which are identified by the name of the owner or occupant. In Leiden I 379 (256BC) one of the tombs listed is described as ‘this ḥ.t-tomb which is called the ḥ.t-tomb of Tamehi’ (tꜣy ḥ.t nt i҆w=w ḏ n=s tꜣ ḥ.t n ta-mh̭ y) (line 4), while two further tombs are identified as ‘the ḥ.t-tomb called ḥ.t-tomb of Atum (and) the forecourt called the forecourt of Pamenis son of Psenhapi’ (tꜣ ḥ.t nt i҆w=w ḏ n=s tꜣ ḥ.t n i҆tm pꜣ ꜣrb nt i҆w=w ḏ n=s pꜣ ꜣrb n pa-mn sꜣ pꜣ-šr-ḥꜥpy) (line 4). Similarly in P. Leiden I 373 b–c (204–203BC), which lists ‘the stone ḳꜣ-tomb called the stone ḳꜣ-tomb of Ptahmaacheru’ (pꜣ ḳꜣ n i҆ny nt ⟨i҆w=w⟩ ḏ n=f pꜣ ḳꜣ n i҆ny n ptḥ-mꜣꜥ[ḫrw]) (line 3), and in P. Leiden I 380 a–b (64BC), which lists ‘the stone ḳꜣ-tomb (…) which is called the ḳꜣ-tomb of Phchoiphis’ (pꜣ ḳꜣ i҆ny (…) nt i҆w=w ḏ n=f pꜣ ḳꜣ pꜣ-kp) (line 5).118 The liturgies transferred in P. Louvre E 3266 (197 BC) include ‘the [ḥ.t-tomb which is] called the ḥ.t-tomb of Horos and your ⅓ share of the northern ḥ.t-tomb’ (tꜣ [ḥ.t nt i҆w=w] ḏ n=s tꜣ ḥ.t n ḥr ḥnꜥ tꜣy=t tni҆.t ⅓ n tꜣ ḥ.t mḥt) (line 9 K–L), where the location of the second tomb is probably determined through reference to the ḥ.t-tomb of Horos. Another instance is found in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) which lists ‘the 1/8 share of the upper burial-(place) and the lower burial-(place)’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 n tꜣ ḳs.t ḥry.t tꜣ ḳs.t ẖrꜣ.t) (line 9). In this case it seems logical to assume that their position is described in terms of their relation to one another and to the landscape, perhaps suggesting that they stand one at the top and the other at the base of a rocky outcrop. Structures and lands located in the necropolis could be known by the name of a previous owner also in Middle Egypt, as in the case of the ‘storehouses located in the necropolis of Siut ⟨which are⟩ called “the storehouses of Matraios son of Eba”’ (nꜣ pr.w-ḥḏ nt ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t sywt mtw=w ḏ ⟨n=w⟩ nꜣ pr.w-ḥḏ n mtry sꜣ ebꜣ) (col. Bvii line 17–18), and the ‘lands of the house, which is in ruins, them being on the necropolis of Siut which are called “the place of Petaus”’ (nꜣ wrḥ.w n ꜥ.wy nt h̭ rh̭ r i҆w=w ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t n sywt nt i҆w=w ḏ n=w pꜣ ꜥ.wy n pꜣy-tw=w) (col. Bviii lines 8–9) both listed in P. BM EA 10591 (170BC). Prominent features of the landscape were also the religious structures, and indeed they were used as landmarks in the Memphite necropolis when describing tombs’ neighbours. The temple of Isis lady of Anchtawi, for example, is attested in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC), where it is given as the western neighbour of the properties listed (rs tꜣ rsy n pꜣ i҆rpꜣy n i҆s.t nb.t ꜥnḫ-tꜣ.wy (…) i҆mnt pꜣ i҆rpꜣy [n i҆s.t nb.t] ꜥnḫ-tꜣ.wy) (line 3), and in P. Louvre E 3266 (197BC) in which a tomb’s southern neighbour is the watch-post of the temple of Isis lady of Anchtawi.119 118

119

The previous descriptions parallel the expression used in Theban documents to identify the tomb of Harwa, which is one of the largest temple-tombs in the necropolis. On the use of this tomb in the Ptolemaic Period see Chapter 16 §4. Martin 2009, 50 and Text 9.

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Similarly, in P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) the northern neighbour of the properties transferred is ‘the tomb of (the) royal scribe of accounts of (the) temple (of the) peak (of) Anchtawi Djehorsechmet’ (mḥt tꜣ ḥ.t n sẖ n pꜣ Pr-ꜥꜣ i҆w=f i҆p n ḥ.t-ntr thny {pꜣ} ꜥnḫ-tꜣ.wy ḏ-ḥr-sḫm.t) (line 11).120 As is to be expected, a network of pathways allowed access to various parts of the necropolis and its tombs. In the Theban documents, some are simply identified as the ‘path’ in-between structures, as in P. Wien ÄS 6052 (239 BC) and P. Philadelphia XXIV (227BC), others identify them as the path of a specific structure, as in the case of P. Philadelphia XIX (240 BC) which mentions the ‘path of the resting place of the Ibis’ (pꜣ myt n pꜣ ꜥ.wy-ḥtp n pꜣ hb) (line 2), and P. BM EA 10223 (171? BC) that calls it simply the ‘path of the resting place’ (pꜣ myt pꜣ ꜥ.wy-ḥtp) (lines 6–7). P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) mentions the ‘path of Amun to Djeme’ (tꜣ my.t i҆mn r ḏmꜣ) (line 3), which possibly refers to one of the religious processional ways, while P. Philadelphia XXVI (217 BC) refers to the ‘path of Amun’ (tꜣ my.t i҆mn) (line 5). Similarly in documents from Memphis, in which pathways are simply identified as the ‘path’ or ‘road’ in-between structures,121 while others are identified as the path of a specific structure, as in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC), which calls it ‘the road of the storehouse of the ḳꜣ-tomb’ (pꜣ myt n tꜣ šmy.(t) ḳꜣ) (line 3). In the same document is found a reference to what may have been a religious processional way since the western neighbour is ‘the road of Anubis’ (tꜣ my.t n i҆np) (line 3), while P. Leiden I 373 b–c (204–203 BC), identifies it ‘the road of Anubis-who-is-upon-his-mountain, the great god’ (tꜣ my.t i҆np tp-tw=f pꜣ ntr ꜥꜣ) (line 7). Finally, another road mentioned in P. Leiden I 379 (256BC) is ‘the road of pharaoh Shabaka’ (tꜣ my.t n pr-ꜥꜣ šbkꜣ) which is given as the western landmark of the tomb transferred. A similar scenario is attested from Middle Egypt. From P. BM EA 10591 (170BC) we learn that one such path in the necropolis of Siut was called ‘the path of god’ (tꜣ my.t nṯr) (col. Bvii line 17) where it is listed as the east and west neighbour of a storehouse, while others are more generically identified as ‘road.’ Similarly, in P. Mallawi Museum 602– 7 (101BC) the endowment appears to comprise a number of tombs which are identified as being ‘towards the path’ (r pꜣ myt) (line 3). In some instances one gets the impression that similar types of constructions clustered together. Thus in P. Philadelphia XIX (240 BC), from Thebes, the s.t-tomb sold is bordered by other s.t-tombs, as shown in Fig. 10. Similarly, the two mꜣꜥ-chapels sold in P. Philadelphia XXVI (217 BC) are bordered by other mꜣꜥ-chapels (as well as some plots of land), while the mꜣꜥ-chapel sold in P. Wien ÄS 6052 (239BC) is surrounded by mꜣꜥ-chapels on each side as shown in the schematic reconstruction in Fig. 11. 120 121

Martin 2009, 49–50 and Text 5. For example in P. Leiden I 379 (256 BC) and P. BM EA 10384 (132BC).

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figure 10 Schematic reconstruction of the s.t-tomb sold in P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours

figure 11

Schematic reconstruction of the mꜣꜥ-chapel sold in P. Wien ÄS 6052 (239BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours

In P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) a choachyte buys a plot of land in the necropolis in order to build a s.t-tomb, the neighbouring properties are all s.t-tombs (Fig. 12). Other times the landscape appears slightly more diverse, as for example in P. BM EA 10226 (185BC) where the s.t-tomb sold neighbours the mountain, a mr-chapel and another s.t-tomb Fig. 13). Among the various constructions present in the Theban necropolis there are also some structures identified as rooms (ry.t). Thus in P. Philadelphia V (302BC) it is stated that party A, a choachyte, owned a room to the east of the tomb sold, while in P. Berlin P. 3096 (222BC) party A sells: ‘this western room, which is built and roofed, within the courtyard of the s.t-tomb of Pasis’ (tꜣy ry.t i҆mnṱ nt ḳt ḥbs ẖn pꜣ i҆nḥ tꜣ s.t pa-sy) (lines 7–8). The texts do not state whether these would have been used as a storage place, in which case one would expect it to be identified as such, or as a tomb which again might have been described so. Perhaps these were rooms inside bigger structures, such as

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figure 12 Schematic reconstruction of the plot of land in the Theban necropolis bought by a choachyte with P. BM EA 10388 (223 BC) to build a s.t-tomb

figure 13 Schematic reconstruction of the s.t-tomb sold in P. BM EA 10226 (185BC) (Thebes) and its neighbours

storehouses. Different types of chapels or offering-places are also attested. In P. Philadelphia XIX (240BC) the properties sold include: ‘the western chapel which is within the courtyard of the s.t-tomb of the blessed one ˹Pamesha˺’ (tꜣ ꜣtrꜣ.t i҆mnṱ nt ẖn pꜣ i҆nḥ n tꜣ s.t n pꜣ ḥry ˹pꜣ-mšꜥ˺) (line 4), while in P. Brussels E 6037 (153BC) there is mention of an ‘ꜥb-chapel (or offering-place) of Isis belonging to Kesimua’ (tꜣ ꜥb n i҆s.t n ksymwꜣ) (col. 2 line 20). In addition, P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) suggests a certain division of the Memphite necropolis burial ground according to the deceased’s ethnic background since it lists amongst others ‘the 1/8 share (of) the burial-(places)122 of ⟨the⟩ Gree[k]s (in) the courtyard of the Great Ones (on) The-new-land-of-theGreeks’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 tꜣ ḳs.t ⟨nꜣ⟩ wyn[n].w pꜣ i҆nḥ nꜣ wr.w tꜣ mꜣy nꜣ wynn.w) (line 8), and ‘the 1/8 share of the Carians’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 n nꜣ krs.w) (line 9).123 The same

122 123

Taking the noun ḳs.t ‘burial’ as an abbreviation for (ꜥ.wy)-ḳs.t (places of) burial. The exact location and nature of ‘the courtyard of the Great Ones’ is uncertain. Martin

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document also mentions ‘the 1/8 share of the vault of/for [the] quarter of the Greek[s]’ (tꜣ tni҆.t 1/8 tꜣ ḳp n [tꜣ] i҆weꜣ.t nꜣ wynn.[w]) (line 9–10),124 which suggests the existence of burial places reserved for individuals resident in this Quarter. P. BM EA 10384 (132BC) also lists ‘the share of the Meqwesh’ (tꜣ dni҆.t 1/8 nꜣ mḳwš.w) (line 10) which seems to be a designation for an ethnic group, perhaps of Libyan origin.125 Another example may be found in P. Wien ÄS 9479 (P. Innsbruck) (75BC) which lists the ‘⅓ share of the three ḳꜣ-tomb(s) that are ˹part˺ of the aforesaid endowment in the necropolis of Memphis (and) that are called the ḳꜣ-tomb of the ˹Medes˺’ (tni҆.t ⅓ pꜣ ḳꜣ 3 nt ˹ẖr˺ pꜣ sꜥnḫ nt ḥry ḥr tꜣ ḫꜣs.t mn-nfr nt i҆w=w ḏ n=w pꜣ ḳꜣ pꜣ ˹mnte˺) (line 11).126

3

God’s Acre: Possession, Taxation and Acquisition of Plots and Tombs

Ownership of the land in the necropolis rested with the temple as indicated by the fact that payment of the transfer-tax on building plots and tombs was made to this institution.127 The receipt recorded on O. BM EA 66383 (241? BC), for example, specifies that ‘Harsiesis son of Amenothes has brought 2½ kite to the temple for the value of the plot of land’ (i҆n ḥr-sꜣ-i҆s.t sꜣ i҆mn-ḥtp ḥḏ ḳt 2½ n ḥ.t-nṯr n swn pꜣ wrḥ) (lines 1–2). Similarly in O. TT373 doc. 2369 (227 BC), which reads: ‘Herieus son of Imouthes has brought 2½ kite to the temple in the name of the plot of land which he has taken’ (i҆n hry.w sꜣ i҆y-m-ḥtp ḳt 2½ r ḥ.t-nṯr (n)rn pꜣ wrḥ i҆.ṯ=f ) (lines 1–2). P. E. Adler 31 (178–177? BC) records payment ‘for the value of the plots of land to the temple’ (mḥ=f swn.[ṱ=w] r ḥ.t-nṯr) (line 8); while

124

125 126

127

(2009, 128 note xxv) suggests the epithet refers to deities of the necropolis, although it seems also possible that it refers to a collective burial place of distinguished people. Martin translates the preposition n as ‘in’ and thus understands this structure as being located in Memphis itself in the Quarter of the Greeks, suggesting that this may be the place where the deceased were kept prior to their removal to the necropolis (Martin 2009, 129 note xxxiv). However, aside from the fact that there is no evidence the deceased were ever kept in the city following death, the preposition can also be understood as either the dative ‘for’ or as the genitive ‘of,’ thus meaning that this (burial)-vault was reserved for the burials of individuals resident in the Greek quarter, rather than indicating that the vault itself was located there. Martin 2009, 129 note xxxvi. The signs m and t seem clear enough, but the sign above what looks like a t could be either n or even s, the writing does not appear to me to be that of mty or ‘Medes’ proposed by Sethe and Partsch 1920, 739. For this funerary tax see below.

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in O. Louvre 314 (Ptolemaic) it is specified that ‘Espemetis son of Paardjeba(?) has brought 2½ kite to the temple’ (line 1), and in O. Louvre 93 (Ptolemaic) that ‘Maimehti son of Searthos has brought the value in silver for 3⅔ cubits (of land) to the temple (of) Thebes’ (i҆n mꜣy-mḥṱ sꜣ ṯ-ḥr-pꜣ-tꜣ ˹n ḥḏ˺ swn mḥ-i҆tn 3⅔ n ḥ.t-nṯr nw.t) (lines 1–2). On the other hand, in P. BM EA 10388 (223BC) the seller declares: ‘I have given it to you, it belongs to you, (and) it is your two land cubits, which I bought from (the temple of) Amun’ (tw=y s n=k mtw=k s pꜣy=k mḥ-i҆tn 2 nt ḥry nꜣ.w r-i҆n=y ḏbꜣ ḥḏ i҆.i҆r i҆mn) (lines 3–4).128 Indirect evidence is found in P. Philadelphia V (302 BC), O. BM EA 66383 (241? BC), O. Pont. Bibl. Inst. (227BC), P. Philadelphia XXVI (217 BC), P. BM EA 10223 (171? BC), O. Louvre 92 (Ptolemaic), O. Louvre 93 (Ptolemaic) and O. Louvre 314 (Ptolemaic) where the properties neighbouring the plot of land, or the tomb, object of the transaction are defined as the plots of land of Amun (wrḥ.w n I҆mn). Ownership of the necropolis land by the temple of Amun, is also indirectly indicated by the fact that the scribe responsible for the registration of O. Pont. Bibl. Inst. (227BC) and O. Louvre 92 (Ptolemaic) was the representative of the god’s-father and lesonis of Amun, while O. Louvre 93 (Ptolemaic) identifies the sum paid as ‘the money (of) the servant and the lesonis of Amun’ (nꜣ ḥḏ.w pꜣ bꜣk pꜣ mr-šn i҆mn) (line 3). The payments recorded in the previous receipts are those for another funerary tax, the transfer duty on building plots and tombs in the necropolis, attested from Thebes in the Ptolemaic Period. The amount paid was 2½ kite irrespectively of the size of the parcel. Although the use of the noun swn could suggest this was the actual cost of the land, the identification of this sum as tax of the necropolis (tni҆.t n tꜣ ḫꜣs.t), both in P. Philadelphia XXX (302–301 BC) and P. BM EA 10528 (291BC), indicates this was a duty, rather than the price paid for the parcel.129 The land transfer-tax is attested from the receipts listed in table 13. A number of these receipts also give the size of the building plot (see table 14 below). The size ranges from 43 to 366⅔ sq cubits, while the amount paid remained 2½ kite in every instance, thus further showing that the latter was a tax and not the cost of the plot.

128

129

As discussed in Chapter 13 § 4, the individuals named as payers in these receipts were choachytes who paid this and the burial tax on behalf of the family. For a list of the taxpayers that appear in both types of funerary receipts see Table A.5. Contrary to Andrews’ suggestion (1990, 46–47 note 2) that on the basis of O. BM EA 66383 and O. Louvre 92 it could be established that at Thebes one land cubit in the early Ptolemaic Period cost 1 silver kite; see also Vleeming 1994, 115.

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chapter 15 Land transfer-tax receipts with amounts paid

Document and date

Description

Amount

O. BM EA 14026 (255BC) O. Strasbourg D 2037 (243BC) O. BM EA 66383 (241BC) O. Louvre 92 (241BC) O. GMi 121 (229BC) O. Pontif. Bibl. Inst. (O. varia 53) (227BC) O. TT 373 doc. 2369 (O. varia 56) (227BC) P. E. Adler 31 (178–177? BC)a O. Louvre 93 (Ptolemaic) O. Louvre 314 (Ptolemaic)

Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot Transfer tax on necropolis building plot

2½ kite 2½ kite 2½ kite 2[˹½˺] kite 2½ kite – 2½ kite – [?] 2½ kite

a The receipt, recorded on a fragmentary papyrus, probably dates to regnal year 4 of Ptolemy, but unfortunately much of the titulary is in lacuna. The date 178–177BC(?), corresponding to regnal year 4 of Ptolemy VI, is suggested on the basis of the taxpayer’s identity, the choachyte Pa