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Daily Records of events in an Ancient Egyptian Artisans'Community'

Irene Morfini defended her thesis on 21 February 2019

Irene Morfini
21 February 2019
Leiden Repository

In Egyptological literature, Necropolis journals are considered as records written on papyri and ostraca concerning the activities of the workmen or artisan community of Deir el-Medina in Thebes. In these notes, written by the scribes in hieratic, information about the gang of workmen employed in the construction of the royal tombs in the Valleys of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens throughout the Ramesside period is given (c. 1300-1100 BC): their payments, presence or absence, collective administration, private problems concerning individual crew members, internal perturbations, visits by officials and incursions from “foreigners”. They have been labelled ‘Necropolis journal” ever since the first publication of such documents from the late 20th Dynasty by Botti and Peet 1928 (“Il Giornale della Necropoli di Tebe”). Since then, the idea of “a journal” and notably “an events journal” developed amongst Egyptologists and it appeared in almost all publications about the Deir el-Medina community, without really saying what in fact this would mean in practice. The question has arisen as to whether indeed this was a specific genre of document. Is it correct to define such notes as journals? Would they be considered journals from an ancient Egyptian point of view?

Supervisor: prof. dr. O.E.Kaper,
co-supervisor: prof. dr. R.J. Demarée

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