Ancient Egyptian Manuscripts Online

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that ten Pharaonic rolls, written in Hieroglyphic and Hieratic script either on papyrus or linen, have been digitized and are now available online in the Digital Princeton University Library (DPUL). See the listing below, with links to the digitized manuscripts. These rolls are the oldest part of the Princeton Papyri Collections. Most of them came to Princeton as part of the extensive 1942 gift of Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1897. In the late 1920s, Garrett acquired several such rolls, chiefly from the Ptolemaic period (305-30 BCE), in the antiquities trade. He purchased a fully mounted Saite recension of the Book of the Dead in Hieratic, 26th Dynasty, from Spink & Son (London) in 1928. Others were purchased still fully rolled. One of these, a Hieroglyphic Book of the Dead (Pharaonic Roll, no. 5), New Kingdom, 18th/19th Dynasty, was partially examined at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1944-48 by Egyptologist and fellow Princetonian William C. Hayes (1903-63), Class of 1924. Five of Garrett’s Pharaonic rolls were finally unrolled and mounted in the Library’s Preservation Office in 1998-99 under the supervision of paper conservator Ted Stanley. The work was done as part of the APIS Project (Advanced Papyrological Data System), with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, supervised the project at Princeton. Leonard H. Lesko, Charles Edwin Wilbour Professor of Egyptology Emeritus at Brown University, was the project consultant who provided guidance during the unrolling and mounting, and then described them for the APIS database. Over the past twenty years, Egyptologists have studied these rolls and published their findings in books and articles. Previous blog posts have focused on three of the Pharaonic rolls: no. 5; no. 8; and no. 10. For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu

Book of Amduat. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Contains 12th hour. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 1. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/dn39x503f

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Probably from a Theban tomb. Ptolemaic Period (?) Chapter 17 with polychrome illustrations. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 2. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/dn39x503f

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period (?) Owner’s name is (N)es-Ese, a “chantress of Amon.” Contains chapter 110 (Field of Hetep) and beginning of chapter 149 written in retrograde from left. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library,1998. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 3. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/xd07gz04k

Book of the Dead. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus, with polychrome illustrations. Ptolemaic Period (?) Owner’s name is Pedimeh(y)et. His father’s name is (N)espautitaui, a “first prophet of Re”; his mother’s name is Lady Nebethutiyti. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 4. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/sn00b312r

Book of the Dead, with polychrome illustrations. Hieroglyphic script on papyrus. Dynasty XVIII. Owner is Iwt.nyr.syh (Iwtlsyh?), a name possibly of Semitic origin. Includes chapters 84, 77, 86, 85, 88, 114, 38, 105, 31, and 125. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1999. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 5. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/ff3658534

Book of Breathings. Hieratic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Nearly complete, unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1998. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 7. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/8w32r9117

Book of the Dead. Hieratic script on linen, Two complete rolls of the Saite recension (chapters 67-165), with illustrations in ink. The owner’s name is Hekaemsaf (or Heka-m-saf), whose mother was named Tinetmehenet. The owner should probably be identified with Hekaemsaf, a naval officer who served as Chief of Royal Ships under Pharaoh Ahmose II [or Amasis II] (570-526 BCE), 26th Dynasty. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 8. https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog/k643b257s

Book of the Dead. Hieratic script on papyrus. Owner’s name is Khay-Hapy, “son of Isis-great-of-truth.” With Hieroglyphic labeling. Includes (from right) chapters 16, 18, 38B (?), 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 110, 27, 32, and 125. Ptolemaic Period (?). Pharaonic Rolls, no. 9. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/2514nq85z

Osiris text. Hieratic script on papyrus. Ptolemaic Period. Unrolled and mounted in the Princeton University Library, 1998-99. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 10. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/t148fm633

Litany or Hymn to Osiris. Hieratic script on papyrus. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 11. https://dpul.princeton.edu/papyri/catalog/0v838406h

Not yet digitized: (1) Hieroglyphic writing on papyrus. 14 small and unidentified fragments in Hieroglyphic and Hieratic script. Pharaonic Rolls, no. 6; (2) Crocodile mummy cartonnage made from gesso with polychrome decoration (Tebtunis, 2nd century BC) box 8 Item 1-5; and (3) Book of the Dead. Owner’s name is Pen-Amen-Apt. Dynasty XXI, about 1100-950 BCE. The Scheide Library M P95.

Pharaonic Roll, no. 5 (detail). Transformation Spell, no. 86: Swallow perched on mummy.

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