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Papyrus of protection and destruction

 

Height: 18.300 cm

Salt Collection

EA 10051/5

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Papyrus of protection and destruction

    From the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, Egypt
    Ptolemaic period, 4th - 3rd centuries BC

    Papyrus from a temple library

    This papyrus might once have been in a temple library, but which was probably found in a tomb. It contains a ritual text called The End of the Works. This seems to have been a ritual performed during certain festivals which included the mummification of Osiris. The text was to be recited by a 'scribe of the House of Life'. It includes spells against the enemies of Osiris, and concludes with placing a copy of the text as an amulet on the neck of a statue of Osiris.

    Ritual texts such as this must have been very common in ancient Egypt, particularly in the later periods.

    G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

    R. Parkinson, Cracking codes: the Rosetta St (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)

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