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 Museum Explorer

Leaders and rulers in
Ancient Egypt

The Great Harris Papyrus

Height: 46.000 cm (frame)
Length: 74.000 cm (frame)

EA 9999/2

The Great Harris Papyrus

From: Thebes, probably Deir el-Medina, Egypt
Date: around 1200 BC

Papyrus is a kind of paper made out of reeds. This particular papyrus rolls out to be an amazing 42 metres long (that's almost as long as an Olympic sized swimming pool).

The papyrus is divided into five parts, each telling stories from the life of King Ramesses III. The first three parts show the King giving presents (called 'offerings') to the gods to keep them happy. You can see him on the right in the picture, wearing the special king's head-dress, sash and kilt. He is facing three gods. The hieroglyphs say that he is giving them an incredible 309,950 sacks of grain. The final part of the papyrus shows a history of the reign of Ramesses, ending with his death in 1153 BC.