The Ramesseum Papyri

Project team



  • Oriental Faculty, University of Oxford
  • Manchester Museum, University of Manchester
  • Ägyptisches Museum
    und Papyrussammlung, Berlin
  • Seminar für Ägyptologie und Koptologie, Georg-August-Universität Goettingen.
  • Seminar für Ägyptologie, Universität zu Köln
  • CNRS, Ramesseum project

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Project output

The project aims to re-establish these texts within their associated material culture, social practices, archaeological contexts and landscapes, while aiming to highlight the museological issues concerning the analysis and display of texts, exploring both ancient and modern receptions of Ancient Egyptian writings.

The find allows a unique social contextualisation of manuscripts and a detailed investigation of who would read such texts and why they were copied and transmitted. The project will also investigate the archive from a comparative literature perspective and explore the possibility of ‘subaltern studies’ for Ancient Egypt with such textual data. In association with university departments, it will assist in developing an integrated model for Ancient Egyptian philology for publication and teaching. Related classes are taught in Oxford, Göttingen and Köln.

The project will further the publication of the Museum’s collections and encourage new editions and translations of the archive, through an Online research catalogue which includes a complete new digital photographic record of all the papyri in London and Berlin. This has been completed with the help of postgraduate curatorial assistants from Oxford. It will also include links to the related artefacts in other museums.

Publications include a book on the history of two of the texts from the time of their composition through to their modern reception, which establishes the theoretical and wider implications of the project.

Other monographs include: new editions of the magical texts as a doctoral thesis by Pierre Meyrat (Geneva), under Prof. Fischer-Elfert of Leipzig; a ‘reader’s commentary’ on one of the literary texts, drawing on the experience of university text-classes and enabled by research visits to the ‘Canon and Identity Formation in the Earliest Literate Societies’ research centre in the Institute of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, and to the Institut für Ägyptologie und Altorientalistik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. Other ongoing studies of the individual papyri are listed in the Collections Online database and the Online research catalogue.

Conservator Bridget Leach examining fragments of a medical text

Conservator Bridget Leach examining fragments of a medical text