- Museum number
- Series: The London Medical Papyrus
London Medical Papyrus; frame 1. Hieratic medical text recto and verso. Full papyrus columns 1-11 (incantations 1-33) are on the recto, columns 12-19 (incantations 34-52) on the verso. Frame 1 contains columns 1-5 on the recto and 12-15 on the verso.
Height: 22.70 centimetres (frame)
Height: 18.60 centimetres (papyrus)
Weight: 5.20 kilograms (in frame)
Thickness: 0.10 centimetres (papyrus)
Width: 119.20 centimetres (frame)
Width: 114.60 centimetres (papyrus)
Depth: 0.90 centimetres (frame)
- Curator's comments
Quack, J.F. 2022. Altägyptische Amulette und ihre Handhabung. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 31. Tübingen, pp. 57, 88-89, 101, 137, 154.
Since many illnesses were thought to be caused by evil demons, medical practice was combined with magic as an effective method of treatment. The papyrus contains a broad range of charms and recipes against skin complaints, burns, eye diseases and miscarriages. Spell 7 for instance gives a remedy for a skin disease using red ochre, Lower Egyptian salt in linen, fruits, and the froth of sweet beer.
The spells have been grouped by Leitz (1999) by condition:
A-Skin Complaints, Incantations 1-21
B-Eye Complaints, Incantations 22-24
C-Bleeding, Incantations 25-33 (principally incantations against miscarriage)
D-Burns, Incantations 34-56
B1-Eye Complaints, Incantations 57-58
A1-Skin Complaints, Incantations 69-60
[E-Hymns, Incantations 61-62]
Bardinet, RdE 39, p. 24-25.
T. Bardinet, Les papyrus médicaux de l'Egypte pharaonique: traduction integrale et commentaire (Paris 1995), 232-34, 483-92.
Rde: 9, 57-8, 59, n. 1 and 2
G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London 1994), fig.72;
N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 198-9.
J.H. Taylor & D. Antoine, Ancient lives, new discoveries, London 2014, pp. 64-5.
I. Regulski, Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt, London 2022, pp. 214-5
For the Cretan spells:
Kyriakidis, E. 2002, 'Indications on the nature of the language of the Keftiw from Egyptian sources', Ägypten und Levante XII, 213- 16.
Strange, J. 1980. Caphtor/Keftiu: a new investigation. Acta theologica danica 14. Leiden.
For the spells in Northwest Semitic:
Steiner, JNES 51 (1992), 191-200.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1995 Feb-May, Atlanta, Emory University, Reflections of Women in the New Kingdom
2014-15 22 May to 19 April, London, British Museum, 'Ancient Lives, New Discoveries'
2018 27 Mar-9 Sep, Los Angeles, Getty Centre, Egypt-Greece-Rome: Cultures in Contact
2022-2023 13 Oct-19 Feb, London, BM, Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt
- Papyrus Survey:
Checked for loan USA 1992
Displayed in Room 62 until 1997
Binding: Filmoplast T tape
Object Priority: A
Mount Priority: A
Overall Condition: A
Curatorial condition comment:
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Frame.1