- Museum number
- Object: Papyrus Sallier 4
Papyrus with hieratic text - Calendar of lucky and unlucky days on recto, Late Egyptian Miscellanies on verso. Frame 6 contains recto pages 13-14.
Height: 17.80 centimetres (papyrus)
Height: 24 centimetres (sandwiched glass frame)
Length: 59 centimetres (papyrus)
Length: 66.90 centimetres (sandwiched glass frame)
Weight: 290 grammes (in sandwiched glass frame)
Depth: 0.70 centimetres (sandwiched glass frame)
- Curator's comments
Late Egyptian Miscellanies are snippets from didactic texts, hymns, and administrative writings composed on the backs of papyri as drafts, practice, or scrap paper. On frame 6, the verso has a miscellany concerning threshing of grain, dots which may be related to calculations of this threshing, and a charming sketch of a bull.
Transcription and translation of the miscellanies:
Gardiner, Alan H. 1937. Late-Egyptian miscellanies. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 7.
Caminos, Ricardo A. 1954. Late-Egyptian miscellanies. Brown Egyptological Studies 1.
This papyrus from the late Nineteenth Dynasty (around 1225 BC) is one of the most extensive calendar of lucky and unlucky days that survived from ancient Egypt. It yields entries for days during eight months.
The entry for each day is prefaced by three hieroglyphs that indicate 'good' or 'bad'. The 'bad' hieroglyphs are written in red. If a day is partly good and partly bad, the relevant hieroglyphs can be mixed to represent the assessment of the day. The character of a day often derives from events told in mythological history. For some days the text is quite obscure, and others may not appear to the modern reader as good or bad as they did to the Egyptians.
An example of a bad day: 'Do not go out on this day. Do not turn your back to do any work at sunset. Whoever is born on this day will die through a serpent'.
An example of a good day: 'This is the day on which the gods received their hearts. The world keeps the festival'.
Leitz, Ch. 1994. Tagewählerei : das Buch h3t nhh ph.wy dt und verwandte Texte (Ägyptologische Abhandlungen; Bd. 55), Wiesbaden
This frame published in:
Regulski, I. (ed.), 2022. Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt, pp. 177-9
A. Spalinger, 1994. Calendars: real and ideal. In Essays in Egyptology in honor of Hans Goedicke, 297-308.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001 26 Jun-23 Sep, Birmingham Gas Hall, Egypt Revealed
1999 1 Dec-2000 24 Sep, London, The Queen’s House, The Story of Time
2022-2023 13 Oct-19 Feb, London, BM, Hieroglyphs: unlocking ancient Egypt
- Papyrus Survey:
Papyrus: bleached, insect attack, loss
Displayed in Room 63 until 1997
Checked for loan 1998
Checked for loan to Birmingham 2001
Checked for loan to Japan 2002
Checked for loan to Newcastle 2004
Checked for loan to Reading UK 2007
Binding: self adhesive tape
Object Priority: A
Mount Priority: A
Overall Condition: B
Curatorial condition comment:
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Frame.6