- Museum number
- Object: Papyrus Ramesseum 6
P. Ramesseum 6, Frame 3. Papyrus written on the recto in linear hieroglyphic script. The recto contains a hymn to Sobek, while the verso is blank. The text is written in vertical columns between ruled lines with titles in horizontal lines, in retrograde script. Over 140 lines of a Middle Egyptian hymn cycle are preserved on the roll, which is not complete. This frame contains lines 40-58. The papyrus was a half-height roll. Three additional fragments of the roll (see Gardiner, The Ramesseum Papyri, 1955, pl. 21) are now mounted in other frames (Frag. A in EA 10760.3, Frag. B in EA 10760.7 and Frag. C in EA 10760.5).
The papyrus is part of the collection of papyri found with a bundle of pens in a chest from a plundered late 13th dynasty tomb under the Ramesseum, apparently belonging to someone like a lector priest. Two of the papyri from the chest are in the Egyptian Museum Berlin (P. Ramesseum A and D); the objects are in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge and the Manchester Museum.
The papyri are very fragile, apparently due to dampness in the tomb-shaft. This papyrus was mounted on sheets of gelatin by Hugo Ibscher.
Length: 25.50 centimetres (frame)
Width: 18.80 centimetres (frame)
- Curator's comments
'Although the manuscript came from a known archaeological context, the nature of the hymns is uncertain. They were probably composed originally for liturgical use at a particular festival ('this day') in the state cult. They have a strongly poetical character, while the use of glosses and mythopoeic wordplay is frequent in Egyptian ritual and religious writings.
The papyrus was found as part of a 13th Dynasty individual's archive which had been deposited in his tomb beneath the later cult temple of Ramses II (the 'Ramesseum'). The tomb, which contained magical papyri and equipment, may have belonged to a lector priest (the main ritual practitioner of a temple). The script of the papyrus suggests that it was copied in a temple scriptorium. Exactly how it moved from the temple context into the possession of the tomb's occupant is uncertain, and scholars have proposed various speculative, sometimes rather dramatic, scenarios.The appropriation of institutional texts by persons that the modern reader would consider private individuals is, however, well attested from Egyptian (and there is no reason to suppose that it constituted misappropriation)'. R. B. Parkinson, Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment (London: British Museum Press 1999), 91, cat. no. 15.
P. Ramesseum 6 lines 40-58.
A. H. Gardiner, The Ramesseum Papyri (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1955), 10, pl. 19.
A. H. Gardiner, 'Hymns to Sobk in a Ramesseum Papyrus', RdE 11 (1957), 41-56, pl. 2-4.
P. Vernus, 'Études de philologie et de linguistique', RdE 32 (1980), 117-121.
L.D. Morenz, 'Beiträge zur ägyptischen Schriftlichkeitskultur des Mittleren Reiches und der Zweiten Zwischenzeit', 'Ägypten und altes Testament' 29 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 1996), 147-54.
R. B. Parkinson, Cracking codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment (London: British Museum Press 1999), 91, cat. no. 15.
R. B. Parkinson, Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry: Among Other Histories (Chichester and Malden: Wiley-Blackwell 2009), 148-49.
M. Zecchi, Sobek of Shedet: The Crocodile God in the Fayyum in the Dynastic period (Studi sull'antico Egitto 2; Todi: Tau editrice 2010), 94-103.
On the conservation of the papyri: B. Leach, 'A conservation history of the Ramesseum Papyri', JEA 92 (2006), 225-40.
On the tomb: R. B. Parkinson, Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry: Among Other Histories (Chichester and Malden: Wiley-Blackwell 2009), 138-72.
- Not on display
- Papyrus Survey:
Papyrus: fractured, fragile, fragmentary, loss, powdery
Displayed in Room 62 until 1997
Displayed in Room 61 from 2001 until 2007
Binding: copydex self adhesive carpet tape
Object Priority: B
Mount Priority: A
Overall Condition: C
Curatorial condition comment:
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Frame.3