The Ramesseum Papyri

R. B. Parkinson

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Papyrus Ramesseum B (the Dramatic Papyrus)

10610 Frame 3, recto lines 64-75.


© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Front:Right SideFront:Right Side
  • Front:Right SideFront:Right Side
  • Full: FrontFull: Front
  • Front:Right SideFront:Right Side
  • Full: FrontFull: Front
  • InfraredInfrared

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Department: Ancient Egypt & Sudan

Registration number: 1929,0601.4.3

BM/Big number: EA10610,3

Additional IDs

Bibliographic reference
Strudwick 2006 102-4
Parkinson 2011 2.3
Trismegistos 380893 (

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Object types
papyrus (scope note | all objects)

Title (object)
Papyrus Ramesseum B (the Dramatic Papyrus)
papyrus (scope note | all objects)
Place (findspot)
Excavated/Findspot Ramesseum (all objects)
(Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Ramesseum (Thebes))
Middle Kingdom (all objects)

P. Ramesseum B, Frame 3. Papyrus written on the recto in linear hieroglyphic script, containing the text of a liturgy in honour of Senwosret I (the so-called Ramesseum Dramatic Papyrus), illustrated with vignettes. The text is written in vertical columns with titles and some text in horizontal lines, possibly in retrograde script. This frame contains lines 64-84. The papyrus was a full-height roll.

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, apparenly 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 Fizwilliam 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.

Inscription Type: inscription
Inscription Script: linear hieroglyphs
Inscription Position: recto

Length: 41 centimetres (frame)
Width: 30 centimetres (frame)

Papyrus Survey: Condition Details: Papyrus: dark, fragmentary, skeletal, fragile, bloom Black ink Tabbed: silk Backed: gelatin (cracked, discoloured) Supported overall: white paper Mount Details: Sandwich: glass Binding: paper Object Priority: C Mount Priority: B Overall Condition: D Curatorial condition comment: fair

Curator's comments
P. Ramesseum B lines 64-84.
K. Sethe, Dramatische Texte zu altaegyptischen Mysterienspielen (UGAA 10; 1928), pl. 6-7, 17-18.
A. H. Gardiner, The Ramesseum Papyri (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1955), 8, 17-18, fig. 2.
[The papyrus is substantially the same as in Sethe's photographs, but some small fragments included in Sethe's drawings and in the text of his volume do not appear in either, perhaps lost or destroyed in the unrolling and mounting process?]
D. Lorand, Le papyrus dramatique du Ramesseum (Lettres orientales; Leuven: Peeters 2009).
S. Quirke, The Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom. The Hieratic Documents (New Malden: Sia Publishing, 1990), 194-5.
J. Quack, 'Zur Lesung und Deutung des Dramatischen Ramesseumpapyrus', ZÄS 133 (2006), 72-89.
R. B. Parkinson, Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry: Among Other Histories (Chichester and Malden: Wiley-Blackwell 2009), 148-49.
Christina Geisen, The Ramesseum Dramatic Papyrus: A New Edition, Translation, and Interpretation (DPhil dissertation, University of Toronto 2012).

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.

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Donated by British School of Archaeology, Egypt (biographical details | all objects)
Excavated by James Edward Quibell (all objects)
Donated through Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner (biographical details | all objects)

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