Lecture by Ilona Regulski: The Berlin papyri 10480-10482: A middle kingdom ritual reflected in writing
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Oct 31, 2013 6:00–8:00pm
Organized by: Netherlands-Flemish Institute Cairo (NVIC)
Venue: Netherlands-Flemish Institute Cairo (NVIC)
Address: 1 Mahmoud Azmi Street, Zamalek

In 1914, the German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt acquired a small group of papyrus fragments, which purportedly came from Asyut in Middle Egypt. The papyri most likely date to the early Middle Kingdom and have since been kept in the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (ÄMP) in Berlin. The Berlin papyri are significant for the study of ancient Egyptian religion and funerary culture because they contain Coffin Text spells, an offering list, a dedication inscription and a Letter to the Dead, all written in neat hieratic. In spite of their importance and numerous references in scholarly works, the papyri remain unpublished, their texts unexamined and metadata such as date, provenance and function of the papyri, unverified.
Within the framework of an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, the speaker prepares a full publication of Pap. Berlin P. 10480-10482. Rather than focusing on the texts alone (i.e. its content and grammar) the papyri are regarded as material objects from an archaeological point of view as well as a philological one. The materiality of the texts - its physical appearance in terms of handwriting, layout, shades of ink –  helps contextualize the meaning and purpose of the texts alongside the act of writing them.
The current lecture will present some aspects of this approach in order to reconstruct a sequence of events reflected by the papyri, as part of a private funerary cult.