Demotic Texts

Kittens for Bastet
By Jenny Cromwell and Luigi Prada
On 20th April, either 202 or 178 BCE, an embalmer named Onnophris wrote to Machatas, an official (epistates) in the village of Tanis in the Fayum semi-oasis, concerning kittens he had donated to the cat-goddess Bastet (also known by her Greek name of Boubastis), or at least had intended to donate! Read more here.

“My milk being good from both breasts”
By Jenny Cromwell
In a Coptic letter from the 7th century CE, a wet nurse Maria expresses her grief and condolences over the death of a young girl. Read more here.

One-way Tickets to the Netherworld: Mummy Labels and Inscribed Mummy Shrouds
By Luigi Prada
On 26th April of the 24th year of reign of an unspecified Roman emperor (probably Commodus, which equals the year 184 AD), a modest Egyptian priest named Bes, son of his namesake and a lady called Tadinebhau, died in Pernebwadj, a provincial town in Middle Egypt—then a remote region within the vastness of the Roman empire. Read more here.