Death by Nile: Punishing Policemen at Deir el-Medina

By Jennifer Cromwell Three papyri from the village Deir el-Medina, dating to the late New Kingdom, reveal a shocking event: the punishment of two policemen – medjay – with death by drowning in the Nile. Each letter is written from “the general of Pharaoh”, by his scribe Qenkhnum, to three people: the Scribe of the Necropolis,Continue reading “Death by Nile: Punishing Policemen at Deir el-Medina”

Ebony and Meretseger: On a New Kingdom Herd of Cows

Jennifer Cromwell A sale document from the Fayum showed us that Roman soldiers living here named their cows, as discussed in a previous post. But, they were not the first people in Egypt to do so – Egyptians had been naming their cows for millennia beforehand! On the back of a magical text from New Kingdom Thebes,Continue reading “Ebony and Meretseger: On a New Kingdom Herd of Cows”

His Mind is Shrouded in Darkness

Jennifer Cromwell Perhaps one of the best-known aspects of the Egyptian mummification process is that the brain was removed from the body and discarded. The brain’s function and importance were not understood. Instead, the heart was not only recognised as a beating organ that pumped blood, for the ancient Egyptian it was also the sourceContinue reading “His Mind is Shrouded in Darkness”

A Donkey Called Rameses

Jennifer Cromwell In the village of Deir el-Medina, the home of the workmen who built the royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings, donkeys were big business. While scenes from the New Kingdom show pharaoh riding a horse-drawn chariot into battle, neither horses nor camels played a part in the day-to-day lives of villagersContinue reading “A Donkey Called Rameses”