The paper offers solutions for some puzzling Coffin Texts passages and presents arguments in favour of the new approach based not on the literal reading, but on the comparative content analysis of various spells. It demonstrates that in Egyptian mortuary texts, terms
designating celestial objects, plants, animals, etc. should not be taken at their face value, but regarded as a deliberate disguise of much more complex concepts.
The Egyptian collection of the Musei Civici di Arte Antica in Ferrara includes about 600 unpublished fragments of papyri. All the fragments belonged to two scrolls – pertinent to the same document – that arrived in Italy in the mid-19th Century and were opened in 1963. This
paper presents the iconographic and philological study of these fragments that allowed to recognize at least 4 Book of the Dead spells and to hypothesize a dating to the Ramesside period. It was possible to identify parts of Spells 1 and 15AII text and the partial reconstruction of the “Weighing of the heart” vignette.
One of the most remarkable sets of Late Egyptian documentary texts is represented by the Tomb Robberies papyri, which provide invaluable information on the political intrigues and scandals associated with the chaotic state of the administration in the late Ramesside period. Among these, Papyrus Abbott is one of the texts concerned with the investigation into the first wave of tomb robberies, which occurred during the reign of Ramses IX (1126-1108 bce), and ends with the summoning of the Great Court of Thebes, which is to pass judgment on the case. The papyrus mentions the location, where the magistrates convene, by a gateway in the temple of Amun-Re: the portal of Dwa-rekhyt. Pinpointing said place is certainly no easy feat, and as a result the task has received little attention in scholarly literature. This paper will therefore focus on the portal of Dwa-rekhyt, and will suggest possibilities for its identification.
On three 21st Dynasty coffins, an unusual writing of the name Ahhotep appears on the scene of the dead worshipping the triad of Amenhotep I and queens Ahhotep and Ahmose-Nefertari. The sign iaH in the name Ahhotep is indeed written with the sign of the upwardpointing crescent, used in the 17th and the very early 18th Dynasty, but never found yet between such period and the 26th Dynasty, when it came back into fashion. The reasons that may have led to adopt such a rare and archaic writing are investigated in this paper through the evidence left by the owner of one of those coffins, Butehamun, Scribe of the Necropolis, and his role in the reburial of royal families in the early 21st Dynasty.
The modern settlements of El-Matariya and Ain Shams are located to the north-east of Cairo, now covering the cemetery of Heliopolis. This necropolis contained many tombs from the Old Kingdom, or even before, which continued to be in use through the Late Period (7th–4th centuries BC). Heliopolis is considered one of the oldest religious cities in the history of ancient Egypt, which has not been systematically and fully excavated. During the rescue excavations of Hosh-Aleash عليش حوش in Ain-Shams East (Heliopolis) in 1986, many Ushabti were found. They come from different periods and have different shapes.
The aim of this research is to study in detail the Ushabti, which stem from Necropolis at Heliopolis which they are kept in El-Matariya’s storerooms, which have not been published completely. These Ushabti have a lot of archaeological information, which need to be published in a scientific research, to help date these artifacts and cast light on them.
In this article, the bird name “ky3” from the Demotic pBerlin P. 13602, frag. A, 3 is reexamined. The solution amounts to a secondary form for the bird name “kr.i”. In its case, it appears to be a kind of wading bird.
During the excavations carried out by the University of Pisa under the direction of Edda Bresciani from 2000 to 2005 at Narmouthis (Fayum Oasis), some faïence figurines were uncovered founded in some buildings on the city hill, south of the temple of the Two Crocodiles (Temple C). Faïence figurines, mostly of deities, are well-known components of domestic religion of the Graeco-Roman Period in Egypt. They were intended, like terracotta figurines, for a range
of domestic rituals, including the veneration of cult images at domestic shrines, and other private religious practices. They also provide important evidence for the interrelationships between “popular” and “official” religion, as well as “religion” and “magic”. The figurines are dated to 1st-3rd centuries AD.
The presence of Egyptian objects at Karkemish provides an interesting insight into the distribution of artifacts across the site, highlighting significant patterns both chronologically and spatially. During the renewed Turco-Italian excavations at Karkemish, several such items,
significant or typology as well, were uncovered from the latest Neo-Assyrian phase in the palatial compound in area C, dating to the later 7th century BC. Earlier British Museum excavations at Karkemish also uncovered a number of Egyptian objects, mainly from the Iron III houses in the Outer Town. Aegyptiaca from Karkemish thus mainly dates to the Late Period, with a cluster attributable to Dynasty XXVI.
Among the objects of Egyptian inspiration associated with the settlement of Tell Deinit, documented during the phases from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic-Roman period, there are three scarabs coming from a sounding that provided architectural structures and materials
from the Iron Age II.
The analysis of these objects allows to attribute them to a homogeneous chronological horizon tracing them back to a widespread production in the Levant and Cyprus during the 9th-8th centuries BC when the site gravitated in the orbit of the Aramaean centers of the region and was part of a network of exchanges that linked the Levant to internal Syria.
Some faïence amulets dating back to the Persian-Achaemenid period are also documented, namely three udjat-eye and a pendant configured as a vervet seated on a throne. These amulets are part of the Levantine production of the 6th-5th centuries BC and were probably elements of grave goods from burials not registered during the excavation.
Their presence on the site is the result of a wide-ranging trade extended to distant centers of the inland area and on the Euphrates, but above all to Mediterranean coastal sites, confirming the commercial penetration of coastal products in the internal transorontic area.
The term mdayn / mdaýn (gen. sg. mwdonś / mudonś) is well attested in the Carian funerary stelae from Memphis. Its precise meaning has not yet been established, but it is generally supposed to be an ethnic adjective referring to the Carian city from where the Carian mercenaries arrived to Egypt. Based on the contextual and morphophonological analysis of this word, this paper argues that we are in fact dealing with two different words: mdayn / mdaýn, an ethnic adjective indeed referring to a Carian city (the identification of which is hampered by the circumstance that none of the proposals fit formally), and mwdon / mudon, a profession, probably ‘mercenary’.
Abbas Al-Hussainy, Anacleto D’Agostino, Valentina Orsi, Jesper Eidem – Excavations at Tell as-Sadoum, ancient Marad (Iraq). Summary Report on the 2019 Archaeological Season
This paper presents preliminary results of the archaeological campaign carried out in the autumn 2019 at Tell as-Sadoum and Wanna, north-west of the city of al-Diwaniyah. The fieldwork comprised excavations at Tell as-Sadoum, where three test areas were opened, and a survey of the small site of Wanna in the southern neighborhood, providing data on the sequence of occupation and broadening our knowledge about the development andextension of the settlement. In particular the archaeological levels exposed in Area I shed light on the oldest phases of occupation, while textual evidence found in Area B adds new information about the history of ancient Marad. The layers and structures brought to light in Area I and Area B yielded materials dating from the Early Dynastic to the Isin-Larsa and Old Babylonian periods, and sporadic evidence of Kassite and Parthian date.
Evidence for ancient basketry is definitely scarce in South East Arabia, although items made with woven fibres surely were an essential component of the material culture, as they still are recently. This short note presents the evidence for ancient basketry collected at the Early and Late Iron Age site of Salūt, in the Sultanate of Oman, during several years of archaeological investigation. The evidence includes actual fibres, impressions on mud surfaces, and impressions on potsherds, providing insights on the importance of basketry in the daily life of the ancient community and ultimately illustrating the manifold ways in which the palm tree could be exploited.
The feeding habits of camels entail exceedingly long periods (6-9 hours) of daily grazing and browsing unless fodder and/or rations are given to them as dietary supplements. Historical sources from the 17th to the 20th century attest to the use of such rations, particularly when camels were working, whether in commercial caravans or on military campaigns, and time constraints or a shortage of grazing would not provide the caloric intake necessary to keep the animals healthy and able to sustain their workload. These sources provide the key to under-
standing a small number of Persepolis Fortification Archive texts recording the disbursement of flour rations for camels. They also explain how ‘flour,’ normally a coarsely ground meal made of barley or another grain, was prepared with the addition of water, oil and/or other additives (fish, legumes), and formed into balls that were fed to camels as supplemental food-stuff. The study also presents some thoughts on long-distance travel involving camels. Based on several historical itineraries from the 17th and 18th century, it is possible to calculate likely rates of travel per day and time out for rest days, suggesting how long it may have taken to cover some of the distances mentioned in the Persepolis texts.
This article discusses the relationship between urbanization and ruralization phenomena and the climatic oscillations in northern Mesopotamia from the end of Assyria to the Parthian-Roman period (7th c. BC – early 3rd c. AD). I employ data from the Erbil Plain Archaeological Survey (EPAS, Harvard) and the Land of Nineveh Archaeological Project (LoNAP, Udine), both projects operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, to cross-correlate spatial patterns of urban and rural settlements, their evolution, contraction, and expansion, with paleoenvironmental records (speleothems) from the Gejkar cave and the Kuna Ba cave, located in roughly the same area. Moving away from a simply deterministic view, my paper suggests however the critical role of mutable climatic conditions in the ecologically fragile landscapes
of North Mesopotamia and how such variations, coupled with political reliability or instability and the proximity or absence of a centralized authority, have played a major role in cycles of formation, expansion, and decline of territorial empires.
The reception of Avicenna’s philosophy in Syriac is the subject of many recent studies. Despite the relevance of the Kitāb al-išārāt wa ’l-tanbīhāt and its commentaries in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Syriac translation of this work by Barhebraeus, titled Ktābā d-remzē wa-m‛irānwātā, has not yet been sufficiently examined.
Barhebraeus’s K. d-remzē wa-m‛irānwātā is preserved by nine extant manuscripts, usually bilingual, i.e., containing the Arabic original text in Syriac script (garšuni). Among them, only the MS. Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Orientale 86, features the original Arabic text in the Arabic script. Since it was copied in 1278, before the author’s demise (1286), MS. Or. 86 is the oldest witness of the work of Barhebraeus, and its Arabic text too can be considered an old witness of Avicenna’s K. al-išārāt wa ’l-tanbīhāt.
The present paper offers the results of a preliminary study of the Syriac manuscript tradition, and a tentative assessment of the relationship of the Syriac and the Arabic text of MS. Or. 86. The comparison with MS. Tehran, Ketābkhāna Melli-ye Malek 713, and the critical edition of the K. al-išārāt wa ’l-tanbīhāt (Forget 1892), allows us to point out textual variants and lacunae that could suggest the use of two or more antigraphs belonging to different
manuscript traditions for the making of the Syriac translation. Besides, the marginal glosses of MS. Or. 86 show a possible connection with Ṭūsī’s commentaries, standing in continuity with the Arabic exegetical tradition of Avicenna’s works.
The article focuses on certain aspects on ancient South Arabian criminal law. In particular, wrongs against a person and against a hierarchical superior are described, and significant legal documents are taken into account. Historical observations are also made in the broader context of ancient Near Eastern law.
Analysis of some lines of poetry recorded in Classical Arabic repertories (namely in the Aḫbār by ʿAbīd b. Šariyya and in the commentary on Našwān al-Ḥimyarī’s Qaṣīda ḥimyariyya, as well as lexical literature), may receive light from Hadramautic inscriptions from al-ʿUqla (Shabwa, Yemen), and vice versa. Here three terms (gndl, s1 yr, bqr) are investigated, with an attempt to establish a semantic-linguistic connection between two cultural contexts: the Hadramite monarchy of early 3rd century CE and the military environment of the first century of Hijra.