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Egypt Exploration Society

The Ḥeḳanakhte Papers and Other Early Middle Kingdom Documents by T. G. H. James Review by: C. H. S. Spaull The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 49 (Dec., 1963), pp. 184-186 Published by: Egypt Exploration Society Stable URL: . Accessed: 20/10/2013 07:21
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of Art the Metropolitan Museum Pp. letters and accounts. No efforthas been sparedto make the publicationas comprehensiveas possible. 15. and also the problemsmost exercisingthe historiansof ancientEgypt.and the character In summarizingthe debates on these problemsVandieris scrupulouslyfair and lucid. I Here and elsewhere in this review I have used Menthotpe I and Menthotpe II where James has used Menthotpe II and III.both of which have added notably to historicalknowledge. almost without exception. includinga set of plates on which are set out the geographical the hieratic that are of found. xiv+I46. much of which was freely availableformerly. the Meketrel documents.All date from the Eleventh Dynasty or thereaboutsand comprise. and personalnames. Yoyotte's essay on Necho II in the Dictionnairede la Bible.but unexploited. 'The Middle Kingdom in Egypt'. and finallypalaeography. pls. historical discoverieseither by researchor by fieldworkin the past ten years. forms a notable additionto our knowledgeof the language.g. vizier of Menthotpe I.C. VI-clearly a model of carefulresearch-and to make their matterknown. These documents.Egypt of the Pharaohs. The two outstandingdiscoveriesof the periodwere the unfinished pyramidof Sekhemkhetat Saqqaraand the stela of Kamose at Karnak. vol. briefly lightened by the revival in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. is to draw attentionto studies not easily available. Price $30. dynasticsuccessionsin severalperiods (especiallythe Second IntermediatePeriod. forms signs Hekanakhtewas a ka-servantto Ipi. G. I962. the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty and the Twenty-first and of the Kingship(importantstudies by Goedickeand Posener). the Harhotpe documents. accompaniedby an hieroglyphictranscriptionin a clear bold hand. Twenty-second Dynasties).palaeography.and in severalrespectsled historiansto modify the acceptedaccountsfor the periods concerned. cf. Of subjects which have been much debated in the past decade. a most importantessay on epistolary formulas. 438. The documentaryevidence for this period is vast and to a great extent unexploited. and other early Middle Kingdom documents. xix. four letters and three accounts. 2002 B. is the extent to which the history of the Late Period is now studied. May he preparemany more editions! T. Vandierperformsa signal service to Egyptology.58. his chapter. Folio. certain individual words. G. the studentcan easilyfind what have been the important From the discussionsincludedin the Supplement.253.Alreadymanychangeshavebeen wroughtin the old. the Hyksos.which form the main body of the book. 20 Oct 2013 07:21:48 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Winlock at Deir el-Bahri in I921-2 probably dates from the period between May and October in the 8th year of Menthotpe II' (c. and the materialprovided and life in generalof the period. Suppl. in full. (texts) + 30 lithographic(transcriptions) The texts published in this finely produced book are divided into four groups: the Hekanakhtepapers. even when his own opinions differ radically from those he reports. The numeration used by James is that followed by Hayes in the new CambridgeAncient History who regards the Menthotpe who founded the Eleventh Dynasty as the first of that name. H. Since the war many scholars have devoted themselves to the problems of the time from the end of the New Kingdom to the PtolemaicPeriod. JAMES.I84 REVIEWS ten years. H. JAMES Publications of The Hekanakhte Papers and Other Early Middle Kingdom Documents. It would not be possible to wish for a more painstaking A series of appendixesdeal exhaustivelywith a number of matterstaken collectively. + 17 lithographic(palaeography). Each text appearsin a collotype facsimile. every interestingpoint is gone over and thoroughpublicationof a set of new texts. In this I follow the numerationof the Menthotpesgiven by Gardiner. By T.e.30 on Sun. as for earlierperiods. standardaccountwhich offereda generally dismal picture of steady decline. The great value of Vandier'swork here. and detailed commentary. the 'Amarnaperiod. modifyingthe conclusionsof the last edition where necessary.Perhapswe may look forwardnow to a fifth edition which again will be a rewritingof the whole. Every difficultyis dealt with in detail. In keeping his History well revised and up to date. The subdevoted to this period reveals clearlywhat good results have already stantialpart of Vandier'sSupplemnent been achieved by the close examinationof the evidence. In addition there is a printed translation.). These cover special points of grammarand syntax.1 and the collectionof documentsbelongingto him found by H. This content downloaded from 134. mention may be made of the problemof the Followersof Horus.discussion of contents. E. His exposition of the tangle of debate aroused by the problems of the 'AmarnaPeriod is particularlygood. 30 collotype Egyptian Expedition. What especiallystrikes a readerwhose interests may be specializedratherthan wide. New York.

This is known also from the Book of the Dead and from the Coffin Texts. the literal meaning of which is 'to heap up with a pitchfork'. but I cannot help wondering if this idea cannot be carrieda little farther.) of a god' quoted by TWb.. The two letters to the household at Nebeseyet are very hard indeed to translate. hither' is a startling word to find in an early M. are bringingtheir own corn-measureis interesting. + is equivalentto A type of land mentioned is called . are busily engaged in the work of running the estate. who seems a spoilt young man who. translated'domesticservant(?)'. lit. 32).t2n ) that new barley. momentarily.' vs. This word. men. 531 (5) from examplesof the Greek period at Edfu. Faulknergives icb(Dict. Anupu is anotherfavourite. and Hekanakhteprotests that whateverthey may say his family is eating better than most.' 'Half life is better than death outright. 'cold land'.is yet to be allowedto do what he likes. Both these letters are very familiar. as for instance: 'See! this is a year for a man to work for his master. Hekanakhte'sletters serve to lift. the determinativein the second example being a pitchfork. He even utters the final threat. and to the point in a way which is not common in Ancient Egypt. It is.translate 'fallow land'. although obviously being troublesome. 3: keeptogether (-a . called Sihathor.a curtain allowing us a glimpse of day-to-day life in the Theban vicinity in 2000 B. i. there is to be no more interference with Hetepet's companions. I. be something like 'attendants'.ht kbt. 176 (I6). making and calling-in of loans is also going forward. only one of a Mlinm number of unexpectedlyearly examples of words otherwise only known from much later times. women. Hekanakhte. in fact. A messenger. This is Wb. and from the fact that kbt can mean 'refreshed'. Hekanakhte delivers an obscure lecture with regard to his concubine and how she should be treated. The fact that in Hekanakhte'sthird letter Nakhte and Sinebnut.This solution works very well and is probablycorrect. is evidently travellingback and forth carryingnot only letters but also food-grain and bread. I. i) 'heap up corn with a pitchfork'. Even where one feels doubt one soon finds that to offer any better suggestion is almost if not quite impossible. They are the highlight of this book: especially the first three letters.' 'See! you are that one who ate until he was sated and hungereduntil his eyes were sunken. Indulgenceis shown to a certainSnofru.It probablyindicatesthe variability This translation variesslightly from that given by James (p.even curt.It is quite clear that times are bad. quarrelling.j= ) Ioo khar of barley. Unfortunately. saying that anyonewho does not like the rationshad better come to live where he is staying to see how he likes it. James suggests a translation'unworkedland'.The result is worthy of the highest praise. 20 Oct 2013 07:21:48 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . neither of these sources is of any assistancein explaining it. coming to collect outstandingdebts of barley and emmer. therefore. the verb occurs in CT i. makes use of remarkably telling phrases in his letters.58.on occasion. 393c with spellings that include I I is surelythe same as the S ^.Hekanakhtehimself appearsto be writing from somewheresouth of Thebes to his home. The basic element of the land-notation is the sign +.253.39 < C 1399 Bb This content downloaded from 134. Hrunufe.C. even families. which are found not only in the Hekanakhtepapers but in other sets of documents published in this book.REVIEWS I85 have long been eagerly awaited. The meaning would seem. Some of this notation is unique and has to depend for its elucidation on internal evidence.' The second of the above examples reminds one of the fable of the grasshopperand the ant. The business of renting land. cultivating the land.and having difficulties. The notation used in the Hekanakhtepapers for the area of land is a cause of difficulty. K.There is trouble over the various women.' I would suggest that one has here a word. If this idea should be correct then it follows that the Egyptians of this time followed the practiceof allowing land to be 'fallow'.30 on Sun. two from Heklanakhte to his household at Nebeseyet and one to the Overseerof the Delta. which is rbwt'two(later three-) pronged fork'. 11. in tone. 'here. Hekanakhteis directing the affairsof his household in Nebeseyet. food is short. p. 13: 'io arourasof land equal(?)(-. 40 (8) where reference is made to Wb. document. buying and selling. There the various members. 'people(or sim. 'in order to I. James has deduced that this area of 22 arouras. a handmaid called Senen is to be thrown out. Further.

three papyri. p.Of the and of a sale and the cloth of rations. ht is the 'post' to which it is attached.253. an account concerning the 'serfs of the aroura(?)'with a religious text. divine names. d'Italia. I84. and was found on the site of the mortuarytemple of Menthotpe II. SPAULL and eruditionwith which a most difficulttask has been handled. The svsrt-. It has. This materialcomes from Cairo. can be bettered in view of the labelled picture in the tomb of Rekhmirc. only been possible to indicatein a generalway the riches of this excellent book. of documents. The Tombof Rekh-mi-rjc z See p. a bolt(?) of ebony to and a of rudder of 'a translates for a ship. and the British Museum. 73. hithertounknown before Ptolemaictimes.the MetropolitanMuseum of Art. bulls.The intrinsic value of these documents is small.'1 It is noteworthythat those who did not wish to pay in grain were to be allowed to pay in oil at the rate: i hebnet-jar of oil = 2 sacks of barley = 3 sacks of emmer. and the designationsof the classes of tomb-workers.does not feel able a obscure communication. of course. top). is the 'steering-oar'. lastly wholly the a letter about contains the other but a one is sending of some gear two writing-boards. For instancethe word tt 'people'. e dei musei gallerie Pp.30 on Sun. titles. probably a hymn to Seth. They come from the vicinity Two papyri and an ostracon make up the Meketre<-group tomb.the weavingof house.By SERGIO Museo archeologico not Price Octavo. A close study of it is most rewardingand serves over and over againto enhanceone's sense of the skill. would seem to indicate that barleywas normallythe commonestgrain. The papyricomprisea letter concerningthe dispatchof some birds. only fragment. Rome. 30-33 must have been of the natureof hard-tackfor them to have at some distance. of that I would hmw course. Cataloghi di Firenze. penetration. on the back. The ostracon contains a mere note of the issue of fk-loaves to a number of tomb-workers. yet again each offers interestingpoints. This latter fact tends to strengthen the possibility that bsv is 'brewing-grain'if not is strangebecausethis designationitself actually'malt'. and a potsherd on which is written a short model letter. 63. Coptic words. and general matters. This may have been due to a shortageof that grain (cf. and a rathermutilated account listing quantitiesof beer. tackle(?) krtkt is the 'handle' by which it is moved. 20 Oct 2013 07:21:48 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . spell (CT vi. I). It is thus seen that barley was more valuable than emmer. James juniper-wood.I do not think that the translationof _hras 'sack'.and in that 'beer' is absent but bs'-grainoccurs. They comprisean account of rationsissued to soldiers. S. would seem to point definitely to the issue of 'carrying-baskets letters aboutthe sending contain three The so be to papyri quite specific. and other items the names of which are lost. n. Incidentally.2 This finding-place.i86 REVIEWS of the units of measurein differentdistricts ratherthan a precautionagainstfraud. Even these fragmentscontain points of special interest. and a handle of ebony for the steering-platform The indexes provided cover the Egyptian words used. BOSTICCO. 47.bhsw-. The book concludes with an assortmentof texts: one an ostracon. H. the of while.and tr-sst-loavesof v.and gyt is the 'steeringplatform'or 'poop'. pl.along with the occurrenceof the word hnkwin a CoffinText shabti(knkw)'to the labourers. I959. the be suggest sea-going ship'. 30. James. been able to be sent by Merisu to Heklanakhte Three documents found in a small tomb in the vicinity of that of Harhotpehave been named after that individualbut that is probablytheir only connexionwith him. The account concerningthe 'serfs of the aroura(?)' is otherwiseunknownand becausepairs of personsare linked by means of an unknownand undecipherable hieraticsign.however. a steering-oarof juniper-wood. on which some doubt is thrown. This content downloaded from 134. If these suggestions are accepted then the translationbecomes 'a post of pine-wood. The items issued call for remarkin that swt 'wheat' appears. of the sea-going ship'. Davies. pls. i. especiallyas the existence of the phrase'barley-as-barley' to indicatereal barleyas opposed to barleyused as a mere measureof value. The ration-documenthas the earliest mention yet found of the names of the epagomenaldays. The ostracon contains a list of men who are to receive hnkw. Old of the end the in time from Kingdom to the Second Intermediate Sixty-three stelae. given. Le stele egizianedall'anticoal nuovoregno. mast(?) pine-wood.58. probablya practice of Meketrec's piece.and two writing-boards. extending I at Thebes. C.