Sunday, July 23, 2023

The Bankes Late Ramesside Papyri

Usick, Patricia  Demarée, Robert J.,  Leach, Bridge

This occasional paper publishes a group of papyri that supplement those included in J.J. Janssen’s comprehensive Late Ramesside Letters and Communications (Hieratic papyri in the British Museum VI, 1991). The papyri in this publication were transferred to the British Museum for specialist care, conservation and storage by the National Trust in the 1950s and 1990s when they were identified among the papers of William John Bankes (1786–1855), antiquarian and Egyptologist. The Bankes Papyri are a particularly exceptional group of manuscripts, since they include previously unknown letters by the best known of Ramesside correspondents – the necropolis scribes Dhutmose and Butehamon – and the missing half of an already published letter, now known to have been written almost certainly by the famous general Payankh. The papyri have been conserved by Bridget Leach of the Museum’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research, and an account of this process is included here, together with a summary of Bankes’ travels in Egypt by Patricia Usick, honorary archivist in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, and Bankes’ biographer.


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