Highlights from the Collection:
Letter concerning building stones, c. 2000 BC
The earliest manuscript in the collection is Papyrus Haun. Hierat. 1, a hieratic letter concerning building stones dating just around 2000 BC. It is one of several papyri in the collection from Gebelein.
The text is written in vertical lines as it was common at the time. Both the top and the bottom parts of the letter are now lost, but its width is preserved intact. It begins with the so-called Memphite Epistoraly Formula, a standard greeting which may translated: 'Your condition is like that of one who lives innumerable times! May Monthu, Lord of the Theban Nome, help you. May Ptah, South-of-his-Wall, gladden you with living fully and with a ripe old age.'
P. Haun. Hierat. 1
Detail of writing, P. Haun. Hierat. 1