Collections: Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art: Historical Papyrus in Five Pieces

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Fragmentary Statue of a Figure with Kyphosis

Despite the lack of true portraiture and the apparent tendency toward a strict “ideal” in Egyptian art, the realistic depiction ...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Bowl with Alternate Impressed and Red-polished Panels

    Egyptologists are not certain whether this bowl from an Upper Egyptian grave was made by a Nubian or an Egyptian. The zigzag patterns create...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    35.1446e_side1_PS1.jpg 35.1446a-e_SL1.jpg CUR.35.1446a-e_erg2.jpg CUR.35.1446a_recto_IMLS_PS5.jpg CUR.35.1446a_verso_IMLS_PS5.jpg 35.1446e_side2_PS1.jpg 35.1446a-e_negA_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negAA_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negB_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negBB_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negC_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negCC_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negD_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negDD_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negE_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negEE_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negF_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negFF_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negG_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negGG_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negH_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negHH_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negI_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negII_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negJ_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negJJ_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negK_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negKK_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negL_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negLL_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negM_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negMM_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negN_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negNN_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negO_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negOO_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negP_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negPP_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negQ_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negQQ_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negR_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negRR_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negS_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negSS_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negT_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negTT_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negU_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negV_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negW_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negX_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negY_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_negZ_bw_IMLS.jpg 35.1446a-e_side1.jpg 35.1446a-e_side2.jpg

    Historical Papyrus in Five Pieces

    When complete, the papyrus to which this fragment belonged measured almost seven feet long. The texts are written in a cursive form of hieroglyphs called hieratic. Differences in handwriting and in the historical events described demonstrate that different scribes added new inscriptions over several generations.
    The most important text recounts the efforts of a Thirteenth Dynasty Theban noblewoman named Senebtisi to establish legal ownership of ninety-five household servants, whose names indicate that forty-five were of Asiatic origin. The presence of so many foreigners in a single household suggests that the Asiatic population was increasing rapidly in Thirteenth Dynasty Egypt.

    As was customary, some of these foreigners no doubt married Egyptians, adopted Egyptian beliefs and cultural traditions, and were absorbed into the cultural mainstream. Others, especially prisoners of war or descendants of military captives, remained loyal to their Asian heritage. Some of these foreigners facilitated the collapse of the Middle Kingdom and the later conquest of Egypt by the Asiatic Hyksos in the Second Intermediate Period.

    • Medium: Papyrus, ink
    • Place Made: Egypt
    • Dates: ca. 1809-1743 B.C.E.
    • Dynasty: XII Dynasty-XIII Dynasty
    • Period: Middle Kingdom
    • Dimensions: 35.1446a: 10 3/8 x 11 13/16 in. (26.3 x 30 cm) 35.1448b: 6 1/2 x 20 11/16 in. (16.5 x 52.5 cm) 35.1446c: 11 1/2 x 20 in. (29.2 x 50.8 cm) 35.1446d: 11 x 19 3/8 in. (28 x 49.2 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 35.1446a-e
    • Credit Line: Gift of Theodora Wilbour
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Historical Papyrus in Five Pieces, ca. 1809-1743 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, 35.1446a: 10 3/8 x 11 13/16 in. (26.3 x 30 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Theodora Wilbour, 35.1446a-e
    • Image: overall, 35.1446a-e_negPP_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Hieratic papyrus inscribed recto and verso, recording a will. Recto inscribed in red and black recording royal decrees giving titles to property. Verso, in black ink, itemizes the property.
    • Record Completeness: Best (92%)
    advanced 110,591 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.