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Snakebite Papyrus

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

MEDIUM Papyrus, ink
  • Possible Place Made: Elephantine, Egypt
  • DATES 6th–4th century B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS a: Glass: 15 13/16 x 27 5/8 in. (40.2 x 70.2 cm) a: Object: 10 13/16 x 26 3/16 in. (27.5 x 66.5 cm) b: Glass: 15 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. (40 x 75 cm) b: Object: 10 11/16 x 25 3/8 in. (27.2 x 64.5 cm) c: Glass: 15 3/4 x 22 3/16 in. (40 x 56.3 cm) c: Object: 10 13/16 x 18 3/8 in. (27.5 x 46.7 cm) d: Small Box of Fragments: 1 3/4 x 4 1/16 x 4 1/16 in.  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 47.218.85a-f
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Hieratic "snakebite papyrus". Papyrus roll inscribed on recto only in red and black Hieratic. Small hand. Extant text consists of six columns, comprising 25-29 lines per column, listing the names of a number of species of snakes, a description of their appearance, the effect of their bites, and treatment therefor. Thirty-four species of snakes are dealt with. The two accession numbers are the result of the upper half of the papyrus (.48) becoming separated from the lower half (.85) while they were still rolled. 47.218.48/.85A (47.218.48d): 100+ fragments, mostly quite small. Many of them show traces of Late Period hieratic writing. Several fragments belong to 47.218.87A (the Eye Papyrus). The relatively small size of most of these fragments makes the reading of only a few signs possible; assigning most of these fragments to the texts from which they come is not possible at the present moment.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Snakebite Papyrus, 6th–4th century B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, a: Glass: 15 13/16 x 27 5/8 in. (40.2 x 70.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.85a-f (Photo: , 47.218.48e_47.218.85e_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE group, 47.218.48e_47.218.85e_PS11.jpg., 2017
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