MS 1638
Description MS in Middle Egyptian on papyrus, Abydos, Egypt, mid 18th Dynasty, 15th c. BC, 2 large parts of a scroll, part 1: 16x91 cm, (14x91 cm), 43 columns of cursive hieroglyphs, large miniature, 14x23 cm, of the deceased between Anubis and Horus supervising the weighing of the heart against the figure of Maat, above 2 of the 42 gods who witness the judgement, another miniature, 5x18 cm, of 7 of the horned guardians of the gates. Part 2: 14x34 cm, (13x34 cm), 12 columns of hieroglyphs, miniature 13x6 cm, of the deceased, another, 5x14 cm, of the bark of Ra surmounted by udjat eyes, part of a 3rd miniature, 2x6 cm, of a pottery jar, the miniatures painted in red, black, white, yellow and blue.
Context There are other fragments from the same scroll in Cairo Museum, Egypt, Papyrus Museum, Syracus, Italy, and one fragments sold by Charles Ede Ltd.
Provenance 1. Maurice Nachman, Cairo (1930'ies; 2. Charles Ede, London, cat. 151:38, part 2; 3. Sam Fogg Rare Books Ltd., London;  4. De-accessioned 2011.
Commentary The text of this papyrus is close in phrasing to the abbreviated version in the papyrus of Nebseny, British Museum, EA 9900, dated as early as mid 18th dynasty. The oldest Book of the Dead in private hands, and among the oldest literary MSS on papyrus. The earliest text is the "Pyramid Recension", carved in the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara, 24th c. BC, while the oldest Book of the Dead that has survived on papyrus, is 16th c. BC. The oldest illuminated MS in private hands.
Published Barbara Lüscher: Der Totenbuch- Papyrus des Minherchetiu; in Studien zuraltägyptishecn Kultur, Band 36, 2006.
Exhibited 1. Kon-Tiki Museet, Oslo, from April 2002; 2. Tigris 25th anniversary exhibition. The Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo, 30.1. - 15.9.2003.
See also MS 1695, Sesh, Hieroglyph of "Scribe", Egypt, 1292-1069 BC
MS 126 [TBA]
, Book of the Dead, Egypt, 1186-1069 BC
Place of origin Egypt
Dates 15c BC