TEXT AND OBJECTS FROM EL HIBEH
By Brian Muhs
(The following is a collection of bibliographic references to past exploration and discovered
artifacts for the site of El Hibeh.)
2: CHRONOLOGICAL OVERVIEW OF FINDS FROM THE SITE
Early Third Intermediate Period
(Dynasty 21 = 1050-950 BC).
Upper Egypt became
autonomous under the High Priests of Amun, who built a fortress at
el-Hibeh, perhaps to mark the northern end of their domain; and
possibly other fortresses at Shurafa opposite Minya, at Higazeh near
Qus, and at Gebelein.
A. The mudbrick wall
around the southeastern part of the town contains mudbricks with
stamps of the High Priest of Amun (HPA) Menkheperre, of Menkheperre
and his wife Esemkhebit, and of the HPA Pinudjem and Esemkhebit.
These presumably date the construction.
B. The Berlin papyri
mention the HPA Menkheperre, so they should be contemporary with the
construction of the wall.
— P. Berlin 8524-8595 (Burkhard & Fischer-Elfert, VOHD XIX.4, nos. 1-69).
— P. Berlin
8525 (VOHD XIX.4, no. 2 = Fischer-Elfert, JEA 82, p. 132-4) =
one-half of an oracle petition.
— P. Berlin
8526 (VOHD XIX.4, no. 3 = Fischer-Elfert, JEA 82, p. 135-6) =
one-half of an oracle petition.
C. The Louvre papyri
also mention the HPA Menkheperre, so they too should be contemporary
with the construction of the wall.
— P. Louvre 25359 (de Cenival, Naissance de
l'ecriture, 1982, p. 285-6, no. 241) = letter from the HPA
Menkheperre to the priest and scribe of the temple, Horemakhbit, in
the service of 'He-of-the-camp'.
— P. Louvre 25360 (unpublished, on display in the Louvre).
D. The Strasbourg
papyri mention the HPA Masaharta, so they date slightly later than the
construction of the wall.
— P. Strasbourg 31 (ZÄS 53, p. 6-7 [¶1] &
— P. Strasbourg 33 (ZÄS 53, p. 7-8 [¶2] & pl. 2).
— P. Strasbourg 24 IV (ZÄS 53, p. 9 [¶3]).
— P. Strasbourg 26 (ZÄS 53, p. 9-10 [¶4] & pl. 3).
— P. Strasbourg 25 (ZÄS 53, p. 11-12 [¶5] & pl. 4).
— P. Strasbourg 21 (ZÄS 53, p. 13-14 [¶6] & pl. 5-6; Wente,
Letters, p. 208) = one half of an oracle petition.
— P. Strasbourg 23 II (ZÄS 53, p. 15 [¶7]).
— P. Strasbourg 22 I (ZÄS 53, p. 15-16 [¶8]).
— P. Strasbourg 23 I (ZÄS 53, p. 16-17 [¶9]).
— P. Strasbourg 24 I (ZÄS 53, p. 17-18 [¶10]).
— P. Strasbourg 24 V (ZÄS 53, p. 18-19 [¶11]).
— P. Strasbourg 32 (ZÄS 53, p. 19-20 [¶12] & pl. 7).
— P. Strasbourg 39 (ZÄS 53, p. 20-21 [¶13] & pl. 1).
— P. Strasbourg 43 (ZÄS 53, p. 21-22 [¶14]).
— P. Strasbourg 51 (ZÄS 53, p. 22-23 [¶15]) = one half of an
— P. Strasbourg 22 II (ZÄS 53, p. 24 [¶16]).
E. The Moscow papyri
probably date to the early 21st Dynasty.
— P. Moscow 120 ('The Report of Wenamun').
— P. Moscow 127 (Caminos, A Tale of Woe, 1977).
— P. Moscow 169 ('Onomasticon Golenischeff').
— P. Moscow 5560 or 5660 (Posener, JEA 68, p. 134-8; Wente,
Letters, p. 208-9) = one half of an oracle petition.
II. Middle Third Intermediate Period
(Dynasty 22 = 950-725 BC).
Upper and Lower
Egypt were reunited under Shoshenq I and Osorkon I, but then Upper
Egypt once again became autonomous under the High Priests of Amun. A
civil war then broke out between the HPA Prince Osorkon based in
el-Hibeh, and the usurper King Pedubast I based in Thebes. Prince
Osorkon was ultimately victorious, and established himself as King
Osorkon III of the (Theban) Dynasty 23.
A. The temple bears
inscriptions of Shoshenq I and Osorkon I, so both it and the temenos
around it in the southern part of the site should be slightly later
than the town wall.
— M. Ahmed Kamal, 'Description générale des ruines de Hibé, de son
de sa nécropole', ASAE 2 (1901), p. 84-91.
— G. Daressy, 'Le temple de Hibeh', ASAE 2 (1901), p. 153-56.
— F. Ranke, Koptische Friedhöfe bei Karâra under der Amontempel
Scheschonks I bei El Hibe (Berlin-Leipzig, 1926).
— E. Feucht, 'Zwei Reliefs Scheschonqs I. Aus El Hibeh', Studien zur
Altägyptischen Kultur 6 (1978), p. 69-77.
— *E. Feucht, 'Relief Scheschonqs I. Beim erschlagen der Feinde aus El
Hibeh', Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 9 (1981), p. 106-117.
B. Prince Osorkon
(later Osorkon III) launched his attacks on his unnamed foe in Thebes
from El-Hibeh, the northern bastion of the Theban domain.
— R. Caminos, The Chronicle of Prince Osorkon
(AnOr 37, Rome, 1958), ß28.
Late Third Intermediate Period
(Dynasty 25 = 725-664 BC).
Upper and Lower
Egypt were virtually united by the invading Kushite Dynasty 25, except
for the Saite Dynasty 24 in the northwest Delta.
(664-525) and Persian (525-404) Periods, and Dyns. 28-30
Kushite Dynasty 25 was driven out of Egypt by the Assyrians, and Upper
and Lower Egypt were reunited under their clients, the Saite Dynasty
26 (possibly the successors to the Saite Dynasty 24). The Saite
Dynasty 26 was then conquered by the invading Persian Dynasty 27, who
were then driven out by the revolting Egyptian Dynasties 28, 29 and
30. At the end of Dynasty 30, Egypt was reconquered by the Persians,
just before they were in turn conquered by the Greeks under Alexander
A. The Manchester
— P. Rylands 1-9 (Griffith, Catalogue of the
Demotic Papyri in the Rylands Library, nos. 1-9).
B. The Philadelphia
— P. Philadelphia E. 16339 (Cruz-Uribe,
Serapis 7, p. 1-5) = letter to a choachyte, dated to Year 40 of
Amasis (530 BC); the scribe may be mentioned in P. Rylands 9 (The
Petition of Petiesis), col. 16, line 3.
C. The Florence
— P. Firenze ar. Inv. n. 11913 (Bresciani,
Aegyptus 39, p. 3-8).
D. The pronaos of the
temple may be a later addition, perhaps dating from the time of the
— D. Arnold, The
Temples of the Last
(Oxford, 1999), p. 33-35.
A. A large number of
Greek papyri from the early Ptolemaic period (3rd Century BC) have
been found reused in human mummy cartonnage from the cemeteries of
el-Hibeh. The cartonnage papyri were first acquired off site by
Grenfell & Hunt and Reinhardt in 1896 (published as P. Grenf. II 1-8,
P. Baden gr. [VBP] VI 178-180, and P. Heidelberg II 181-2, 184, 186-8,
190, 193, 196, 199-200, 205), then on site by Grenfell & Hunt in
1902-03 (published as P. Hibeh I 1-171 and P. Hibeh II 172-284), and
then again offsite through dealers by the Deutsches Papyruskartell
between 1906-14, among others. The latter are now to be found in the
Strasbourg collection, the Gradenwitz collection (later sold to the
Fuad I University in
Hamburg, Berlin and
other German collections.
The papyri found in the cartonnage do not necessarily come orginally
from el-Hibeh, however. Internal evidence indicates that many of the
texts came originally from official and private archives in villages (Koba,
Phebichis, etc.) in the Koite toparchy in the southern part of the
Herakleopolite nome, on the western bank of the Nile opposite
Ankyronopolis or el-Hibeh. Apparently the obsolete portions of these
archives were sold to embalmers in el-Hibeh when they ceased to be
useful, to be used to make cartonnage mummy cases.
— P. Grenf. II, 1-8 (Grenfell & Hunt, New
Classical Fragments, 1897).
— P. Hibeh I, 1-171 (Grenfell & Hunt, The Hibeh Papyri, Part I,
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) VI, 178-180 (Gerhard, Veröffentlichungen aus
den badischen Papyrus-Sammlung 6, 1938).
— P. Heidelberg II, 181-2, 184, 186-8, 190, 193, 196, 199-200, 205 (Siegmann, Literarische Griechische Texte der Heidelberger Papyrussamlung,
— P. Hibeh II, 172-284 (Turner, The Hibeh Papyri, Part II,
B. A significant
number of Demotic papyri were supposedly found alongside the Greek
papyri from human mummy cartonnage found by Grenfell & Hunt in
1902-03. Only one of these has been published, however, and it is now
in Cairo, suggesting that Grenfell & Hunt may have donated many of the
Demotic papyri to the Cairo Museum, as they did with the Tebtynis
papyri a couple of years earlier.
— P. Hibeh I, 164 descripta / P. Cairo dem. III
50148 = Tax receipt on papyrus, dated to Year 19 of Ptolemy (III? =
229/8 BC). (Demotic:) Psentesous the administrator of Kb3 (villag)e
says to Petosiris son of Petechons the administrator of the district (khy)
and Thotortaios son of Samtous the royal scribe: 'One has given to me
5 deben on account of the tax (tny) of Kb3'. (Greek:) From Koba,
through Psintesous, 100 drachmas for Petosiris and Thotortaios.
VI. Roman Period
(30 BC-298 AD).
A. Two Roman mummy
portraits were found outside the northern wall of the town by Grenfell
& Hunt in 1902-03.
— Female portrait mummy Cairo Museum CG 33217 (M.C.C.
Edgar, Graeco-Egyptian Coffins: Masks and Portraits (Catalogue
général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire; Cairo, IFAO,
— Male portrait mummy Fitzwilliam Museum Inv. E. 63.1903 (E. Vassilika, Fitzwilliam Museum Handbooks: Egyptian Art (Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press, 1995).
B. A small number of
Greek papyri from the late Ptolemaic and Roman periods were found in
house excavations by H. Ranke in 1913-14.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 70 (Inv. Pap. Graec.
Nr. 27). Zahlungsbescheinigung, 1st Cent. BC.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 71 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 21).
Private letter, 1st Cent. AD.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 72 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 7).
Aus Prozeßakten, after 117/8 AD (Year 2 Hadrian).
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 73 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 26).
Private letter, 2nd Cent. AD.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 74 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 5).
Lieferungsauftrag, 23 July 138 AD (Year 22 Hadrian).
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 75a (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 68).
Census Declaration, 133 AD (Year 16 Hadrian).
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 75b (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 4).
Census Declaration, 10 March 147 AD (Year 10 Antoninus Pius).
P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 76 (Inv. Pap. Graec.
20 February 163 AD (Year 3 Marcus Aurelius)
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 77 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 16).
Besitzveräßerung, 2nd Cent. AD.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 78 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 9).
Schlußstück einer Urkunde, 2nd-3rd Cent. BC.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 79 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 6).
Gegenquittung über naulon, reign of Antoninus Pius?
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 80 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 17).
Petition, 2nd Cent. AD.
P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 81 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 20)
9 June, 20 July and
26 August 182 AD (Year 22 Commodus).
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 82 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 70).
Receipt for the third for the bath-tax,
232/1 BC 237 BC.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 83 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 23).
Briefsammlung, c. 200 AD.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 84 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 25).
Grundstücksverzeichnis (mit Steuerträgnis) bzw. Getreide-abrechnungen,
2nd Cent. BC.
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 85a and b (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 30a-c).
a) Warentransport, 2nd Cent. AD.
b) Land register, 2nd Cent. AD.
P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 86 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 39)
October 99 AD (Year 3 Trajan).
— P. Baden gr. (VBP) IV, 87 (Inv. Pap. Graec. Nr. 69).
Private letter, 3rd Cent. AD.
— ?P. Heidelberg III 242 (Inv. Gr. 91)
Lieferschein, 2nd Cent. AD.
— ?P. Heidelberg III 244 (Inv. Gr. 52)
Petition, 222-235 AD.
— P. Heidelberg IV 297 (Inv. G 689)
Petition to the Epistrategos, c.172-175 AD; same archive as P. Heidl.
IV 321 & 322.
— P. Heidelberg IV 320 (Inv. G 654 + 1984)
Receipt for Work on the Dikes, 3 July 138 AD.
— P. Heidelberg IV 321 (Inv. G 618 = P. Baden gr. [VBP] IV 76 [Inv.
Pap. Graec. Nr. 18])
Receipt for income, 18 November 162 and 20 February 163 AD (Year 3
Marcus Aurelius); same archive as P. Heidl. IV 297 & 322.
— P. Heidelberg IV 322 (Inv. G 620 = P. Baden gr. [VBP] IV 81 [Inv.
Pap. Graec. Nr. 20])
Receipt for income, 9 June, 20 July and 26 August 182 AD (Year 22
Commodus); same archive as P. Heidl. IV 297 & 321.
— P. Heidelberg IV 326 (Inv. G 687)
Work or Apprenticeship Contract, 98 AD (Year 2 Trajan); same archive
as P. Heidl. IV 327.
— P. Heidelberg IV 327 (Inv. G 639 = P. Baden gr. [VBP] IV 86 [Inv.
Pap. Graec. Nr. 39])
Apprencticeship Contract, 14 October 99 AD (Year 3 Trajan); same
archive as P. Heidl. IV 326.
C. 277 Roman coins
were found in 1913-14 by H. Ranke in 15 'find groups' (Münzfunde). 9
find groups with a total of 26 coins were illegible. Find Group I
consisted of two sacks containing 237 coins (12xClaudius, 133xNero,
11xGalba, 14xVespasian, 2xTitus, 1xNerva, 6xTrajan, 49xHadrian,
1xAelius, 8xAntoninus Pius). Find Group II consisted of 1 coin
(1xTrajan), Find Group III consisted of 8 coins (2xClaudius,
6xVespasian), Find Group IV consisted of 2 coins (1xHadrian), Find
Group V consisted of 2 coins (1xPhilippus I, 1xSeverus Alexander), and
Find Group VI consisted of 1 coin (1x Licinus).
— W. Graf von Uxkull-Gylleband, "Münzen aus el
Hibe", in F. Ranke, Koptische Friedhöfe bei Karâra under der
Amontempel Scheschonks I bei El Hibe (Berlin-Leipzig, 1926), p.
D. 279 predominantly
Roman coins were found in 1934-35 by Paribeni in an unknown number of
'find groups' (though there were at least two hoards, one of which
consisted of coins of Nero and the Flavians): (3xPtolemy III,
1xBerenike II (w. of PIV), 1xPtolemy V, 4 xPtolemy IX, 7xClaudius,
184xNero, 7xGalba, 2xOtho, 11xVespasian, 2xTitus, 1xHadrian,
1xAntinoos, 1xAntoninus Pius, 9xProbus, 1xNumerianus, 1xGallienus,
1xMaximinus, 18xLicinius Sr., 6xLicinius Jr., 12xConstantine I,
3xConstantine Jr., 1xConstantius I, 1xConstantius II, 1 unreadable).
— G. Botti, 'Le monete Alessandrine da El Hibeh
Museo Archeologico di Firenze', Aegyptus 35 (1955), p. 245-74.
— *C. Nauerth,
Karara und El-Hibe: Die Spätantiken Koptischen Funde aus den Badischen
Grabungen 1913-14 (Heidelberg, Heidelberger Orientverlag, 1996).