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The Athanasi Papyri - a literary 'library' of the late Middle Kingdom?

In 1837 the Greek Egyptian Athanasi put on sale a collection including the following group of literary manuscripts dating to the late Middle Kingdom, about 1800 BC, and mainly later acquired by Richard Lepsius for the Egyptian Museum, Berlin:

Fragments of the first two became separated in the early modern history of the manuscripts, and entered the Amherst collection; they are now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Papyrus Amherst 3 contains a didactic literary composition, perhaps from the same group.

Without any archaeological context, it is impossible to determine what other items might have been in the same find. Nevertheless, the four-to-five manuscripts may well represent a single group deposited in a late Middle Kingdom burial. The most likely place for the discovery of such a group at that date is Thebes (Luxor).





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