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Diospolis Parva (Hu), 'Letter to the Dead'
A widow appeals for help for her daughter

(click on the image to see a larger picture)

there are audio renderings by Merlyn Gaye and Natalie Wright for the English translation, from a meeting at the Petrie Museum arranged by Kenneth John:

hear the translation - a second version

UC 16244, bowl from Hu with 'letter to the dead'

snt Ddt n sn.s smr waty nfr-sfxi
ianw aA Ax ianw n-m
diw n.k Hr nn n irw r sAt.i nf nf
n irt.n(.i) r.f n wnm(.i) iSt.f n rdi.f xt n sAt.i
irr.t(w) prt-xrw n Ax Hr sbt Hr-tp tA
ir n.k wpt.k Hna irr mrt n(.i)
Dr-ntt mAa xrw(.i) r mwt mwtt nb irr nn r sAt(.i)

(1) A sister speaks to her brother. The sole friend Nefersefkhi. (2) A great cry of grief! To whom is a cry of grief useful? You are given it for the crimes committed against my daughter evilly, evilly, (3) though I have done nothing against him, nor have I consumed his property. He has not given anything to my daughter. Voice offerings are made (4) to the spirit in return for watching over the earthly survivor. Make you your reckoning (5) with who(ever) is doing what is painful to me, because my voice is true against any dead man or any dead woman (6) who is doing these things against my daughter.


Note: the phrase 'sole friend' is a title used in the Old Kingdom (about 2686-2181 BC) for senior courtiers at the royal palace, and refers in the First Intermediate Period to a much wider circle of officials or important men throughout the country.



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