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Egyptian Manuscripts

Date range: c.14th century BC-2nd century AD

Medium: Manuscript

This substantial collection of papyri and ostraca in hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic was acquired from Lord Crawford.

There are seven hieroglyphic and 19 hieratic items, all being funerary documents dating between the 14th century BC and the 2nd century AD.

The demotic collection comprises 14 ostraca (uncatalogued) and 166 papyri, of which Demotic MSS 1-49 (106 pieces) have been catalogued. Of these, the early papyri are from El Hîbeh in Middle Egypt, the early Ptolemaic papyri from Thebes, the later Ptolemaic from Gebelên (south of Thebes) and the Roman from Dimê in the Fayûm. Of the 60 uncatalogued items, many are legal documents, the majority being from Upper Egypt and dating from the middle Ptolemaic period.

Further information:

  • Six of the hieroglyphic and hieratic papyri are described in an unpublished account by Samuel Birch (d 1885) of the British Museum, entitled Egyptian Papyri [in the Bibliotheca Lindesiana] which is available via Special Collections reading rooms; the remainder are uncatalogued.
  • Catalogues of the bulk of the demotic collection are available via the following page: Catalogues of Demotic Manuscripts.


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