Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egyptian texts: The Stela of the Policeman Kay
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The Stela of the Policeman Kay

Stela of the policeman Kay; Source: V.Easy
- Early Middle Kingdom
Found at Qamula
1 A sacrifice which the king offers to Anubis who is on his mountain, who is at the place of embalmment, lord of the hallowed land, (so that he make) a mortuary offering of bread, beer, cattle and fowl
2 to the revered one, chief of the desert police, chief of the western (and rebellious?) desert, Kay, justified,
3 who says: I was a respected citizen at the head of the army on the day of difficulty, praised by
4 his lord and his court. I reached the western oasis, searched all its paths
5 and returned the fugitive I found there. The soldiers were safe,
6 there were no losses. That which was entrusted to me returned happily. I was appointed
7 by my lord to protect them
, as his deputy having his trust, to be competent and
8 execute the order of my lord, (I), the praised and revered one, Kay, justified.

Source of this text [1]

  the hallowed land: The realm of the Dead
  western oasis: There were not many places in the Nile valley where fugitives could hide, they could seek refuge in the Delta with its often impassable marshes or the desert areas which were policed with difficulty.
  The soldiers were safe: Commanders of expeditions, military or otherwise, took pride in not having lost any subordinates, cf. the repeated use of ... this army returned in safety... in the inscription of Weni.
  I was appointed to protect them: As is the case in most traditional societies, privilege is tightly bound up with duty.
  be competent: While social rank could secure a person a high entry position in the hierarchy, advancement was dependent on services rendered.

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-[1] Die Stele des Kay
-The Luxor-Farshût desert road project

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September 2003