Ancient Egyptian texts: Model letter - The equipment of a Syrian expedition
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Koller Papyrus - Model letter:
[The scribe Amenope writes to the scribe Paibes] saying:
- Take good heed to make ready the array(?) of horses which is (bound) for Syria, together with their stable-men, and likewise their grooms; their coats .....-ed and filled with provender and straw, rubbed down twice over; their corn-bags(?) filled with kyllestis-bread, a single ass(?) in the charge of (every) two men.
Their chariots are of bry-wood filled with [all kinds of(?)] weapons of warfare; eighty arrows in the quiver, the Hmj.t, the lance(?), the sword, the dagger, the qwt, the skhm, the whip of TAg-wood furnished with lashes, the chariot-club, the staff(?) of watchfulness, the javelin of Kheta, the rein-looser(?), their facings [of] bronze of six-fold alloy, graven with chiselling(?), ........-ed, and .........-ed.
Their cuirasses are placed beside them.
The bows are adjusted(??) to their strings, their wood being tested in drawing, their(?) bindings(?) consisting of clean ......... leather(?).
The pole is of TAg-wood, .........-ed, shaped(?), fitted with leather, finished off(?), oiled and polished(?).
Alan H. Gardiner Egyptian Hieratic Papyri, Series I: Literary Texts of the New Kingdom, Part I , Leipzig 1911
This is a short model letter describing the preparations to be made for an expedition to Syria and enumerating in detail the horses, attendants, chariots and weapons that have to be made ready. The point of the composition doubtless lay in its copious use of foreign and technical words, which would serve at once to exhibit the teacher's erudition and to increase the store of the pupil's learning. (Gardiner)
TAg: Asian timber
kyllestis-bread: small loaf weighing a quarter to a third of a kilogramme.
sword: Egyptian Hrp - Hebrew Hrb
cuirasses: made of leather. Egyptian rbS - Hebrew lbS.
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