Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys (Papyrus Mayer M)



Document written in small hieratic hand, with 24 horizontal lines. This is the final page of a manuscript of the so-called "Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys", one of several ritual laments for Osiris, originally created for use in the temple but quite often adapted for the benefit of private individuals and added to their tomb equipment, in this example, Pawerem, son of Qjqj (his mother). This practice was more or less restricted to the Early Ptolemaic Period, ca. 300 BC. This document contains part of the twelfth stanza, a postscript with instructions concerning the performance of the ritual, and then the twelfth stanza and the postscript all over again which is very peculiar. Badly torn and holed and mounted on cloth. Pawerem, son of Qjqj (his mother) is a well-known individual who owned several other liturgical papyri (pBM 10081, pBM 10252). Other sheets of this text are now in the British Museum (10332) and the Bodleian Library (ms. Egypt.d.8). In combination with these other papyri the Liverpool papyrus can be quite safely dated to the earliest Ptolemaic Period, ca. 330-300 BC. The first mention of Pawerem in the Liverpool papyrus seems to have contained several of his titles but unfortunately most of this passage is destroyed. This is particularly regrettable as the only title of Pawerem we know of is that of a "God's Father".The membra dispersa to which the Liverpool papyrus almost certainly belongs are pBM 10332 and Oxford, Bodleian Library Ms. Egypt.d.8 (P), cf. M. Coenen/A. Kucharek, New Findings on the Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys. GM 193, 2003, 45-50 [information supplied by Dr. Andrea Kucharek, an academic who is preparing the manuscript for publication].