GLASGOW Roland Enmarch: New texts from an old site - recently discovered inscriptions at the Hatnub alabaster quarries
Summer Double Lecture
Since 2012, the Hatnub Epigraphic Survey has set out to fully photographically document surviving inscriptions at the Hatnub alabaster quarries, in the desert of Middle Egypt. Since the site’s discovery in 1891, these texts have featured regularly in discussions of Old and Middle Kingdom history, but no detailed survey of them had been made since the one by Georg Möller in 1907, the results of which were published by Rudolf Anthes in 1928. The earliest dated inscriptions at the site are from the reign of Khufu, and there are also numerous texts datable to the Sixth Dynasty and the later First Intermediate Period or early Middle Kingdom, most notably the graffiti mentioning the nomarchs of the Hare nome. The content of the inscriptions includes tableaux of royal names and insignia, expedition details and allusions to unsettled political conditions in Egypt. Many of the Hatnub texts are difficult to read. However, digital technology mean that it is now possible to not only to identify further unpublished sections of some of the long-known texts, but also to find and read many previously unknown or illegible texts.
Roland Enmarch is Senior Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Liverpool. He is co-director of the Anglo-French Hatnub Epigraphic Survey / Mission de Hatnoub, along with Dr. Yannis Gourdon (IFAO).