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Westcar Papyrus Ancient Egyptian literature

Westcar Papyrus

Ancient Egyptian literature

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 About the Book 

Westcar Papyrus (P. Berlin 3033) is a fragmentary ancient Egyptian text containing a cycle of five stories about marvels performed by priests and magicians. Each of these tales is being told at the court of the Pharaoh Khufu (r. 2589-2566 B.C) by his sons. The story in the papyrus is usually rendered in English as King Cheops and the Magicians and The Tale of King Cheops Court,Cheops being the Greek variation of Khufu.The surviving copy of the Westcar Papyrus consists of twelve rolls. It was, written in the Hyksos period (18th to 16th century BC), but the tales appear to have originated some time in the 12th dynasty of the Middle Kingdom (ca. 20th century BC).It has been used by historians as a literary resource for reconstituting the history of the 4th dynasty.In 1839 Henry Westcar, who had acquired the papyrus rolls in 1824 or 1825, gave them to the Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius, who was however unable to decipher the text. The text was finally edited by Adolf Erman in 1890.The papyrus is on display in low-light conditions in the Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin.