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Guide to the Deir el-Medina Database

4506 records
updated June 2018


The present version of the Deir el-Medina Database available on the Worldwide Web is meant to be an intermediate presentation of the ongoing research project A Survey of the New Kingdom Non-literary Texts from Deir el-Medina of Leiden University, which is supported by the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO) and by the Faculty of Humanities of Leiden University. Staff: Prof. J.F. Borghouts (supervisor); Dr R.J. Demarée; Dr K. Donker van Heel; Dr A. Egberts; Dr B. Haring; Dr J. Toivari-Viitala.

In addition to many corrections of already existing records, the June 2018 update includes new records of the following documents:

O. BM EA 05631 obverse

O. Brussels E 301, 303-307, 311, 312, 313, 315-316, 318, 3210-3212, 3214, 6781

O. BTdK 026, 077 obverse, 094, 255, 572, 591-726, 793-798, 807-809, 814-818, 835, 837, 838 + O. Cairo CG 25661, 839

O. Cairo HO 420, 422, 459

O. SCA KV 2008 A/G0

P. Berlin P 23300, 23301

P. Munich 019

P. Turin CGT 54053 verso, 54070 verso

The database is a search tool enabling the user to retrieve the documents relevant to his/her research activities from the corpus of non-literary texts from Deir el-Medina. The data offered here are not in any way meant to replace the texts themselves, and the user is advised to consult the text editions cited in the field Publication of the database records (see below). The retrieval system allows the user to make very specific queries in the Deir el-Medina text corpus. However, in order to retrieve a set of relevant documents that is more or less complete, it is best to try a number of queries with different items, or in different fields of the file records.


The transliteration font used in Dates mentioned, Terminology and Names, Titles is Transliteration CG Times (Trlit_CG Times). The precise forms of names, words and phrases can be found in the lists provided with the search options Terminology and Names, Titles. Some general remarks on the method of transliteration employed:

1. Morphemes clearly not belonging to the stem are separated from it by dots, e.g. Sms.w "attendant". In words of obscure etymology, only recognizable elements are distinguished, such as the plural .w in Hwty.w "captains".

2. As a rule, the final weak consonant of ultae infae stems is not written (except in rdi/di and derivatives). However, when the usual writing of a word derived from such a stem ends in double reeds (M 17), this has been transliterated as y (no dot).

3. Endings of feminine words have usually been rendered with t, separated from the stem by a dot. If the usual Late Egyptian orthography of the word in question shows double reeds (M 17) preceding .t, this has been transliterated as .y.t. Feminine endings may thus be zero, .t or .y.t.

4. Transliterations of group writing include the initial consonants of groups only; no use has been made of dashes. Hence not rw-iA-t "side", but ri.t.

5. l is not used; hence r bnr "out", not *r bl.

6. The constituents of compound words are separated by dashes, e.g. r-a-bAk.

7. Suffix pronouns are preceded by =, as in e.g. rdy.t n=f.

8. Personal names (including, for instance, Pr-aA) begin with capitals.

9. In order to facilitate retrieval, one form of a given personal name has been selected as the one used throughout the database; usually this is the full variant of the name in question, e.g. MAA.n=i-nxt=f (not *MAA-nxt=f); 2a-Hr-mtr (not *2a-mtr). Remarks on the actual writing of names may be given in the file records.

10. Evidently or possibly significant orthographic variants of names and titles have been kept separate, e.g. 4wtx against 4tX "Seth", or aA against ir.y-aA "doorkeeper".

Search options (fields of the database records)

Number(s) Represents the main and alternative text numbers current in egyptological literature, as well as inventory numbers of museums and archaeological excavations. The present database includes numbers of the following types (0, 00, 000, 0000 and 00000 represent the number of digits):

Giornale 00
Giornale pl. 00
HO 00, 0
HO 00
HO 000, 0
KVO 00
LRL 00
O. Černy 00
O. ABDUA 00000
O. Aberdeen 0000
O. Allard Pierson Museum inv. no. 0000
O. Anastasi
O. Ashmolean Museum 0000.00
O. Ashmolean Museum 0000.000
O. Ashmolean Museum 0000.0000
O. Ashmolean Museum 0000
O. Asmolean Museum 0
O. Berlin L
O. Berlin P 00000
O. BM EA 0000
O. BM EA 00000
O. BM EA 0000-0-00.0
O. BMFA 00.000
O. Bodleian Library Eg. Inscr. 000
O. Brunner
O. Brussels E 000
O. Brussels E 0000
O. BTdK 000
O. Cairo [unnumbered]
O. Cairo Carnarvon 000
O. Cairo CG 00000
O. Cairo HO 000
O. Cairo JE 00000
O. Cairo Mond 000
O. Cairo prov. no. 00/00/00/00
O. Cairo prov. no. 000
O. Cairo SR 00000
O. CD 0
O. Clere [0]
O. Cleveland CMA 0000.000
O. Cochrane
O. Colin Campbell 00
O. DeM 00000
O. DeM inv. no. 000
O. Demaree H 0
O. Desroches Noblecourt 0
O. DIA 00.00
O. Edgerton 00
O. Fitzwilliam Museum E.GA.000.0000
O. Fitzwilliam Museum E.GA.0000.0000
O. Florence 0000
O. Gardiner (Gayer Anderson)
O. Gardiner [0]
O. Gardiner [unnumbered]
O. Gardiner 0000
O. Gardiner AG 000
O. Gardiner
O. Gayer Anderson [unnumbered]
O. Geneva MAH 00000
O. Genf 00000
O. Giza Museum 0000
O. Glasgow D.0000.00
O. Goedicke
O. Gottingen AE 00
O. Grdseloff 00
O. Hasany Abdel-Galil
O. Hermitage 00000
O. Hildesheim PM 0000
O. HO. Cairo 000
O. IFAO [unnumbered]
O. IFAO 00000
O. IFAO inv. no. OL 00
O. IFAO inv. no. SA 00000
O. J. G. Milne [0]
O. KV 00/0.00
O. KV 00/0.000
O. KV 00/0.0000
O. KV 00/000
O. Lady Franklin
O. Leiden F. 0000/0.0
O. Leiden F. 0000/00.0
O. Leipzig 00
O. Leipzig 0000
O. Leipzig h
O. Leningrad 0000
O. Letellier
O. Levi de Benzion
O. Liverpool 00000
O. Louvre E 0000
O. Louvre E 00000
O. Louvre i 0
O. Louvre N 000
O. Louvre N 0000
O. Madrid 00.000
O. Medelhavsmuseet MM 00000
O. Medinet Habu 00
O. Michaelides 000
O. MMA 00.0.000
O. MMA 00.000.000
O. Mond [unnumbered]
O. Mond
O. Munich 0000
O. Munich ÄS [unnumbered 0]
O. Munich ÄS 000
O. Náprstek Museum P 0000
O. Nash 00
O. Nelson 00 O. Nicholson Museum R. 00 O. Nims
O. OIC 00000
O. OIC N. 000
O. OIM 00000
O. P. 00
O. Petrie 00
O. Philadelphia [unnumbered]
O. Philadelphia 00-00-000
O. Philadelphia E 00000
O. Piankoff
O. Prague [unnumbered 0]
O. Prague 0000
O. Prague H 00
O. Prague National Museum inv. No. 000
O. Qurna 000 (sic) // 00/00
O. Qurna 000/0 // 0/00
O. Qurna 000/0 // 00/00
O. Qurna 000/0 “0”
O. Qurna 000/0
O. Qurna 000/00
O. Qurna 000
O. Qurna 000
O. SCA KV 2008 A/G0
O. Spencer
O. Staring
O. Strasbourg H. 000
O. Sydney 00.00
O. Sydney 0000
O. Temple Amenhotep son of Hapu
O. Tomb of Merenptah
O. Toronto B 0
O. Toronto B 00
O. Toronto ROM 000.0.0000
O. Toronto ROM 000.00.0
O. Toronto ROM 000.00.00
O. Tübingen inv. no. 0000
O. Turin [unnumbered]
O. Turin inv. no. 00000
O. Turin N. 00000
O. Turin provv. 0000
O. Turin suppl. 0000
O. UC 00000
O. UCL 0
O. University College [unnumbered]
O. Uppsala 0000
O. Valley of Queens 00
O. Varille 00
O. Victoriamuseum 0000
O. Vienna Aeg. 00
O. Vienna H. 00
O. Vienna inv. no. 0000
O. Vienna Private Collection
O. Vienna University Institute of Egyptology and African Studies
O. VM 0000
O. Wente
P. Ashmolean Museum 0000.00
P. Ashmolean Museum 0000.000
P. Ashmolean Museum 0000.0000
P. Berlin P 00000
P. Bibliotheque Nationale 000
P. BM EA 00000
P. BM EA 0000-0-00.0
P. Bournemouth 00/0000
P. Bulaq 00
P. Cairo [unnumbered]
P. Cairo CG 00000
P. Chester Beatty I
P. Chester Beatty III
P. Chester Beatty XI
P. Chester Beatty XVI
P. DeM 00
P. Florence 00000
P. Gardiner 0
P. Gardiner
P. Geneva D 000
P. Geneva MAH 00000
P. Grdseloff 0
P. Greg
P. Griffith
P. J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu
P. Leiden I 000
P. Leiden inv. no. AMS 00
P. Louvre N 0000
P. Milan E 0.0.00000
P. Nevill
P. Salt 0000/000/0
P. Salt 0000/000
P. Salt 0000
P. Suffrin
P. Turin [unnumbered 0]
P. Turin [unnumbered]
P. Turin 000
P. Turin B
P. Turin Cat. 0000/000
P. Turin Cat. 0000
P. Turin CGT 00000
P. Turin Pleyte-Rossi pl. 000
P. Turin PN 000
P. Turin provv. 0000
P. UC 00000
P. Vienna 00
P. Vienna inv. no. 0000
Poids annexe 00
RAD 00
Turin Necropolis Journal, year 00
Turin Strike Papyrus
W. Cairo [0]
W. DeM 0000
W. OIM 00000
W. Petrie 0000

In order to retrieve, for instance, ostracon no. 17 from Černý’s Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non-littéraires de Deir el Medineh, the user should type "O. DeM 00017". Of course, simply typing "17" will do as well, but this query will also produce other numbers including this sequence: O. Cairo CG 25517, the alternative number O. Cairo Carnarvon 178, O. DeM 117, and many more.

File records represent texts, not the inscribed objects (ostraca, papyri, etc.). This means that separate texts on one and the same object are described in separate records. It also means that two inscribed objects that are actually fragments of one and the same text are described in one and the same record (e.g. "O. Berlin P 12633 + O. DeM 169"). In the latter case, an "empty" record will serve as cross reference (e.g. "O. DeM 169 see O. Berlin 12633 + O. DeM 169").

Description Material and dimensions of the document as described in the edition(s), or from unpublished descriptions by J. Černý. Colour(s) of ink and layout of the text including, for instance, columns, dockets, different handwritings. State of conservation of the text: a text is "complete" if no entire lines or substantial parts of lines are lost, "damaged" refers to the loss of parts (words or signs) of the lines preserved, or to the loss of entire lines. The damaged parts of lines are specified. "Recto" and "verso" are only used with papyrus, for other writing material we have preferred "obverse" (obv.) and "reverse" (rev.). The following words are consistantly recorded and therefore retrievable: "flint", "limestone", "papyrus" and "pottery"; "black" and "red" (referring to the colour of ink used by the scribe); "palimpsest"; "complete" and "damaged". The description concentrates on hieratic text, but information is also given on other signs, if present: hieroglyphic signs, or marks of a different nature; these include “checking marks”, “scribal marks”, and “workmen's marks” (or “funny signs”).

Classification Attempt to establish the type of text by means of basic English terms or clusters of these terms. The classification is based on text format and on characteristic Egyptian words and phrases recorded in Terminology (see below). It should be stressed that this system is experimental and is at best regarded as a help in establishing a useful modern classification without losing sight of categories recognized by the Egyptian scribes.

Keywords Selected English keywords to the contents, enabling the user to select documents according to subject-matter. The list of words employed is inevitably restricted in scope, and mainly includes materials and objects. The user is advised to consult the list and to use more than one keyword associated with the topic of his/her interest. This field sometimes also includes transliterated Egyptian words which are obscure or difficult to translate.

Provenance (note: distinction made between capitals and small type) Archaeological information, if available, or information on the purchase of documents by collectors. "Deir el-Medina" and "Valley of Kings" are mentioned whenever indications are given for these places as the provenance of documents. This field also includes the marks on ostraca found during excavations at Deir el-Medina or in the Valley of Kings. The explanations of marks used by the IFAO for ostraca found at Deir el-Medina are cited, in French and between brackets, from the manuscripts of Jacques Jean Clère (1906-1989) kept in the Griffith Institute, Oxford. The particular item that contains these explanations was numbered Clère MSS. 01.01.01-02, Deir el Medîna (part) Sites, when consulted by the database compilers (1997).

The dates of discovery (as given by the editors or indicated by marks) are given in the form: 31-01-1930. The user is reminded that such indications were not necessarily noted immediately during the excavations, but may be secondary.  

NB: the contents of the documents have not been taken into account when establishing their provenance.

Publication Text edition(s), including photographs, facsimilae, transcriptions and translations. If there are two or more, one will be cited first as the main reference edition. Titles included in the Systematic Bibliography of Deir el-Medina are given here in abbreviated form.  A text is "unpublished" if no edition exists; in that case, unpublished transcriptions by Černý or other Egyptologists will be mentioned here if available. The transcriptions are kept, and can be consulted, in the Griffith Institute, Oxford ( Users should be aware that these unpublished notes must be used with caution, since they were never meant to be consulted in their present form, and that they still require collation with the original documents. The present database includes all relevant (i.e. non-literary Deir el-Medina) documents from the following text editions (not including those of individual documents):

Allam, S., Einige hieratische Ostraka der Papyrussammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Forschungen und Berichte 22 (1982), pp. 51-61, pls. 1-8.

Bonnet, C., and D. Valbelle, Le village de Deir el-Médineh. Étude archéologique (suite), Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 76 (1976), pp. 317-342, pls. LVII-LIX.

Botti, G. and T.E. Peet, Il giornale della necropoli di Tebe (I papiri ieratici del Museo di Torino), Turin 1928.

Burkard, G., M. Goecke-Bauer, S. Wimmer, Deir el Medine online [URL:].

Černý, J., Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médineh, Le Caire [I] (Nos 1 à 113), 1935 = Documents de fouilles, 3; II (Nos 114 à 189), 1937 = Documents de fouilles, 4; III (Nos 190 à 241), 1937 = Documents de fouilles, 5; IV (Nos 242 à 339), 1939 = Documents de fouilles, 6; V (Nos 340 à 456), 1951 = Documents de fouilles, 7; [VII] (Nos 624-705), 1970 = Documents de fouilles, 14.

Černý, J., Ostraca hiératiques. Nos. 25501-25832, Le Caire, 1935 = Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire.

Černý, J., Questions adressées aux oracles,Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 35 (1935), pp. 41-58.

Černý, J., Late Ramesside Letters, Bruxelles, 1939 = Bibliotheca aegyptiaca, 9.

Černý, J., Nouvelle série des questions adressées aux oracles, Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 41 (1942), pp. 13-24.

Černý, J., The Will of Naunakhte and the Related Documents, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 31 (1945), pp. 29-53.

Černý, J., Papyrus hiératiques de Deir el-Médineh I (Nos. I-XVII). Catalogue complété et édité par G. Posener, [Le Caire, 1978] = Documents de fouilles, 8; II (Nos. XVIII-XXXIV), Yvan Koenig ed., Le Caire, 1986 = Documents de Fouilles,22.

Černý, J. and A.H. Gardiner, Hieratic Ostraca, Vol. I, Oxford, 1957.

Černý, J., Troisième série des questions adressées aux oracles, Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 72 (1972), pp. 49-69.

Cilli, D., Delivery Ostraca Discovered Adjacent to KV 47, in: M. Collier and S. Snape ed., Ramesside Studies in Honour of K.A. Kitchen, Bolton, 2011, pp. 95-110.

Demarée, R.J., The Bankes Late Ramesside Papyri (British Museum Research Publications 155), London 2006

Dorn, A., Arbeiterhütten im Tal der Könige. Ein Beitrag zur altägyptischen Sozialgeschichte aufgrund von neuem Quellenmaterial aus der Mitte der 20. Dynastie (ca. 1150 v. Chr.) (Aegyptiaca Helvetica 23), Basel, 2011.

Erman, A., Zwei Aktenstücke aus der thebanischen Gräberstadt = Sitzungsberichte der Kon. Preussischen Ak. d. Wiss. Jahrgang 1910, Phil.-hist. Kl., Berlin, 1910, Nr. 19, pp. 330-347.

Goedicke, H., Hieratische Ostraka in Wien, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 59/60 (1963/64), 1-43.

Goedicke, H. und E.F. Wente, Ostraka Michaelides, Wiesbaden, 1962.

Grandet, P., Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médineh VIII (Nos. 706-830), Le Caire, 2000 = Documents de fouilles, 39.

Grandet, P., Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médînéh IX (Nos. 831-1000), Le Caire, 2003 = Documents de fouilles, 41.

Grandet, P., Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médînéh X (Nos. 10001-10123), Le Caire, 2006 = Documents de fouilles, 46.

Grandet, P., Cinq ostraca hiératiques documentaires du musée du Louvre. E 27676, 27677, 27678, 27679, 27682, in: C. Gallois, P. Grandet and L. Pantalacci ed., Mélanges offerts à François Neveu par ses amis, élèves et collègues á l’occasion de son soixante-quinzième anniversaire (Bibliothèque d’Étude 145), Cairo 2008, pp. 161-177.

Grandet, P., KY JNR 5RJ, "un autre petit caillou", in: A. Dorn and T. Hofmann ed., Living and Writing in Deir el-Medine. Socio-historical Embodiment of Deir el-Medine Texts (Aegyptiaca Helvetica 19), Basel, 2006, pp. 93-105.

Janssen, J.J., Late Ramesside Letters and Communications (Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum VI), London, 1991.

Koenig, Y., Nouveaux textes hiératiques de la Vallée des Reines [1], Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale 88 (1988), pp. 113-129.

Koenig, Y., Les ostraca hiératiques du Musée du Louvre, Revue d'Égyptologie 42 (1991), pp. 95-116.

Koenig, Y., Les ostraca hiératiques inédits de la Bibliothèque Nationale et Universitaire de Strasbourg (Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale du Caire. Documents de fouilles 33), Cairo 1997.

López, J., Ostraca Ieratici N. 57001-57092 (Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Torino, 2nd series vol. 3, fasc. 1), Milan, 1978; N. 57093-57319 (fasc. 2), Milan, 1980; N. 57320-57449 (fasc. 3), Milan, 1982; N. 57450-57568. Tabelle Lignee N. 58001-58007 (fasc. 4), Milan, 1984.

McDowell, A.G., Hieratic Ostraca in the Hunterian Museum Glasgow (The Colin Campbell Ostraca), Oxford, 1993.

Ryholt, K., Two New Kingdom Oracle Petitions O. BMFA 72.659, 72.666, Revue d'Égyptologie 48 (1997), 279-282.

Sauneron, S., Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médineh [VI] (Nos. 560-623), Le Caire, 1959 = Documents de fouilles, 13.

Speleers, L., Recueil des inscriptions égyptiennes des Musées Royaux du Cinquantenaire à Bruxelles, Brussels, 1923.

Valbelle, D., Catalogue des poids à inscriptions hiératiques de Deir el-Médineh. Nos. 5001-5423. Incluant un manuscrit de Jaroslav Černý. Préface de G. Posener, [Le Caire, 1977] = Documents de fouilles, 16.

Dates mentioned Days, months, seasons, regnal years and reigning kings mentioned in the text, presented here in transliteration. For instance: rnp.t-sp 24 II Smw sw 22 (O. Cairo CG 25803 obv. 1); rnp.t-sp 2 wHm msw.t nswt-bity Mn-mAa.t-Ra (O. Cairo CG 25704, 1). For the last day of the month we use "30", not aro.y. Epagomenal days are given in the form "epagomenal day 1" etc., or "epagomenal days". Since regnal years, seasons, months and days are not always mentioned together in one and the same line, the best way to search for specific combinations is by entering them in separate boxes in the retrieval window, e.g. (1) rnp.t sp 24 and (2) II Smw. Such a query may of course also yield texts in which the year and the month do not actually belong together, and it is for the user to sort out which of the selected texts are appropriate. Continuous sequences of dates within one month are given as e.g. sw 21-27. The present structure of the data does not yet allow retrieval of individual days of the months. Royal names are seldom mentioned in the dates recorded on ostraca and papyri. Kings mentioned otherwise than in dates can be found in Names, Titles (see below).

Dates attributed Dynasties, regnal years and kings to which documents are assigned by Egyptologists, e.g. dyn. 19 year 34 Ramesses II, or any separate element of such a sequence. Again, these elements are best entered separately in queries, e.g. (1) dyn. 19 and (2) year 34 Ramesses II. For the time being, the information is limited to the dates given by the editors mentioned in Publication (see above). The following royal names can be found in Dates attributed: Amenmesse, Merenptah, Ramesses (II, III etc.), Seti (I, II), Siptah, Tausert, Hatshepsut, Sethnakhte, Thutmose III. Dates of the wHm ms.w.t "Renaissance" are given as e.g. year 2 of wHm ms.w.t of Ramesses XI.

Contents Concise description of subject-matter(s) in English; personal names and some Egyptian words are given in transliteration. The information given in this field is free text and does not make consistant use of keywords.

Terminology (note: distinction made between capitals and small type) Egyptian key terms relevant for the determination of the text genre (see above, Classification), or for reconstructing the process of composition of the text. Also including references to documents in Egyptian, such as wxA, hAb, sS, and Sa.t

Names, Titles (note: distinction made between capitals and small type) Transliterated proper names and titles of individuals mentioned in the texts; for instance:Imn-nxt (sS; obv. 2). References to social or family relationships are included as well, by mentioning the Egyptian words expressing these relationships (e.g. sA, sA.t, Sri, Sri.t, it, mw.t, sn, sn.t, Hm.t, ir.y). If a name is followed in the text by sA and the parent’s name, it has been included in that form; e.g. Nb-nfr sA Pn-nbw (5, 6). Titles without proper names are preceded by "an.", e.g. an. (aA-n-is.t; obv. 1). Female proper names are marked by "f.". The names of kings and deities are indicated as such by the words "king" and "deity". Identical proper names with different, or without titles are mentioned separately; e.g. PA-ib, PA-ib (in-mw; ... and PA-ib (Sad-xt; ... This says nothing about the persons in question being identical or not; the water-carrier PA-ib and the woodcutter PA-ib may very well have been one and the same person.

Remarks Additional information (notes to information recorded in the above fields; problematic readings; vital remarks in secondary literature; res notabilae).


This is a preliminary version of the Deir el-Medina Database. Adjustments will be made when new material is added, and your suggestions for improvement will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us by mail or e-mail:

The Deir el-Medina Database
Department of Middle Eastern Studies (TCMO)
Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University
P.O. Box 9515
NL-2300 RA Leiden
Dr B. Haring

Dr R.J. Demarée

©1998-2018 The Deir el-Medina Database, Leiden