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Millions

of
Jubilees
Edited by
Zahi Hawass
Jennifer Houser Wegner
PUBLICATIONS DU CONSEIL SUPRME DES ANTIQUITES DE L'EGYPTIE
Volume 1
Studies in Honor of David P. Silverman
Coxsiii Suiixi Dis Axriquiris Di L'ic\irii, Li Caiii, :o1o
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Ixiiixiiii iu Coxsiii Suiixi iis Axriquiris
315
Medjay (no. 188) in the Onomasticon of
Amenemope
Kate Liszka
University of Pennsylvania
I
would like to dedicate this paper to my professor, Dr. David P. Silverman. His guidance and
knowledge has taught me throughout my career as a graduate student. I believe that this study
is particularly appropriate to celebrate the lifetime and scholarship of Dr. Silverman, because it
represents a culmination of many of the skills that he originally taught me.
The Nubian ethnic group known as the Medjay first appears in Egyptian historical
sources as early as the Sixth Dynasty. The sources which date before the New Kingdom
demonstrate clearly that the Medjay ethnic group worked for the Egyptians as mercenaries.
1

However, the historical sources of the New Kingdom are ambiguous concerning the mean-
ing of the term Medjay and the role of the Medjay in Egypt. In 1910, W. Max Mller pos-
ited a theory that the term Medjay in the New Kingdom no longer distinguished an ethnic
group, but rather designated an occupation similar to policemen or desert-rangers.
2
This
theory was more convincingly restructured by Sir Alan Gardiner in 1947.
3
Since his pub-
lication of this theory in 1947, most Egyptologists have accepted the theory that the word
had lost its meaning as an ethnic designation in the New Kingdom.
4
Although this theory
is mainly supported by textual references from Deir el-Medina
5
, the most persuasive evi-
dence is the appearance of the word Medjay among other occupations in the Onomasticon
of Amenemope.
6
Although Gardiner devoted an extensive lexicographical analysis to the
term Medjay in this publication, he put forth little effort to explain the nature and posi-
tion of the term Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenemope. In contrast to Gardiners
work on the topic of the Medjay, Michaux-Colombot has compiled other evidence in an
attempt to demonstrate that the term Medjay in the New Kingdom does in fact refer to
an ethnic group.
7
Although the latter body of evidence is compelling, it has yet to explain
the appearance of the term Medjay among occupations in the Onomasticon of Amenemope.
This paper will examine the entry of Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenemope to under-
stand better its function within the entire text. Although this paper by nature investigates
316
Li s z k a
only one text, this text is extremely important for the understanding of who the Medjay
were in the New Kingdom.
The Onomasticon of Amenemope
The Onomasticon of Amenemope was originally composed at the end of the Twentieth
Dynasty, no earlier than the reign of Ramesses IX.
7b
Nine copies of the manuscript exist, all of
which date to Dynasties Twenty-one or Twenty-two.
8
The term Medjay, no. 188, appears in
only two of copies of this text, namely in the Golenischeff copy
9
and in a copy made up of a
few papyrus fragments from the Ramesseum.
10
The Golenischeff copy, an early Twenty-first
Dynasty version, is the most comprehensive and complete. It was found inside of a ceramic
vessel at El-Hibeh together with the Report of Wenamun and the Tale of Woe.
11
These three
papyri have many similarities in their paleography and orthography. Gardiner suggests that the
Golenischeff copy of the Onomasticon of Amenemope and the Report of Wenamun were written
by the same scribe.
12
However, Caminos suggests that the three texts were written by three dif-
ferent scribes, but that they all were products of the same scribal school or copying office.
13
In Gardiners commentary on the Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenemope, he assembles
an extensive body of textual references in order to trace the development of the term Medjay.
He further examines the titles wr n mDAyw, Chief of the Medjay, which first appears in the
Thirteenth Dynasty
14
and the title Hry mDAyw, Captain of the Medjay which first appears dur-
ing the mid Eighteenth Dynasty.
15
Gardiner also briefly looks at the less common title idnw n
mDAyw, Deputy of the Medjay, also known from the New Kingdom.
16
Thus the term Medjay
appears in three titles that are otherwise made up of traditional elements of Egyptian bureau-
cratic nomenclature (Hry, wr, and idnw). Medjays appearance as a part of these titles supports
the theory that the term Medjay is used to represent an occupation rather than an ethnicity.
These are the only titles that contain the word Medjay in the New Kingdom. Intriguingly, none
of these three titles are found in the Onomasticon of Amenemope. Gardiner concludes that each
of these titles also indicate an occupation.
17
The Onomasticon of Amenemope as a Didactic Text
The beginning of the Onomasticon of Amenemope clearly states that it was intended to be
a didactic text (sbAyt) for clearing the mind, for instruction of the ignorant and for learning
all things that exist.
18
Its role as a didactic text is further indicated by the fact that numerous
copies of the text exist, two of which are written on ostraca and one of which is written on a
writing board.
19
Ostraca and writing boards are media that frequently preserve New Kingdom
examples of writing exercises. Two papyrus copies (Golenischeff and BM 10474) use red ink to
distinguish certain phrases from the rest of the text. School texts also frequently use red ink to
highlight a part of the text.
20
Furthermore, all of the copies of the Onomasticon of Amenemope
are fraught with orthographic errors, and their scribes tended to write out the determinatives
fully rather than use the more abstract, contemporary diagonal strokes.
21
The combination of
all of these elements in one text indicates its use in instructing students how to write.
22
Based
on their archaeological context, the Ramesseum fragments very likely were part of a text that
was used in the scribal school that existed there.
23
Onomastica were perfect teaching tools for
new scribes of Late Egyptian who learned by the group writing of words rather than by indi-
vidual phonemes. They were taught to reproduce the words by sight (graphic representation)
rather than by sound (pronunciation). This trend caused determinatives to function more as
dividers of words, rather than strictly as aids to indicate the meaning of the word.
24
In short, it
317
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
is certain that the Onomasticon of Amenemope was used as a didactic text in scribal training. The
appearance of the term Medjay in the onomasticon, its orthography, and its position in the list
must be examined from that perspective.
The Reading of in the Onomasticon of Amenemope
In both the Golenischeff and the Ramesseum copies, the term Medjay (no. 188) is writ-
ten clearly in the hieratic text. Gardiner transcribed the hieratic as
(Golenischeff ) and (Ramesseum)
25
; he transliterated the word mDAyw. Both
examples exhibit the determinatives . In the Golenischeff copy these determinatives
appear after , which could serve adequately as the only determinatives for the word.
However, in the Ramesseum copy, are the only determinatives that appear in the word.
This group of determinatives is highly unusual in the spelling of Medjay.
26
When the signs
stand alone, they can be read as war, fugitive, or as the title ATw, administrator.
27

Thus, it is plausible that the entry in the Golenischeff copy only is in fact two titles that were
reduced to one by Gardiner. could be read as two distinct entries:
mDAyw and ATw.
28
The word following mDAyw is nw, hunter (no. 189). It is implausible for *ATw
n nw to be a title, because no other known attestations of these words in combination exist.
29

ATw-officers are present in texts from Deir el-Medina. Their duties are very similar to those of the
Hry mDAyw in that village.
30
In fact, a witness list in a marriage contract dating to the reign of
Ramesses XI (Turin 2021) includes six ATw who may have also held the title Hry mDAyw.
31
Thus,
mDAyw and ATw are not intrinsically associated, but occasionally occur in similar contexts.
However, there is no reason that Gardiners original transliteration of
as mDAyw need necessarily be incorrect. Although the spelling is rare, a similar spelling appears
in three letters, Berlin 10487, 10488, 10489.
32
These three letters all relate the same conspiracy
in which the death of two Medjay was planned. All three letters were
written by the same person, probably on the same day. The letters differ only in the names of the
individuals to whom they are addressed. They date approximately to year 10 of the wHm-mswt,
during the reign of Ramesses XI.
33
The fact that these letters are approximately contemporary
to the Onomasticon of Amenemope supports the translation of the entry in the onomasticon as
simply mDAyw. Moreover, the Ramesseum fragments of the Onomasticon of Amenemope do not
have these extra determinatives. In the Ramesseum copy, these determinatives must belong to
mDAyw. This fact is sufficient grounds to validate Gardiners transliteration without ATw.
Orthography in the Onomasticon of Amenemope
In the Onomasticon of Amenemope, Medjay (no. 188) is not the only term that displays
unusual orthography. Many of the terms directly surrounding Medjay utilize determinatives
that do not fit the known meaning of the word (see Appendix). Uncommon determinatives
are found in words like iqd builder (no. 184-186), xAy n rmny measurer of Remen-Land (no.
195-196), and mri groom (no. 203). Moreover, determinatives that are commonly attributed
to a terms homonym are mistakenly applied to the term in the onomasticon as well, such as
sAqw(ty), stone mason (no. 187) and wHm herald (no. 197). In addition to errors with deter-
minatives, the scribes of the Onomasticon of Amenemope also made basic spelling mistakes. For
example, weak vowels and ts sometimes occur between determinatives, as in iqd builder (no.
184-186) and sAwty guardian (no. 194, 204). Many of these graphic errors can be attributed
to the scribes familiarity with group writing, especially in the words that include an extra t or
y. These errors also demonstrate the scribes lack of familiarity with determinatives. Complex
318
Li s z k a
determinatives were most frequently abbreviated to simple diagonal strokes in non didactic texts
of the Twentieth Dynasty.
34
In short, although the spelling of Medjay in the Golenischeff copy of the Onomasticon of
Amenemope is unusual when compared to the majority of Late Egyptian texts, it is consistent
with the orthography of that single text. Moreover, it is also consistent with the Tale of Woe
that was found with the Golenischeff copy of the onomasticon. The Tale of Woe has been noted
for its unusualand even abominableorthography.
35
These features are consistent with texts
used as part of scribal training.
The organization of the subsection and group in which Medjay appears
in the Onomasticon of Amenemope
The entries in the Onomasticon of Amenemope are grouped according to categories
that share certain semantic or taxonomic features. Gardiner subdivides the text into 9
large groups.
36
Medjay appears in Gardiners group III, Persons, Court, Offices, and
Occupations (nos. 63-299). This group is the largest in Gardiners schema. Even within
the large groups, the items might further be separated into subsections that have something
in common.
37
Subsections are often vague and not well understood. However, the entries
in this group are ordered in a loose, diminishing hierarchy.
38
Medjay is the first entry in a
conjectural subsection in which most words are names of occupations concerning the secu-
rity of people, places, or goods (nos. 188-204).
The Onomasticon of Amenemope also includes a subsection of foreigners or foreign loca-
tions (nos. 230-294). However, Nubians and locations in Nubia are for the most part mini-
mal in that subsection or elsewhere in the text.
39
Neither Medja (the land)
40
nor Medjay
(the people) are listed in that subsection. The single occurrence of the word Medjay in the
text was purposefully placed among the other occupations.
Entries in the Golenischeff copy of the onomasticon appear in red ink at approximately
regular intervals throughout the text. Occasionally an entry written in red is the first word
in one of the large groups identified by Gardiner. However, these so-called rubrics do not
separate subsections.
41
For example, nos. 184 and 185 are written in red ink although they
fall towards the end of a subsection on craftsmen (nos. 154-187).
42
Besides the Golenischeff
copy, only the BM 10474 copy of the Onomasticon of Amenemope contains these rubrics.
43

When comparing the use of rubrics in the two copies, it is clear that the entries written in
red, which indicate the beginning large groups, are the same. However, there is no consis-
tency in the remaining rubrics that appear elsewhere in the papyri.
44
It is likely that the
remaining rubrics indicate an important feature of the papyrus from which the scribe was
copying, such as the beginning of a new line, rather than serve to organize the structure of
the text.
The subsection on craftsmen (nos. 154-187), which directly precedes nos. 188-204, has
been studied by Steinmann. He notes that there is no simple hierarchy within the subsec-
tion, but the first term used, Hmw, is significant in that it is a general term for all crafts-
men.
45
The last entry among the craftsman subsection is sAqw(ty) stone mason (no. 187).
Gardiner and others have noted that there is an abrupt transition between this entry and
the following entry, Medjay.
46
However, sAqw(ty) stone mason may have been purposely
chosen to appear last in the craftsmen subsection. The word sAqw(ty), stone mason, is
rarely determined with a .
47
The use of a determinative may have been purposely
chosen to soften the transition into the following subsection on security through a pun on
319
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
the word sAq. If this is the case, then sAq could be considered as part of both groups with
two different meanings.
48
As the first entry in the subsection on security sAq could also be
considered a general term for all security, just as Hmw was a general term for craftsmen at the
beginning of its subsection.
Most of the entries among nos. 188-204 are occupations that pertain to the security of
people, places, animals, or goods (see Appendix).
49
This observation is emphasized by the fre-
quent use of the determinatives or which appear in 12 of the 18 entries.
50
Moreover,
mDAyw (no. 188), nw (no. 189), ski (no. 198)
51
, mSkb (no. 199), and saSA (no. 200) are some
of the known types of specialized police forces discussed by Andreu.
52
Counter-intuitively,
the onomasticon does not include the basic police force, the sA-pr.
53
These specialized
police forces protected the royal tombs (mDAyw), quarrying expeditions (nw), the military
(ski), the collection of taxes or the transporting of military boats (mSkb), the palace and the
royal harem (saSA). That is, these specialized police forces all protect people, places, or goods
that are important to the running of the kings house. To Andreus list of specialized police
forces, one should add the xt xt (no. 202) who protected the transportation of goods for the
pharaoh or the military over land
54
and possibly the TAy xaw, Bearers of Weapons (no. 201),
who Gardiner associated with the military.
55
The order of these occupations is not determined by any apparent hierarchy of rank or by
what the occupations protected. The lack of hierarchy in this subsection can be seen clearly
in nos. 193 (doorkeeper, iry aA) and 194 (guardian, sAwty). At Deir el-Medina, doorkeepers
and guardians are frequently mentioned in reference to one another. It is clear the guardians
held a higher position than doorkeepers, so much so that being a doorkeeper was a stepping
stone to becoming a guardian.
56
If the entries were listed hierarchically in the onomasticon,
one would expect the guardian to precede the doorkeeper. At Deir el-Medina, Medjay also
occasionally appear in the company of the guardians and doorkeepers.
57
Two lists of person-
nel from Deir el-Medina rank the position of a doorkeeper among other occupations also
found in the Onomasticon of Amenemope.
58
In the first list, a doorkeeper ranks lower than a
potter, which might be seen in the order of entries in the onomasticon. In the second list, a
doorkeeper ranks higher than a gypsum worker, a Medjay, and a potter, contrary to the order
found in the onomasticon. Thus, it appears that occupations in the security subsection of
the onomasticon are all of the same relative status. It does not matter what particular order
they fall in among themselves.
The list of words in the Onomasticon of Amenemope occasionally digresses from the theme
of a subsection by following a line of semantic connections from one title to another. For
example, there is a sequence of nos. 188-192 which begins with the Medjay. In the New
Kingdom, they likely acted as a specialized police force who not only guarded the royal
tombs, but also worked as desert-rangers.
59
Medjay is followed by hunters (nw) whose
hunting in the desert trained them well for a job as a specialized police force who protected
expeditions into the desert for purposes such as quarrying stone. A clear connection between
Medjay and hunters existed, and some people qualified themselves as both Medjay and
hunters in their tombs.
60
Thus the author of the onomasticon made the semantic connec-
tion between Medjay and hunters in the order of entries. However, the mention of hunters
naturally leads to the hunting of other animals. The copy of the onomasticon from the
Ramesseum fragments includes a harpooner of hippopotami (no. 190A). In both copies a
diver is included (no. 190); presumably, he hunts underwater as opposed to the hunter who
320
Li s z k a
hunts on land. Despite this digression, the text returns to the subsections theme of secu-
rity. In order to provide a smooth transition from this hunting subsection back to security,
the scribe then mentions two titles that deal with the security of animals (no. 191-192).
Although the security subsection of the onomasticon is ordered neither by hierarchy nor by
what is protected, there is an inherent stream of consciousness that permeates the connec-
tion from one entry to the next.
61
The subsection on security (nos. 187-204) is part of a larger group in the onomasticon.
Nos. 63-229 make up Gardiners group III, which he entitled Persons, Court, Offices,
Occupations.
62
Oleg Berlev convincingly argues that this large section is an enumeration
of the kings house and those who work for it, its goods or its protection. Berlev juxtaposes
this group to Gardiners group IV, named Classes, Tribes, and Types of Human Being
(nos. 230-312). He demonstrates that group IV is made up of people who were free and
their personal households.
63
Thus, the scribe of the onomasticon is purposely juxtaposing
these two groups: the kings house vs. private households. If Berlev is correct, the Medjay
(no. 188) clearly fall among people who work for the king in some capacity. Their role
as police guarding the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, as seen through
numerous texts from Deir el-Medina, illustrates how they logically fit into group III of the
Onomasticon of Amenemope.
64
Nevertheless, one must remember that the Onomasticon of Amenemope was written as a
school text. Fulfilling the didactic purpose of such a text, it would enumerate a list of terms
that scribes in training would use repetitively in their profession. A scribe who worked for
the government would specifically need to know about the Medjay who worked for the
king. Therefore, it is fitting that the term Medjay appears among other royal occupations
that scribes will encounter frequently during their careers. However, the appearance of the
Medjay in the onomasticon does not mean that Medjay only worked in this capacity. There
could have been numerous Medjay who did not work for the king, but those Medjay were
unimportant to the world of a scribe being trained for bureaucratic service.
By examining the term Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenemope, it is clear that the
entry in this text refers to members of an occupation who worked within the Egyptian
administrative system. The term Medjay in the text denotes individuals who worked under
the authority of the king. The entry in the Onomasticon of Amenemope does not refer to an
ethnicity. Yet, the onomasticon does not reflect on whether or not members of the Medjay
occupation were also members of the Medjay ethnicity. The onomasticon does not indicate
that members of the Medjay ethnicity no longer existed. Other ethnic Medjay might have
worked in another capacity. In short, the term Medjay in the onomasticon certainly refers
to an occupation in the New Kingdom, but that does not mean that the term was used
exclusively to refer to an occupation. Additional use of the term Medjay may come to light
when evidence outside of the Onomasticon of Amenemope is examined.

321
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
Appendix
On.
Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
184
68
iqd nDst Potter This is part of
the craftsmen
section.
is an unusual
addition.
69
185 iqd hnw Potter of hnw
measures
This is part of
the craftsmen
section.
is an unusual
addition.
186 iqd inbw Builder of walls This is part of
the craftsmen
section.
is an unusual
addition. Inbw
uses extra
determinatives.
187 sAqw-(ty) Stone mason This is part of
the craftsmen
section. It
may rely on a
pun to make a
transition into
the security
section.
is a typical
determinative
for its
homonym, the
verb sAq, to
protect.
322
Li s z k a
On.Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy

G
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
188 mDAyw Medjay This is the
security
section.
is an unusual
addition.
Medjay is plural
whereas most
entries in this
section are
singular.
189 nw Hunterswho
often policed
the desert
70
This is the
security section.
The entry starts
a digression
into a series
of 2-3 entries
concerning
hunting. The
entry is plural
like mDAyw.
190 hrpwty Diver This is the
digression
on hunting.
Hunting
in water
juxtaposes
hunting on
land by the nw.
190A
71
msnw Harpooner of
hippopotami
This is the
digression on
hunting.
323
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
On.Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy

Gol
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
191 Hry miAt Chief of
working
quarters (farm/
cow building)
This entry
returns the
sequence back
to the topic
of security, by
linking the
hunting of
animals with
the security of
animals.
192 Hry mDt Chief of cattle
yard
This entry
returns the
sequence back
to the topic
of security, by
linking the
hunting of
animals with
the security of
animals.
193 iry aA Doorkeeper This is the
security section.
194 sAwty Guardian This is the
security section.
appears
between deter-
minatives
72
195 -196 xAy n(?)
rmnyw
Measurer of
Remen-land
The reason
for this entrys
appearance is
unclear.
are unusual
determinatives.
324
Li s z k a
On.Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy

Gole
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
197 wHm (Military)
herald
The reason
for this entrys
appearance is
unclear, but
it is a military
position like
nos. 198, 201,
202.
73
is
unusual for the
noun herald,
but is more
commonly
found in the
verb to repeat.
198 ski Assault officer.
A type of
police force
74

This is the
security
section.
is an unusual
addition. Skt
is the typical
transliteration.
199 mSkb Tax
officialsA
type of police
force
75
or water
transporters for
military boats
76

This is the
security section,
but it alludes to
securing goods
in transport
section below.
200 saSA Police in
charge of the
royal palace
and harem
77
This is the
security section.
201 TAy xaw Bearer of
weapons
This is the
security section.
is
an unusual
addition.
325
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
On.Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy

Gol
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
202 xt xt Land porters
for military
or royal
household
78

This is the
security
section but the
entry makes
a transition
towards
occupations
concerning the
transporting of
goods. is
a fully unusual
spelling.
79
203 mri Groom or
Squire
This section
concerns the
t r a ns por t i ng
of goods. Mri
were connected
to the loading
and transport
of goods.
80

is an unusual
addition.
204 sAwty Ax(t?) Guardian of
crops
This section
concerns the
t r a ns por t i ng
of goods. It is
unclear whether
these crops were
harvested or
not. As with
the above sAwty
(no. 194),
the comes
unusually after
its determina-
tives .
326
Li s z k a
On.Nr.
65
Gardiner Onomastica,
Golenischeff copy

Gole
Transliteration
66
Translation
67
Comments
205 nfw Sailor This entry
begins a section
on boat person-
nel. It makes
a transition
by linking the
transportation
of goods via a
boat. is
an unusual writ-
ing.
206 iry HAt Pilot of a boat This is a
section on boat
personnel.
207 iry Hmy Steersman This is a
section on boat
personnel.
Notes
1 See among others, A. Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica, Oxford, 1947, *82; B. Trigger, Nubia under the
Pharaohs (Boulder, Colorado, 1976), 54-104; S. Giuliani, Medja Sources in the Old Kingdom, Discussions in
Egyptology 42 (1998), 41-54; B. Williams, Medjay, in: K. A. Bard (ed.) Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient
Egypt (London, 1999), 485-487 and K. Zibelius-Chen, Die Medja in altgyptischen Quellen, SAK 36 (2007),
391-405.
2 W. M. Mller, Egyptological Researches (Washington, 1910). 72-76.
3 Gardiner, Onomastica, *73-*89, esp. *82.
4 See among others, A. Erman and H. Grapow, Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1971), 186; L. Lesko
and B. S. Lesko, A Dictionary of Late Egyptian (2
nd
Edition), (Providence, 2002), 220; R. Hannig, Groes Hand-
wrterbuch gyptisch-Deutsch (Mainz, 2005) 380 and A. R. Al-Ayedi, Index of Egyptian Administrative, Religious and
Military Titles of the New Kingdom (Ismailia, Egypt, 2006), 282-283.
5 For example, see J. ern, Late Ramesside Letters (Bruxelles, 1973), 263-278 and A. McDowell, Jurisdiction in the
Workmens Community of Deir el-Medina (Leiden, 1990), 51-55.
6 Gardiner, Onomastica, *73-*89, no. 188. Gardiner numbered all of the terms in the onomasticon. Tis paper will
refer to those terms only by their numbers rather than the page on which they appear in Gardiner, Onomastica.
7 Michaux-Colombot argues that all Medjay were ethnically Nubian in the New Kingdom. See D. Michaux-Co-
lombot, Te MD3y.w, not Policemen but an Ethnic Group from the Eastern Desert, in: C. Bonnet (ed.) tudes
nubiennes: Confrence de Genve. Actes du VIIe Congrs international dtudes nubiennes, 3-8 septembre 1990 (Genve,
1992), 29-36 and D. Michaux-Colombot, Qui sont les Medjay et o se situait leur territoire?, in: M.-C. Bruwier
(ed.) Pharaons Noirs: Sur la Piste des Quarante Jours (Belgium, 2007), 85 and 90-91. Other scholars, however, believe
327
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
the Medjay and the Captains of the Medjay are no longer an ethnic group in the New Kingdom. Yet, they believe
that ethnicity remains a factor for those who held the title wr n mDAyw, Chief of the Medjay (see among others:
T. Sve-Sderbergh and L. Troy, New Kingdom Pharaonic Sites: Te Finds and the Sites (Uppsala, 1991), 207-209; S.
Feriola and V. Fidanza, Los SAsw y los mDAyw en sus relaciones con el estado egipcio, Revista de Estudios de Egiptologa
2 (1991), 36 and Zibelius-Chen, SAK 36, 401-402).
7b Gardiner, Onomastica, 25.
8 Eight of these copies were published by Gardiner, Onomastica, 24-26. Te ninth, BM 10474 verso, was published
by F.-R. Herbin, Une Version inacheve de lonomasticon dAmnemop (P. BM 10474 vo), BIFAO (1986), 187-
198.
9 Gardiner, Onomastica, pls, 7-13.
10 Gardiner, Onomastica, pls. 19-21 and W. Spiegelberg, Hieratic Ostraka & Papyri Found by J.E. Quibell, in the Rames-
seum, 1895-6 (London, 1898), pl. 44.
11 Te exact province is unknown, because it was discovered by local Egyptians and sold on the antiquities market in
1890. See R. Caminos, A Tale of Woe: From a Hieratic Papyrus in the A.S. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow
(Oxford, 1977), 1-2 and Gardiner, Onomastica, 27.
12 Gardiner, Onomastica, 28 and C. Nims, Egyptian Catalogues of Tings, JNES 9 (1950), 254.
13 Caminos, A Tale of Woe, 3.
14 Gardiner, Onomastica, *77, *86.
15 Gardiner, Onomastica, *83-*85. Tese titles are further studied by: ern, Late Ramesside Letters, 263-278; Sve-S-
derbergh and Troy, New Kingdom Pharaonic Sites, 207-209; E. Cohen, Egyptianization and the acculturation hypoth-
esis: An investigation of the Pan-Grave, Kerman and C-Group material cultures in Egypt and Sudan during the Second
Intermediate Period and Eighteenth Dynasty. (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1992), 130-155), and Zibelius-Chen, SAK
36, 401-402 among others.
16 Gardiner, Onomastica, *85, *88; McDowell, Jurisdiction in the Workmens Community, 57; Al-Ayedi, Index, 189 and
Michaux-Colombot, Qui sont les Medjay, 85.
17 Gardiner, Onomastica, *83-*85.
18 Translation in W. K. Simpson, Onomastica, in: D. B. Redford (ed.) Te Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (Ox-
ford, 2001), 605; see also M. Clagett, Ancient Egyptian Science: Volume One Knowledge and Order (Philadelphia,
1989), 237.
19 Gardiner, Onomastica, 24-26.
20 O. Goelet, Writing Ramesside Hieratic: What the Late-Egyptian Miscellanies Tell us About Scribal Education, in:
S. H. DAuria (ed.) Servant of Mut: Studies in Honor of Richard A. Fazzini (Leiden, 2008), 103.
21 Te practice of using diagonal strokes to replace determinatives occurs rst in the Twentieth Dynasty in texts writ-
ten by scribes who have completed their training. Tey appear in common words and formulaic expressions and
increase the level of abstraction in hieratic (Goelet, Writing Ramesside Hieratic, 108).
22 Ibid., 103-106.
23 On which see C. Leblanc, Lcole du temple (t-Sebat) et le Per-Ankh (Maison de vie). propos de rcentes
dcouvertes eectues dans le contexte du Ramesseum, Memnonia 15 (2004), 93-101.
24 Goelet, Writing Ramesside Hieratic, 106-107. Te existence of this trend in Late Egyptian texts should prompt
scholars to be extremely cautious when attempting to elucidate the meaning of words from their determinatives.
25 Only the end of the word is present in the Ramesseum fragments. Tis fragmented spelling was reconstructed by
Gardiner (Onomastica, pl. 20, line 14) from two pieces of papyri (Spiegelberg, Hieratic Ostraka & Papyri, pl. 44,
fragment M6+M10, second line).
26 Tese determinatives do not appear in any of the typical spellings of the word (see among others: A. Erman and
H. Grapow, Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1971), 186; A. Erman and H. Grapow, Wrterbuch der
Aegyptischen Sprache: Die Belegstellen (Berlin, 1982), 270-272; Hannig, Groes Handwrterbuch gyptisch-Deutsch,
328
Li s z k a
380; Lesko, Dictionary of Late Egyptian, 220; Al-Ayedi, Index, 189, 244, 282-283, 391).
27 For the denition of ATw, see among others: Lesko, Dictionary of Late Egyptian, 10 and Al-Ayedi, Index, 1. For the
reading of ATw instead of war for this title, see G. Posener, Sur la valeur Phontique AT > At du signe , Rd 13
(1963), 127-128. Tis title is not to be confused with the title wartw, which also can mean administrator. See
among others, R. Leprohon, Some remarks on the administrative department (wart) of the Late Middle King-
dom, JSSEA 10 (1979-80), 161-171. S. Quirke, Te Regular Titles of the Late Middle Kingdom, Rd 37 (1986),
110; J. Wegner, Regional Control in Middle Kingdom Lower Nubia: Te Function and History of the Site of
Areika, JARCE 32 (1995), 152; S. Quirke, Titles and Bureaux of Egypt, 1850-1700 BC (London, 2004), 143.
28 Michaux-Colombot argued that should be read as mDA(yw)-ATw, a title which she consid-
ers to be a distinction honorique and considers to be dierent from the word mDAyw when it stands alone. Tus,
she argues that mDA(yw)-ATwas a conjunction of these two wordsis the name of an occupation. She believes
that mDAyw is solely an ethnic designation (Michaux-Colombot, Qui sont les Medjay, 85, 91). Regardless of her
re-reading of the title, the word mDAyw is still a distinct element of the occupational title(s) that is (are) present in
this entry. If the of the Golenische copy are to be read as ATw, then it could very likely be a separate oc-
cupation from the word mDAyw. Tere is no inherent reason why the two titles should be conjoined into one.
29 See among others, Al-Ayedi, Index, 1, 284
30 As McDowell explains in detail, the duties of the ATw-ocers are very similar to those of the Hry mDAyw. Teir duties
are not, however, similar to the duties of the mDAyw (McDowell, Jurisdiction in the Workmens Community, 54-58,
which is the term that appears in the Onomasticon of Amenemope.)
31 Te second column of the witness list in Papyrus Turin 2021 contains 7 lines (15-21). Line 15 reads nA Hryw mDAyw
n pA xr, Te (plural) chiefs of the Medjay of the tomb. Tis plural title may indicate that it was held by each of the
following six people (lines 16-21). Tese six people are noted by the title ATw immediately preceding their personal
names (J. ern and T. E. Peet, A Marriage Settlement of the Twentieth Dynasty: An Unpublished Document from
Turin, JEA 13 (1927), pl. 15, lines 15-21). It is possible that each of these ATw were also a Hry mDAyw. However it
is also plausible that nA Hryw mDAyw n pA Hr, refer to two or more other people whose names are not specied in the
witness list (McDowell, Jurisdiction in the Workmens Community, 57; J. Janssen, Commodity Prices from the Ramessid
Period: An economic study of the village of necropolis workmen at Tebes (Leiden, 1975), 405.
32 ern, Late Ramesside Letters, no. 21, no. 34, no. 35; translated in E. Wente, Late Ramesside Letters (Chicago, 1967),
53, 69, 69. Michaux-Colombot would also like to read these occurrences as mDA(yw)-ATw (Qui sont les Medjay, 85,
footnote 37). She further points to one other attestation of the supposed title mDA(yw)-ATw in an extended version
of chapter 167 of the Book of the Dead (Louvre 3248) (Qui sont les Medjay, 85, footnote 37). Because, however,
this copy of the Book of the Dead is not contemporary to the late New Kingdom or early Tird Intermediate Period
and because religious texts often are not comparable to other material, we must discount this example (W. Pleyte,
Chapitres supplmentaires au Livre des Morts: Traduction et Commentaire 164-174 (Leiden, 1881), 75; P. Barguet, Le
Livre des Morts des Anciens gyptiens (Paris, 1967), 240).
33 Wente, Late Ramesside Letters, 16.
34 Goelet, Writing Ramesside Hieratic, 108.
35 Caminos, A Tale of Woe, 6-7.
36 Gardiner, Onomastica, 37; Clagett, Ancient Egyptian Science, 237-239.
37 O. Berlev, Bureaucrats, in: S. Donadoni (ed.) Te Egyptians (Chicago, 1997), 92.
38 Simpson, Onomastica, 605.
39 In distinct contrast to the numerous northern and western foreigners and their locations (nos. 230 .), only a few
Nubians and Nubian locations appear intermittently between nos. 278-294. Tis section does begin with the
general term nHs(yw), but is only followed by obscure locations and some Egyptian establishments in Nubia. Tis
omission of many Nubian territories and peoples may reect the so-called Depopulation of Lower Nubia that
occurred in the Twentieth dynasty (T. Sve-Sderbergh, Te Egyptianization and Depopulation of Lower Nubia,
329
Me dj a y ( no. 188) i n t he Ono ma s t i c o n o f Ame ne mo pe
Kush 15 (1967), 237-242; Trigger, Nubia under the Pharaohs, 134-137; Sve-Sderbergh and Troy, New Kingdom
Pharaonic Sites, 6-8; E. S. Cohen, Egyptianization and the acculturation hypothesis, 19-20, 198-200).
40 Gardiner points out that references to the land of Medja decrease exponentially from the Old Kingdom. By the
New Kingdom, there are almost no references to the land of Medja. He further suggests that references to the land
of Medja from the Middle Kingdom onward were examples of archaizing (Gardiner, Onomastica, *78-*79).
41 Gardiner, Onomastica, 29, 36-37; Nims, JNES 9, 254.
42 F. Steinmann, Untersuchungen zu den in der handwerklich-knstlerischen Produktion beschftigten Personen und
Berufsgruppen des Neuen Reichs, ZS 118, 153. Gardiner notes that the rubricizing of nos. 184-185 seems point-
less (Onomastica, *72).
43 Herbin, BIFAO 86, 187-198.
44 Compare Gardiner, Onomastica, 07a to Herbin, BIFAO, 197.
45 Steinmann, ZS 118, 153.
46 Gardiner, Onomastica, *73 and Steinmann, ZS 118, 153.
47 Erman and Grapow, Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache III, 25-26 and Lesko, Dictionary of Late Egyptian, 9. Tis
determinative is more commonly used in the word sAq to protect. To protect is a secondary meaning of the verb
sAq. It more commonly means to pull together or to gather together.
48 Alternatively the scribe who transcribed the text at one point did not recognize a new subsection in the text. Te use
of this determinative would be an orthographic error based on a homonym.
49 Gardiner does not recognize any connection between nos. 188-204. He does note that entries 197, 198, 201, and
202 are all implying coercion of one kind or another (Onomastica, *91). Nevertheless, not all entries between nos.
188-204 deal with security either. Some of the anomalies can be explained (see below and the appendix for nos. 190,
190A, 203). Yet, the reason for the appearance of nos. 195-197 in this subsection is still unclear.
50 Gardiner notes that the use of these determinatives is important in the semantic development of the word Medjay
(Onomastica, *82).
51 Ski is the rst of some lower rank members of the military in this subsection on security, especially nos. 197, 198,
201, and 202 (see Appendix). Curiously, military titles are not grouped together in the text. Instead they occur
throughout the Onomasticon of Amenemope. High military positions are found among the kings entourage and ad-
ministrative ocials (nos. 77, 87-89, 95-98). Military scribes appear lower (no. 107-108) among moderately ranked
ocials. Lower rank military positions appear in the subsection pertaining to security (nos. 197, 198, 201, 202).
And lastly the commanders of the troops, chariotry, and infantry (nos. 234-237) appear in the fourth large section
on Classes, Tribes, and Types of Human Beings (see Gardiner, Onomastica, *24-*25; Clagett, Ancient Egyptian Sci-
ence, 257, footnote 4).
52 G. Andreu, Polizei, in: W. Helck & E. Otto (eds.), Lexikon der gyptologie (Wiesbaden, 1982), 1068-1071. Andreu
does not refer to the Onomasticon of Amenemope in his discussion of police in Egypt.
53 Micheux-Colombot, Qui sont les Medjay, 84. For information on the sA-pr, see among others, Andreu, Polizei, 1069.
54 J.-M. Kruchten, Lecture et signication du titre (Onomastica, no 202), Cd 60 (1985),109-116.
55 Gardiner, Onomastica, *24.
56 J. ern, A community of workmen at Tebes in the Ramesside Period (Cairo, 1973), 149, 161-162 and McDowell,
Jurisdiction in the Workmens Community, 44 and 47.
57 ern, A community of workmen, 279.
58 O. IFAO 351, 2 and O. Gardiner 249, 6 cited in ern, A community of workmen, 170 and McDowell, Jurisdiction
in the Workmens Community, 42.
59 Gardiner, Onomastica, *82 and Andreu, Polizei, 1069.
60 Gardiner, Onomastica, *85-*85; Andreu, Polizei, 1069; Zibelius-Chen, SAK 36, 402 and Sve-Sderbergh and
Troy, New Kingdom Pharaonic Sites, 208.
61 Further observations about the connections between terms in this subsection can be found in the Appendix.
330
Li s z k a
62 Gardiner, Onomastica, 37.
63 O. Berlev, Bureaucrats, 91-94.
64 ern, A community of workmen, 277-279 and McDowell, Jurisdiction in the Workmens Community, 51-54.
65 Nos. 184-207 were examined in detail in this paper and appendix because these entries all fall under one so-called
rubric. Nos. 184-185 were written in red ink. Te rest of the entries are written in black ink until nos. 208-209.
As argued above, the use of red ink does not indicate a subsection. Nevertheless, by examining a series of entries
that might include more than one subsection, one can also examine the transitions between subsections.
66 Te transliterated words presented in this paper follow Gardiner, Onomastica, for consistency, regardless of the other
known spellings. Tis convention is followed for all entries except for no. 202, xt xt, which had been originally
transliterated as sw by Gardiner. In 1985, Kruchten persuasively argued for a dierent transliteration for no. 202
(Kruchten, Cd 60; G. Posener, Encore le Titre , Rd 37 (1986), 150-151.)
67 Te translations of the entries below follow Gardiner, Onomastica, unless otherwise noted.
68 Entries that are underlined indicate that they were written in red ink.
69 Unusual addition means that the orthography of this entry in the Onomasticon of Amenemope is not consistent with
other examples of this word that can be found in various references including but not limited to: Al-Ayedi, Index;
Erman & Grapow, Wrterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache; Erman & Grapow, Die Belegstellen, Lesko, Dictionary of
Late Egyptian; and Hannig, Groes Handwrterbuch gyptisch-Deutsch, 1995.
70 Andreu, Polizei, 1069.
71 Msnw is only present in the Ramesseum fragments and not the Golenische copy.
72 SAwty is common in the Nineteenth Dynasty, while sAw is prevalent in the Twentieth Dynasty (ern, A community
of workmen, 149). Perhaps the error in the placement of the ty occurred when the scribe realized after he had written
the word that he should have written it with an archaized spelling.
73 Gardiner, Onomastica, *91.
74 Andreu, Polizei, 1070.
75 Ibid., 1070.
76 Kruchten, Cd, 116.
77 Andreu, Polizei, 1070 and D. Redford, Te Akhenaten Temple Project (Warminster, 1976), 109.
78 Kruchten, Cd, 116 and Posener, Rd 37, 150.
79 Ibid., 109-116.
80 Ibid., Cd, 114-115.
81 See footnote 72.
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