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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  8.17


EDICT OF NECTANEBO CONCERNING THE "MYSTERIOUS MOUNTAIN"


Text:   Berlin ÄM 14399
Provenance:   Nagaa Al Ghabat, slightly south of Abydos
Date:   357/6 B.C.
Script:   Hieroglyphic
Translated by:   D. Meeks
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription was carved into the wall of a small quarry. It is one of the latest surviving edicts by a native ruler of Egypt.   The tomb of Osiris was supposed to be located in in the "mysterious mountain", which is no doubt the reason why Nectanebo was anxious to prevent any further quarrying.

The inscription was republished with a French translation and commentary by D. Meeks, "Oiseaux des carrières et des cavernes" ( academia.edu ).


Year 5, fourth month of shemu, under the Majesty of Horus Mery-tauy, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the lord of the two lands Senedjem-ib-Rê chosen one of Onuris, the Son of Re, the master of crowns, Nectanebo {II}, may he live forever, loved by Osiris Khentamenty, the great god, master of Abydos. They came to say to His Majesty: "The mysterious mountain of Abydos is being excavated and stone is being extracted from it, between the two falcons who protect this mysterious mountain; this has not been done before!" It was ordered by His Majesty that no more stone should be excavated in this mysterious mountain, the name of which is Hapnebes. As for anyone found extracting 10 any stone from this mountain, they shall be punished for this by severing one of their limbs as one does to [a criminal] . . . the reserved place . . . [all life], all [well-being], all health.


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