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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  5.9


EPITAPH OF TANEFERHER


Text:   BM 184
Provenance:   Memphis
Date:   April 23 B.C.
Language:   Hieroglyphic & Demotic
Translated by:   E.A.E. Reymond
Format:   see key to translations

Taneferher was the sister-wife of a high priest of Memphis, and the mother of another high priest, both called Psherenamun. Her brother probably became high priest in 30 B.C., immediately after the Roman conquest of Egypt, and her son became high priest in 28/7 B.C.

The translation is taken from E.A.E. Reymond, "From the Records of a Priestly Family from Memphis" (1981), no. 29, p. 227. For the sake of consistency, some of the name-spellings have been changed to match those used by Chris Bennett, Taneferher.  


[A]   {Hieroglyphic text:}   The fair sistrum-player of Ptah Taneferher, born to Herankh.

A boon which the King grants to Ptah, . . . . . ., superior of ten-thousands, the two sisters, Isis and Nephthis, the Noble Ladies, the gods of the Earth, the Two Ladies, the Aboundant One, together with Nephthis, Anubis in his form of the lord of the sacred mound, . . . . . ., Shededit, the Truth, that they may grant funerary offerings, provisions, victuals, all things good, pure and sweet, the coming-forth-at-appeal to benefit from bread and beer, wine and milk, incense and unguent, oxen and fowl which come from their own offering table, . . . . . ., water on which they live forth, favour and joy over reciting their spells to fulfil them on behalf of the ka of the fair sistrum-player of Hathor, great of love and sweetness, the sister, his beloved daughter, . . . . . ., 5 the likeness of the daughter of the lord of jubilation, the likeness of . . . , the lady, the sister of the Chief of Artificers, prophet of Min, lord of Senut, Taneferher, daughter of the god's father, prophet of Ptah, lord of strength, priest of the gods in the Mansion of the White Enclosure, scribe of Ptah and that of the Lady of the Sycamore, warden of the Seat of the Living Apis, Eyes of the King, scribe of the sacred book of the gods, lords of Egypt, scribe of the god's book, scribe of the seal, prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, prophet of Khnum, lord of Semen-Hor Kha-hapi, born to the fair sistrum-player Herankh justified, sister of the god's father, prophet of Ptah, Chief of Artificers Psherenamun.

[B]   {Demotic text:}   Regnal year 19 of the King, the new god, the youthful God Osiris Ptolemy, the 13th of Tobi, the festival day of Sokaris is the birthday of the musician, the fair sistrum-player of Ptah, Taneferher, daughter of the god's father, prophet of Ptah, lord of strength, priest of the gods in the Mansion of the White Enclosure, scribe of Ptah, scribe of the Lady of the Sycamore, scribe in the 'House-of-Life' of the Living Apis, Eyes of the King, scribe of the sacred book of the gods, lords of Egypt, scribe of the god's book, scribe of decrees, scribe of the god's seal in the temple of Wenkhem, prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, prophet of Khnum, lord of Semen-Hor Kha-hapi; the name of her mother is Har-ankh.

She completed 38 years of life, nine month and ten days. She was installed as the priestess-musician of Ptah in year (?) 19 for (?) three years. The prophet of Ptah Psherenamun called her to become his wife in regnal year 3 of the Queen Cleopatra, 10 the Goddess Philopator. She bore forth children to him many times. She bore forth to him sons and daughters, they being six persons. One daughter, the lady Paibast, called Heresankh by name, she was installed as the great spouse of Ptah in year nine.

She bore forth to him another male child. His beauty being bright . . ., called Psherenamun by name. A decree was issued for him to the effect to behold the god in regnal year 3 of the god, son of the god, the great god, Sebastos Imperator Caesar. He made the god's father, prophet of Ptah Psherenamun, son of the sistrum-player Taneferher aforesaid, prophet of Caesar to create him Chief of Artificers. He gave him the golden diadem and numerous gifts. He then carried out anact of sanctification to re-sanctify greatly the main temple of Memphis together with its sanctuaries. He caused them to proceed forth to the chambers of the Osirieion in Rostaw.

Regnal year 7 of Caesar, the 16th of Paopi, the posthumous lustration of the noble person came to pass. The funerary robing was made for her from the second to the seventieth day. She was made happy in the mortuary chamber in year 7, from Mekhir to Pharmuti, day 12th. The mortuary robing for the embalmment was made by the god's father, sem-priest, prophet of Ptah, Chief of Artificers, prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, prophet of Caesar Psherenamun, the son of the sistrum-player, for a fair embalmment with tar, myrrh, incense, gold and genuine precious stones of any kind. For her was brought a complete set of mortuary raiment of the gods of Upper and Lower Egypt, beginning with the prophets and according to the custom of the great dukes of Egypt. 15 . . . She was made happy in her resting-places in the Necropolis of Memphis. The ancestors received her at her dwelling place. May her name abide for ever and ever!


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