Heart-Scarab of King Sobekemsaf II

Heart-Scarab of King Sobekemsaf II


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Sobekemsaf I

Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf I was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th Dynasty. He is attested by a series of inscriptions mentioning a mining expedition to the rock quarries at Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert during his reign. One of the inscriptions is explicitly dated to his Year 7. [1] He also extensively restored and decorated the Temple of Monthu at Medamud where a fine relief of this king making an offering before the gods has survived. [2]

Sobekemsaf I's son—similarly named Sobekemsaf after his father—is attested in Cairo Statue CG 386 from Abydos which depicts this young prince prominently standing between his father's legs in a way suggesting that he was his father's chosen successor. [3] Sobekemsaf's chief wife was Queen Nubemhat she and their daughter (Sobekemheb) are known from a stela of Sobekemheb's husband, a Prince Ameni, who might have been a son of Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef or possibly Senakhtenre Ahmose. [4]

The "burial equipment of Sobekemsaf W[adjkhaw] does not contain his prenomen, but can nevertheless be assigned with certainty to this king" since the tomb of Sobekemsaf Shedtawy "was thoroughly robbed in antiquity" by tomb robbers as recorded in Papyrus Abbott III 1-7. [5] On this basis, Kim Ryholt assigns a large heart-scarab, "which was, and indeed still is, set in a large gold mount" containing the name of 'Sobekemsaf' to Sekhemre Wadjkhau Sobekemsaf I here since the tomb robbers would not overlook such a large object on the mummy of the king if it came from Sobekemsaf II's tomb. [6] For much the same reason, a wooden canopic chest also bearing the name 'Sobekemsaf' on it has also been attributed to this king by Ryholt and Aidan Dodson. In contrast to the extensive damage that might have been expected had the chest been in the burned and looted tomb of Sobekemsaf II, "the damage suffered by Cat. 26 (i.e., Sobekemsaf I's chest) is minor, consistent with what it might have suffered at the hands of Qurnawi dealers." [7]


Heart Scarab

The scarab was one of the most popular ancient Egyptian amulets. They were used as pieces of jewellery, commemorative items and seals, and magical amulets offering protection and good fortune. However, from the Middle Kingdom a specific type of scarab known as the Heart Scarab took on a very particular religious meaning and went on to become the most important amulet in the mummification and burial process.

The heart was seen as the home of the spirit, and the bodily element of the ancient Egyptian soul. In the Hall of Judgement, it was the heart which was weighed against the feather of Ma’at. If a person failed this test they would be devoured by Ammit, if they passed they would go on to enjoy a blissful afterlife. Unsurprisingly, the Egyptians were keen to protect their heart. The Heart Scarab was intended to protect the heart and act as a stand in for the heart of the deceased if it should be damaged.

Heart Scarab Third Intermediate Period

The pragmatic ancient Egyptians also wanted to be sure that when they stood before Osiris and made the “Negative Confession”, their heart would not speak against them. The amulet was inscribed with Spells from the Book of the Dead, in particular Spell 30 which states:

Winged Scarab, Tutankhamun, NK @Dalbera CC BY 2.0

O my heart which I had from my mother, O my heart which I had upon earth, do not rise up against me as a witness in the presence of the Lord of Things do not speak against me concerning what I have done, do not bring up against me anything I have done in the presence of the Great God, Lord of the West (Osiris).

Heart Scarab of Hatnofer, mother of Senenmut, NK @Hans Ollermann CC BY 2.0 Text on heart scarab, NK

The earliest known scarab to have Spell 30 from the Book of the Dead is that of the thirteenth dynasty official Sobekhotep, and the earliest similar royal scarab is a beautiful gold and green jasper example made for the pharaoh Sobekemsaf II.

Winged Scarab, Tutankhamun, NK @Amanda Slater CC BY-SA 2.0

Scarab of Sobekemsaf with human face, New Kingdom

The amulet was usually carved in the shape of the scarab, representing the god Khepri who symbolised resurrection and rebirth. The heart scarab was also associated with mummification because the pupae of a scarab beetle resembles a mummy. The Egyptians also saw that the beetle would dig a shaft into the earth to bury its eggs, and the baby scarabs would later emerge from the earth. They associated this with the shaft leading into the burial chamber from which the reborn spirit would emerge.

Red Jasper Scarab TIP Green Jasper Scarab TIP Scarab Ring of Ameny, MK

The scarab was ideally formed from green or black stones, although examples in other colours have also been recovered. The silver scarab found in the Middle Kingdom tomb of Wah is of particular interest. Sometimes the scarab was set in gold, such as the green jasper and gold scarab of Hatnofer (father of Senenmut, New Kingdom) and the scarab of the pharaoh Sobekemsaf II. Occasionally, the amulet took the form of a human headed scarab, or a scarab with the head of another animal. Sometimes heart shaped amulets fulfilling the same function were inscribed with spell 30. From the late New Kingdom on, the scarab often had outstretched wings symbolising the protection it offered.


The robbery of Sobekemsaf's tomb

The Abbott and Leopold-Amherst Papyruses, which are dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, state that this king's royal pyramid tomb was violated and destroyed by tomb robbers. The confessions and tomb robbery trials of the men responsible for the looting of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf's tomb are detailed in the latter papyrus which is dated to Year 16, III Peret day 22 of Ramesses IX. This document relates that a certain Amenpnufer, son of Anhernakhte, a stonemason from the Temple of Amun Re "fell into the habit of robbing the tombs [of noblemen in West Thebes] in company with the stonemason Hapiwer" and mentions that they robbed Sobekemsaf's tomb along with six other accomplices in Year 13 of Ramesses IX. [10] Amenpnufer confesses that they

. went to rob the tombs. and we found the pyramid of [king] Sekhemre Shedtaui, the son of Re Sebekemsaf, this being not at all like the pyramids and tombs of the nobles which we habitually went to rob. [10]

In his trial, Amenpnufer testifies that he and his companions dug a tunnel into the king's pyramid with their copper tools:

Then we broke through the rubble. and we found this god (king) lying at the back of his burial-place. And we found that the burial-place of Nubkhaes, his queen, situated beside him. We opened their sarcophagi and their coffins in which they were, and found the noble mummy of this King equipped with a falcon a large number of amulets and jewels of gold were upon his neck, and his head-piece of gold was upon him. The noble mummy of this King was completely bedecked with gold, and his coffins were adorned with gold and silver inside and out and inlaid with all kinds of precious stones. We collected the gold on the noble mummy of this god. and we collected all that we found on her (the Queen) likewise and we set fire to their coffins. We took their furniture. consisting of articles of gold, silver and bronze, and divided them amongst ourselves. Then we crossed over to Thebes. And after some days the District Superintendent of Thebes heard that we had been stealing in the west, and they seized me and imprisoned me in the office of the Mayor of Thebes. And I took the twenty deben of gold which had fallen to me as my portion and gave them to Khaemope, the scribe of the quarter attached to the landing place of Thebes. He released me, and I rejoined my companions, and they compensated me with a portion once again. Thus I, together, with other thieves who are with me, have continued to this day in the practise of robbing the tombs of the nobles and the [deceased] people of the land who rest in the west of Thebes. [11]

Amenpnufer states that the treasures taken from the two royal mummies amounted to "160 deben of gold" or 32   lbs (14.5   kg). [12] The document ends with the conviction of the thieves—with a probable death sentence—and notes that a copy of the official trial transcripts was dispatched to Ramesses IX in Lower Egypt. Amenpnufer himself would have been sentenced to death by impalement, a punishment which "was reserved for [only] the most heinous crimes" in Ancient Egypt. [13]


Contents

Nubkheperre Intef and, by implication, his brother Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef, were probably the sons of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (Sobekemsaf II today) on the basis of inscriptions found on a doorjamb discovered in the remains of a 17th Dynasty temple at Gebel-Antef on the Luxor-Farshut road. [5] The British Egyptologist Aidan Dodson also endorses Ryholt's interpretation of the doorjamb's text and writes:

Ryholt does. introduce the new "Desert Roads" evidence from the Darnells' survey to show that Nubkheperrre Inyotef (dubbed by Ryholt "Inyotef N") was a son of [Sekhemre-shedtawi] Sobekemsaf, thus providing a key genealogical link within the [17th] dynasty. [6]

The German Egyptologist Daniel Polz, who discovered this king's tomb in 2001, also studied the same doorjamb and reached a similar conclusion in a 2007 German language book. [7] An association between Nubkheperre Intef and a king Sobekemsaf is also indicated by the discovery of a doorframe fragment by John and Deborah Darnell in the early 1990s which preserved part of an inscription naming a king Intef ahead of a king Sobekemsaf the hieroglyphic spelling of the king Intef here was that used only by Nubkheperre. [8] Unfortunately, not enough of the inscription was uncovered to reveal the nature of the relationship with any certainty here—or which king Sobekemsaf was intended. [9] Nubkheperre Intef is sometimes referred to as Intef VII, [10] in other sources as Intef VI, [11] and even as Intef V. [12]

Nubkheperre Intef ruled from Thebes, and was buried in a tomb in the necropolis of Dra' Abu el-Naga'. The grave was originally covered with a small pyramid (approximately 11 m at the base, rising to a height of approx. 13 m.) Auguste Mariette found two broken obelisks with complete Fivefold Titulary, which was then subsequently lost when being transported to the Cairo Museum.

King Intef's wife was Sobekemsaf, who perhaps came from a local family based at Edfu. On an Abydos stela mentioning a building of the king are the words king's son, head of the bowmen Nakht.

Nubkheperre Intef is one of the best attested kings of the 17th dynasty who restored numerous damaged temples in Upper Egypt as well as constructing a new temple at Gebel Antef. The best preserved building from his reign is the remains of a small chapel at Koptos. Four walls that have been reconstructed show the king in front of Min and show him crowned by Horus and by another god. The reliefs are executed in raised and sunken relief. [14] At Koptos, the Coptos Decree was found on a stela which referred to the actions of Nubkheperre Intef against Teti, son of Minhotep. [15] At Abydos, several stone fragments were found, including columns which attest to some kind of restoration work. [16] On a stela found at Abydos, a mention is made of a House of Intef. This most likely refers to a building belonging to Nubkheperre Intef. [13] Therefore, while Nubkheperre Intef's highest—and only known—year date is his Year 3 on the Koptos stela, [17] this must be considered an underestimate since he must have ruled much longer to accomplish his ambitious building program and also complete his royal tomb. [18] Indeed, Nubkheperre Intef is alone "mentioned on over twenty contemporary monuments" from his reign [19] which demonstrates his position as one of the most powerful rulers of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt.

Both Kim Ryholt and the German Egyptologist Daniel Polz concur that this pharaoh did not rule at or near the start of the 17th dynasty but rather late into the 17th dynasty just prior to the final three known kings of this dynasty (Senakhtenre, Seqenenre and Kamose.) [20] Ryholt, however, in his 1997 reconstruction of the sequence of 17th dynasty rulers felt that a king Sobekemsaf intervened between the last Intef king and Senakhtenre. [21] whereas in more contemporary literature, Detlef Franke rejects this view (below) and argues that there is no space for a king Sobekemsaf to intervene in the space after Nubkheperre Intef. "Contrary to Ryholt, I see no place for a king Sobekemsaf who ruled after Nubkheperra Antef. Nubkheperra Antef (c.1560 BC) is the best attested (from Abydos to Edfu, e.g. BM 631, EA 1645, coffin 6652) and [the] most important of the three Antefs." [22]

Polz, in his 2007 book, places Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef as a short-lived king between the reigns of Nubkheperre Intef and Senakhtenre Ahmose—the first ruler of the Ahmoside family of kings. [23]

Nubkheperre Intef's tomb was originally penetrated by tomb robbers in 1827 but some of its treasures made it into the hands of Western collectors his unique rishi style coffin was purchased by the British Museum from the Henry Salt collection where its catalogue number is EA 6652. [24] His tomb was later found by early Egyptologists around 1881 but knowledge of its location was lost again until it was rediscovered in 2001 by German scholars. The coffin of Nubkheperre Intef was reportedly found in his tomb complete with a diadem or crown, some bows and arrows, and the heart-scarab of a king Sobekemsaf. [25]

Nubkheperre Intef's tomb was rediscovered by Daniel Polz, the deputy director of the German Archaeological Institute in 2001.


Contents

The German Egyptologist, Daniel Polz, who rediscovered Nubkheperre Intef's tomb at Dra Abu el Naga' strongly maintains that Nubkheperre Intef ruled very late in the 17th Dynasty, which means that Sekhemre Wadjkhau Sobekemsaf (I) cannot have intervened between the Intef line of kings and the Ahmoside family of kings: Senakhtenre, Seqenenre and Kamose. Polz's hypothesis that Nubkheperre Intef ruled late in the 17th Dynasty is supported "by the evidence of the box of Minemhat, who was governor of Coptos" in Year 3 of Nubkheperre Intef [5] "which was part of the funerary equipment of an Aqher who lived under Seqenenre [Tao]." [6] This discovery strongly suggests that the reigns of Nubkheperre Intef and Seqenenre Tao were separated by only a few years in time rather than 15 to 20 years at a time when few pharaohs enjoyed long reigns in the 17th Dynasty. The late Middle Kingdom German Egyptologist Detlef Franke (1952–2007) also supported this view in an article which was published in 2008—a year after his death where he wrote:

"Contrary to Ryholt, I see no place for a king Sobekemsaf who ruled [Egypt] after Nubkheperra Antef." [7]

Ryholt believed that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf intervened between the line of Intef kings and the accession of Senakhtenre—the first 17th Dynasty kings from the Ahmoside family line. Polz argues that Sekemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf was instead the father of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) and the grandfather of the Intef kings since a statue of Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf shows that his eldest son was also named Sobekemsaf as Anthony Spalinger notes. [8] This means that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf ruled on the throne before the Intef kings took power early in the 17th Dynasty—and that he would rather be Sobekemsaf I instead and the father of Sobekemsaf II. Since Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) himself is known to be the father of Nubkheperre Intef, this means that both he and Sobekemsaf I ruled Egypt before Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef assumed the throne. Sobekemsaf II would, therefore, be the son of Sobekemsaf I and the father of his two immediate successors: Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef.


The Masonic Teachings of the rosettes

The origin of rosettes on the F.C. and M.M. aprons is, believe it or not, unknown. In England they were a comparatively late introduct.

The Heart Scarab

The scarab was one of the most popular ancient Egyptian amulets. They were used as pieces of jewelry, commemorative items and seals, and magical amulets offering protection and good fortune. However, from the Middle Kingdom a specific type of scarab known as the Heart Scarab took on a very specific religious meaning and went on to become the most important amulet in the mummification and burial process.

The heart was seen as the home of the spirit, and the bodily element of the ancient Egyptian soul. In the Hall of Judgement, it was the heart which was weighed against the feather of Ma'at. If a person failed this test they would be devoured by Ammit, if they passed they would go on to enjoy a blissful afterlife. Unsurprisingly, the Egyptians were keen to protect their heart. The Heart Scarab was intended to protect the heart and act as a stand in for the heart of the deceased if it should be damaged.

However, the pragmatic ancient Egyptians also wanted to be sure that when they stood before Osiris, their heart would not speak against them. The amulet was inscribed with Spells from the Book of the Dead, in particular Spell 30 which states:

O my heart which I had from my mother, O my heart which I had upon earth, do not rise up against me as a witness in the presence of the Lord of Things do not speak against me concerning what I have done, do not bring up against me anything I have done in the presence of the Great God, Lord of the West (Osiris).

The earliest known scarab to have Spell 30 from the Book of the Dead is that of the thirteenth dynasty official Sobekhotep, and the earliest similar royal scarab is a beautiful gold and green jasper example made for the pharaoh Sobekemsaf II.

The amulet was usually carved in the shape of the scarab, representing the god Khepri who symbolized resurrection and rebirth. The heart scarab was also associated with mummification because the pupae of a scarab beetle resembles a mummy. The Egyptians also saw that the beetle would dig a shaft into the earth to bury their eggs, and the baby scarabs would later emerge from the earth. They associated this with the shaft leading into the burial chamber from which the reborn spirit would emerge.

The scarab was ideally formed from green or black stones, although examples in other colors have also been recovered. The silver scarab found in the Middle Kingdom tomb of Wah is of particular interest. Sometimes the scarab was set in gold, such as the green jasper and gold scarab of Hatnofer (father of Senenmut, New Kingdom) and the scarab of the pharaoh Sobekemsaf II. Occasionally, the amulet took the form of a human headed scarab, or a scarab with the head of another animal. Sometimes heart shaped amulets fulfilling the same function were inscribed with spell 30. From the late New Kingdom on wards, the scarab often had outstretched wings symbolizing the protection it offered.


Sobekemsaf I

Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf I was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th Dynasty. He is attested by a series of inscriptions mentioning a mining expedition to the rock quarries at Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert during his reign. One of the inscriptions is explicitly dated to his Year 7. [1] He also extensively restored and decorated the Temple of Monthu at Medamud where a fine relief of this king making an offering before the gods has survived. [2]

Sobekemsaf I's son—similarly named Sobekemsaf after his father—is attested in Cairo Statue CG 386 from Abydos which depicts this young prince prominently standing between his father's legs in a way suggesting that he was his father's chosen successor. [3] Sobekemsaf's chief wife was Queen Nubemhat she and their daughter (Sobekemheb) are known from a stela of Sobekemheb's husband, a Prince Ameni, who might have been a son of Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef or possibly Senakhtenre Ahmose. [4]


Contents

The German Egyptologist Daniel Polz, who rediscovered Nubkheperre Intef's tomb at Dra Abu el Naga', strongly maintains that Nubkheperre Intef ruled very late in the 17th Dynasty, which means that Sekhemre Wadjkhau Sobekemsaf (I) cannot have intervened between the Intef line of kings and the Ahmoside family of kings: Senakhtenre, Seqenenre and Kamose. Polz's hypothesis that Nubkheperre Intef ruled late in the 17th Dynasty is supported "by the evidence of the box of Minemhat, who was governor of Coptos" in Year 3 of Nubkheperre Intef Γ] "which was part of the funerary equipment of an Aqher who lived under Seqenenre [Tao]." Δ] This discovery strongly suggests that the reigns of Nubkheperre Intef and Seqenenre Tao were separated by only a few years in time rather than 15 to 20 years at a time when few pharaohs enjoyed long reigns in the 17th Dynasty. The late Middle Kingdom German Egyptologist Detlef Franke (1952–2007) also supported this view in an article which was published in 2008—a year after his death—where he wrote:

Contrary to Ryholt, I see no place for a king Sobekemsaf who ruled [Egypt] after Nubkheperra Antef. Ε]

Ryholt believed that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf intervened between the line of Intef kings and the accession of Senakhtenre—the first 17th Dynasty kings from the Ahmoside family line. Polz argues that Sekemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf was instead the father of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) and the grandfather of the Intef kings since a statue of Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf shows that his eldest son was also named Sobekemsaf as Anthony Spalinger notes. Ζ] This means that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf ruled on the throne before the Intef kings took power early in the 17th Dynasty—and that he would be Sobekemsaf I instead and the father of Sobekemsaf II. Since Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) himself is known to be the father of Nubkheperre Intef, this means that both he and Sobekemsaf I ruled Egypt before Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef assumed the throne. Sobekemsaf II would, therefore, be the son of Sobekemsaf I and the father of his two immediate successors: Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef.


Contents

The Abbott Papyrus deals with the tomb robberies, but the underlying puzzle is the scandal between two rivals, Paser, the mayor of the East Bank of Thebes and Pawero, the mayor of the West Bank of Thebes, and according to Peet, it was written from the point of view of Pawero. As stated above, the content of the Abbott Papyrus is broken down into descriptions of events in a four-day time period from the 18th to the 21st of the third month of the inundation period during the 16th year of Ramesses IX’s reign.

On the 18th day, the Abbott Papyrus describes a search of the tombs claimed by Pawero to be violated. The commission searched ten royal tombs, four tombs of the Chantresses of the Estate of the Divine Adoratrix, and finally the tombs of the citizens of Thebes. The result of the search is the tomb of King Sobekemsaf II, two out of the four tombs of the Chantresses of the Estate of the Divine Adoratrix, and all of the citizen tombs were disturbed. [5] [6]

On the 19th day, the Abbott Papyrus states that there was another search of tombs in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Queen Isis. The ones in charge of conducting the search brought with them a coppersmith named Peikharu from the Temple of Usimare Meriamun (Medinet Habu), who confessed in year 14 to stealing from the tomb of Isis and tombs from the Valley of the Queens. While searching, the coppersmith could not point to the tombs he violated, even after being brutally beaten. The rest of the day was spent searching the tombs, and the results showed that none of the tombs were vandalized. Also on the 19th day, there was a celebration for the tombs being undisturbed. Paser believed and stated to officials that the celebration was a direct aim at him, and he was going to report to the Pharaoh five charges against them. [7] [8]

On the 20th day, the Abbott Papyrus describes a conversation between Pawero and the vizier Khaemwaset. The conversation ended in an investigation into the five charges claimed by Paser. [9] [10]

On the 21st day, the Great Court of Thebes convened. After examining the charges made by Paser about the 19th and questioning the coppersmith, Paser is discredited. [11] [12]

Connections Edit

The Abbott Papyrus is important in the grand scheme of political trials dealing with tomb robberies. The Abbott Papyrus with relation to the Amherst Papyrus helps to form a more complete picture of the tomb robberies of the twentieth dynasty under Ramesses IX. The Abbott Papyrus connects with the Amherst Papyrus through the tomb of King Sobekemsaf. In the Abbott Papyrus, the tomb of King Sobekemsaf II was investigated and found vandalized. The Amherst Papyrus records the confession of thieves charged with vandalizing the tomb of King Sobekemsaf. [13]

The second connection also deals with tomb robberies and is made between the Abbott Dockets and a later series of tomb robbery trials which took place during the first two years of the era known as the Whm Mswt. From this era, which started in year 19 of the reign of Ramesses XI, several tomb-robbery papyri have survived, most notably: Papyrus Mayer A, Papyrus B.M. 10052, and Papyrus B.M. 10403. The list of thieves in the Abbott dockets foreshadows two trials described in Papyrus Mayer A. The first trial foreshadowed from the Abbot Dockets in Papyrus Mayer A is the trial concerning the thieves of the tombs of Ramesses II and Seti I. The other trial connection deals with thefts from tombs in the Necropolis of Thebes. The connection of the Abbott dockets with Papyrus B.M 10052 also deals with the trial of the thefts in the tombs of Thebes, but deals with information leading up to the trials. Lastly, the connection with the Abbott dockets and the Papyrus B.M 10403 deals again with trial of the thefts in the tombs of Thebes, but Papyrus B.M 10403 gives more detail on the evidence. [14]

There are many scholars who examine the Abbott Papyrus, but one of the first is T.E. Peet. Many scholars have developed theories concerning the Abbott Papyrus.

One theory is by Herbert Winlock he argues that the commission sent to inspect the tombs went from north to south, which means the tombs of the kings are found and sited in the same direction. [15]

A second theory is by Peet, and he believes that the final reports made from commission were tainted on the 19th because a year later the tomb of Queen Isis was found violated. [16]

The final theory relates to Peet’s theory. The theory was developed by Jean Capart, Alan Gardiner and B. Van de Walle. They first believe that the papyrus is a trustworthy historical account, but their main theory is that the Papyrus Leopold II is the exact counterpart to the Abbott Papyrus. They proved the theory true in the postscript of their document when the team examined the Abbott Papyrus and Papyrus Leopold II. They found that both papyri were the same height and length. Both the papyri also were written in the same script. [17]