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Egypt unveils papyri showing daily life of pyramid-builders

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has begun putting on display the country’s oldest papyri, which date back 4,500 years, detailing the daily life of the pyramid-builders.

The items are from the 4th Dynasty of King Khufu, also known as Cheops, for whom the Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb.

Egypt’s Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany tells reporters that the papyri were discovered in 2013 by an Egyptian-French mission inside caves in the port of Wadi el-Jarf.

El-Anany says the items display are “the oldest” papyri in Egypt. Museum chief Tarek Tawfiq said the papyruses depict the daily routine of the workers, who also transferred building material

A visitor looks at one of the oldest papyri in the history of Egyptian writing among the collection of King Khufu papyri discovered at Wadi El-Jarf port, as it is on display for the first time at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, July 14, 2016. (AP/Amr Nabil)
A visitor looks at one of the oldest papyri in the history of Egyptian writing among the collection of King Khufu papyri discovered at Wadi El-Jarf port, as it is on display for the first time at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, July 14, 2016. (AP/Amr Nabil)

from the Red Sea port to Giza.

One of the papyri belonged to a senior employee named Marr who played a role in the building of the pyramid and it covered a period of three months of his job, providing information about his duties — including transporting rocks through the River Nile and its canals, says Hussein Abdel-Bassir, another ministry official.

A second ministry official, Sabah Abdel-Razek, tells the state-news agency MENA that other papyri showed the distribution of food portions for workers, including one showing in clear Egyptian hieroglyphs the number of sheep brought in.

— AP

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