The Egyptians made use of texts and art forms dating back to sometimes more than 1,000 years. Why did they do this, and how? This book is about the great value of traditions in Ancient Egypt.
A case in point is the Egyptian settlement of Siut, where, during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom texts were recorded in tombs and on funerary equipment of high officials: mortuary liturgies, biographies, lists of decans, etcetera.
Surprisingly, many hundreds, sometimes even more than a thousand years later these same texts reappear in other regions of Egypt, especially Thebes.
Applying methods of a long tradition of textual criticism, and of the so-called 'Verfahren der Kennwertbestimmung' (a method which makes it possible to capture in numbers the degrees of 'family relationship' between texts), the author solves the questions of (1) the ways and the working of the actual transmission system, and (2) the underlying reasons for copying and the significance of the Siutian tradition for the 'kulturelles Gedächtnis'.
Jochem Kahl, Ph.D. (1992) in Egyptology, University of Tübingen, Habilitation (1998), University of Münster, is Hochschuldozent at the University of Münster. He has published on the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt, Egyptian writing and text transmission.
'The book also provides a fine introduction to the text criticism, a tool with considerable potential for Egyptology, particularly for the study of Pyramid and Coffin Texts, Books of the Dead, and other canonical funerary texts…This book is thus a valuable contribution to Egyptology, because it provides evidence that the ancient Egyptians preserved, consulted, and copied canonical texts in regional libraries from at least the New Kingdom onwards. It is also valuable because it suggests that text criticism can be used to reconstruct the transmission histories of such canonical texts.'
B.P. Muhs, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 2001.