The Contribution of Papyrus Ashmolean Museum 1945.97 (“Naunakht’s Will & Related Documents”) to Our Understanding of The Ancient Egyptian Testamentary Disposition and Succession Law

Author Nicolaas J van Blerk

ISSN: 2411-7870
Affiliations: LLB MA D Litt et Phil (Ancient Near Eastern Studies)
Source: Fundamina, Volume 27 Issue 1, p. 101-142


The New Kingdom Papyrus Ashmolean Museum 1945.97 (better known as “Naunakht’s will and related documents”) can assist us in gaining a better understanding of ancient Egyptian testamentary dispositions and its succession law. A problem that must be borne in mind when studying any ancient text, is that one should never impose modern legal concepts on these ancient texts. Nonetheless, these ancient texts may contain building blocks of later legal concepts. In particular, Naunakht’s will may provide valuable information on concepts and elements pertaining to succession law in general. In addition, it may provide further valuable information on testamentary dispositions in particular and may indicate that the building blocks of succession law are much older than Roman law.