The Papyrus D’Orbiney

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The Papyrus D’Orbiney


The same old story?

story by Willemijn Waal

What does a papyrus written in the 13th century BCE have to do with the biblical story of Joseph? The answer to this question may surprise you. Since the decipherment of the Egyptian Hieroglyphs and the cuneiform script in the 19th century AD, it has become clear that many stories known from the Bible already circulated in the ancient Near East for hundreds, if not thousands of years. A well-known example is the Genesis flood narrative, of which a strikingly similar version was recorded on clay tablets in the 2nd millennium BCE. The tale of Joseph presents another intriguing case of a story that reveals traces of a much older tradition.

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