These days we hear horror stories about sexual assaults on women from all over then country and all the bad boys who display this bad behavior. But will it be surprising to know that these crimes aren’t actually new, and began in a small ancient Egyptian flourishing village? In an unusual discovery, an ancient Egyptian papyrus as old as 3,000 year old is being reassessed in the wake of powerful men accused of rape and sexual assault.
Experts are revisiting the script, known as Papyrus Salt 124, which is being held by the British Museum, to examine ancient cultural attitudes to sexual politics.
It outlines a string of alleged morally corrupt actions by an important chief master artisan called Paneb, who oversaw construction work on the pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Experts believe it could be one of the first ever records of a man being fired for sexual assault.
The powerful Egyptian Paneb, was the chief foreman in a community of artisans who built royal tombs in the ancient city. He was known as the notorious ancient Egyptian bad boy, and worked in the workman’s village of Deir el-Medina around 1244 BC, during the reign of the great Pharaoh Ramses II.
The city was a unique community set in on the west bank of the Nile, where workmen cut and decorated the magnificent tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings and their families.
The bad boy Paneb was one of these workman and succeeded his father to hold one of the most coveted positions as one of the two foremen of the gang. But according to the papyrus, the true extent of the Paneb’ s alleged crimes was obvious and this prompted historians to take the manuscript seriously for the first time.
Paneb not only stole goods from royal tombs, damaged sacred ground, used own men for personal use, but committed adultery with local housewives. Here, a part of his notorious legacy lies in the British Museum:
Paneb is said to have overtook Amennakht’s inherited position by bribing the vizier. He therefore became the highest official in ancient Egypt during the reign of Sethi II, Siptah, Tawosret, Setnakhte and Ramesses III.
The names of numerous women Paneb allegedly sexually assaulted, have been marked as a single crime in the complaint by his arch rival Amennakht. Among his many crimes are the assault and ‘debauching’ of a string of women in Thebes in 1200 BC.
The story of Paneb is not new, but it is wise to examine ancient cultural attitudes to sexual politics, for the sake of knowledge and understanding where it originated from.
For more such interesting topics, follow TopYaps.