Statue of Intendant Hapy as a scribe
Statue of Intendant and Administrator of the Temple of Amun, Hapy, reading from a papyrus roll. The scribe’s job was one of the most important in ancient Egypt, for he was the representative of culture, science, knowledge, and literature. In this regard, scribes are considered the main founders of its civilization.
The scribe’s role was largely administrative, but also preserved Egypt’s stories and oral traditions, just like writers today continue to fulfill the same role. The priesthood scribes in temples thus played a great part in the preservation of ancient texts through editing and revising religious, theological, ritual, medical, and magical texts.
In ancient Egypt, a scribe held a significant role in society. Scribes were highly educated individuals who were trained in reading, writing, and mathematics. They were responsible for recording and preserving important information such as legal documents, religious texts, and historical records.
Scribes also played a crucial role in the administration of the government, as they were involved in the collection of taxes, keeping accounts, and maintaining records of the kingdom’s resources. Their expertise in writing and record-keeping made them indispensable to the functioning of ancient Egyptian society.
New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1279-1213 BC. Sandstone. Georges Legrain Excavations, 1904. From Karnak Cachette. Now in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), Cairo. JE 36914, CG 42184