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A glossary of terms, including bibliography

Egyptology uses a number of expressions, words, abbreviations etc which have specialised meaning and which are not always obvious. There are also some fundamental publications. This document sets out to explain terms and some book abbreviations which are used in this set of pages.

Porter and Moss, Topographical Bibliography

This is a fundamental reference work for Egyptology. It goes through Egypt site by site, giving bibliographical references for all sculptures, reliefs, and paintings known to the editors at the time. In seven original volumes, the first three (covering Thebes and the Memphite region) have gone into a second edition. An eighth volume has now appeared, dealing with objects of unknown provenance. PM, as it is known, is based in the Griffith Institute, Oxford.


'Theban Tomb', usually followed by a number, e.g. TT99. It refers to a system instigated by Gardiner and Weigall when the Private Tombs were first catalogued, and is the standard way in which Egyptologists refer to these monuments. There are presently just over 400 tombs with TT numbers, but of course there are many more.

The numbering system is published in A. H. Gardiner and A. P. Weigall, A Topographical Catalogue of the Private Tombs at Thebes (London 1913) with additions in R. Engelbach, A Supplement to the Topographical Catalogue of the Private Tombs at Thebes (Nos. 253 to 334) with some notes on the Necropolis from 1913 to 1924 (Le Caire 1924). The most recent publication dealing with the necropolis, which includes descriptions of many tombs previously unknown, is F. Kampp, Die thebanische Nekropole 2 vols (Theben 13, Mainz 1996).


Abbreviation for the series Urkunden des alten Reiches. This is series of volumes containing hand copies of important texts of various periods, started by the German Egyptologist K. Sethe at the beginning of this century. The two most well-known parts are Urk 1 (texts of the Old Kingdom, Sethe) and Urk 4 (texts of the 18th dynasty, started by Sethe and continued by Helck).


© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018