This study is a revision of the doctoral dissertation, "The Historical Development of the Game of Senet and its Significance for Egyptian Religion" (University of Chicago, 1990). Over the years, it benefited greatly from the assistance of many colleagues and friends. The members of my dissertation committee were generous with their time and insight: Edward Wente, Janet Johnson, Robert Biggs, and the late Klaus Baer and Helene Kantor. I am particularly grateful to Robert Biggs, who stepped in unhesitatingly and replaced Klaus after the latter's untimely death in 1987.
I originally performed most of the field work for this study in 1979 and 1980 while employed by the Oriental Institute Epigraphic Survey at Chicago House, Luxor. Thereafter, further field work was made possible by a grant from the University of Chicago through its overseas grant program for dissertation research. Between 1984 and 1991, I was able to add to my corpus of senet boards during various stays working in Egypt on expeditions.
Very special thanks are due to the Supreme Council for Egyptian Antiquities for permitting me to conduct research in the necropoli of Giza, Saqqara, Abu Sir, Western Thebes, and Aswan. Many thanks also to officials in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, for their permission to conduct research there and for their active assistance in the course of that work. The Oriental Institute provided me with significant logistical support for my research in Chicago. Similarly, I wish to acknowledge Dorothea Arnold of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as Timothy Kendall, then of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for allowing me to examine gameboards in their respective collections and for providing photographs for study. Likewise, the British Museum, London, T. G. H. James and Vivian Davies, deserve special mention for the consideration which they showed to me and for allowing me complete access to the collection of Egyptian and Mesopotamian gameboards.
Other individuals or institutions who rendered advice or provided information in one form or another were: Eugene Cruz-Uribe, Helen Jacquet, Herman teVelde, Peter Dorman, Richard Jasnow, Joseph Manning, John Darnell, Geoffrey Martin, Rainer Stadelmann, Laszlo Kakosy, John Larson, Jeanny Vorys Canby, May Trad, Robert Ritner, Dianne Campoy, William Murnane, Peter Lacovara, Carolyn Andrews, Irving Finkel, Henk Milde, Karl Seyfried, the Ashmolean Museum, Jaromir Malek and the Griffith Institute, Labib Habachi, the Inspectorates of Antiquities in Giza, Saqqara, Mallawi, Assiut, Qena, Luxor (East and West Banks), Edfu, and Aswan, the Zagazig Museum, the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology, and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Kairo.
In its early phases, this study was facilitated by the advice of the late Henri Wild and Winfried Needler who freely shared so much of their data with me. Sadly, neither lived to see the completion of the dissertation. W. Raymond Johnson, who has been a constant friend, inked in several of the drawings, including the synoptic edition of the great game-text. Mr. Chuck Jones, director of the Research Archives of the Oriental Institute, deserves very special mention for his assistance, empathy, and the answers to my many bibliographical questions over the years.
I must also acknowledge the unflagging moral, professional and technical support of the staff of the Epigraphic Survey at Chicago House, while I was employed there.
Chapter I. Toward a Definition of Senet Defining the Game of Senet The System of Numbering the Squares The Typology of Senet Boards Slab-style Senet Board Graffito Senet Board Box-type Senet Board Peripheral Equipment for the Senet Game Draughtsmen Casting Sticks Astragali Teetotem Dice Conclusion Chapter II. Senet from the Predynastic Period Through the Middle Kingdom Senet and Draught-Games Prior to the Old Kingdom Senet in the Old and Middle Kingdoms The Mastaba of Hzy-R' The Mastaba of R' -Htp The Senet Boards of el-Hawawish The Coffin of the Lady 'It Senet Boards of the Old and Middle Kingdoms Graffito Boards Synthesis of the Board Decoration Representations of Senet-playing Senet-scenes of the Old and Middle Kingdoms The Model Boats of Nfwi and Mk.t-R' and the Orientation of the Players Synthesis of the Senet-Scenes Senet in the Coffin Texts CT Spell 405: Communication with the Hereafter CT Spell 1019: Passing Through the Necropolis A Spiritual Meaning for Gaming Draughtsmen Chapter III. The Senet-Related Inscriptions of the New Kingdom and Later Introduction Defining the Textual Sources The Game-Texts: Generic Description The Great Game-Text Documentation of the Variants pCairo 58037 Tomb of Inherkhau (TT No. 359) pTurin 1.775 The Great Game-Text:Translation and Commentary General Remarks Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary The Tjaynefer Game-Text Documentation and Description Text A Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary Text B Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary Text C Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary Heading from the Tomb of Amenemopet (TT No. 265) Description Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary The Petosiris Game-text Documentation and Description Translation and Commentary Translation Textual and Grammatical Commentary Chapter IV. Analysis and Synthesis of the Great Game-Text The Great Game-Text as Religious Process The Funerary Character of the Great Game-Text The Concept of "Passing" and Notions about Initiation in the Senet Process The Senet Game and the Nature of "Passing" The Senet-playing in the Tomb of Sennedjem (TT No. 1) Senet, "Passage" and Initiation The Origins of Afterlife Passage in the Senet Game Mehen, God of Mysteries Mehen as Ally Mehen, Foremost of Senet Mehen as Guide Mehen as Initiator Thoth, First of the Thirty The Council of the Thirty: History, Cosmology and Meaning for Senet Chapter V. Isolating a Senet-Based Religious Ritual Introduction The Pattern of Decoration in Squares No. 26-30 of the Senet Board The Sequence of the Squares on New Kingdom Senet Boards The Game-Squares of ROM 922.17 (D.195) Senet-Scenes of the New Kingdom Senet in Book of the Dead Chapter 17 Coffin Text Spell 335: Predecessor of BD 17 Book of the Dead Chapter 17 The Vignettes of BD 17 and Representations of Playing Senet The Dissociation of Senet from Book of the Dead Chapter 17 Turin Papyrus 1.775 and the Senet Ritual The Sequence of Squares in the Great Game-Text The Orientation of the Game-Squares The Unified Character of pTurin 1.775 The Text of Tjaynefer and Amenemopet The Ritualized Usage of the Senet Board The Manipulation of pTurin 1.775 The Physical Evidence The Decorative Evidence Chapter VI. The Later History of Senet and Its Calendrical Associations The Later History of Senet Rhampsinitus and the Game of Senet Senet and Setne Khamwas 1 Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 470 The Calendrical Implications of the Senet Game The Houses of Thoth and Horus The Sixth Day Feast The Feast of the Mid-Month Senet and the Reconciliation of Solar and Lunar Cosmologies Chapter VII. Conclusions: Senet in a Religious Context Synopsis The Evidence of a Senet Ritual The Essence of the Ritual The Circumstances and Location of the Ritual The Participants in the Senet Ritual Passage and Renewal: The Underlying Themes Appendices: A. Corpus of Ancient Egyptian Senet Boards B. List of Decorated Squares No. 26-30 of Egyptian Senet Boards C. List of Senet-scenes of the New Kingdom and Later D. List of Citations: Senet References in CT Spell 335 and Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead E. Selected Scenes of Senet-playing Plates Bibliography