Voluntary slavery existed in Ancient Egypt

Published on January 16th, 2013 | by Sevaan Franks

0
All_Gizah_Pyramids

Ancient papyrus documents, some of which date back 2,200 years, have been found in Egypt which detail contracts where people have willingly signed themselves and their families over as slaves. Kim Ryholt, from the University of Copenhagen, believes that the people who signed these contracts may have been at the bottom of the social ladder and were trying to avoid a worse fate: hard labour.

“I am your servant from this day onwards, and I shall pay 2½ copper-pieces every month as my slave-fee before Soknebtunis, the great god.”

This is part of the translation of 100 of these papyrus slave contracts that Ryholt has spent years trying to collect and analyse. The documents were scattered in fragments across Egypt, Europe and the US after they were illicitly excavated. In one example, a contract was divided between Copenhagen and the British Museum.

[Full story]

Story: Hazem Zohny, Nature | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tags: ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
     
  • Question of the Moment

    Next month is the 195th anniversary of the birth of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, historically considered by many to be the great American novel. From the list below, my favorite novel is:

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Sponsors

  • Random Quote

    Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS. — Mahatma Gandhi

  • Popular Categories

  • Archives