A central issue of Egyptological research is the question of dating the original
composition of religious or literary texts. Very prominent is a lively debate about the
date of composition of a number of literary texts, traditionally dated to the Late First
Intermediate Period or the Early Middle Kingdom but known only from New Kingdom
manuscripts. Over the last years, several attempts have been made to date the production
of some of these texts much closer to their fi rst physical appearance. More recently
the discussion has heated up considerably with contributions that argue for a New
Kingdom origin of Merikare, Neferti, and Amenemhet—a reassessment based on conceptions
of Egyptian cultural history or on linguistic analysis. On the other hand, there is an
equally strong tendency to retain at least the early datings or to propose even earlier
ones for some literary and many more religious texts.
Th is volume presents both overviews and in-depth case studies of current Egyptological dating practices and methods. While giving the ‘state of the art’ of dating Egyptian literary texts, the book also addresses important methodological issues to provide a basis for future research.