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Ancient Egyptian Punishments

n example of such documentation is the record of the famous trial of the tomb robbers, recorded on the Leopold II - Amherst Papyrus.This document, now in the British Museum, records the robbery of tombs during the reigns of Ramesses IX and Ramesses XI.

 The thief Amenpanufer confesses before Ramesses IX that "We went to rob tombs in accordance with our regular habit, and found the pyramid tomb of King Sekhemreshedtawdy....". While the papyrus documents the thief's guilt, it does not provide the actual punishment.

 We also have the Salt Papyrus, which is a petition of the workman Amennakhte denouncing the crimes of the foreman Paneb, another papyrus that documents tomb robbery. Tomb robbery was considered to be one of the most heinous crimes.


Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Of course, there are any number of other documented legal proceedings. From these, we know of the punishment in criminal proceedings. For example, from court documents at Deir el-Medina, we know that punishment for stolen or embezzled goods might be as simple as the return of the goods with a fine of twice their value.

Simple corporal punishment could involve a hundred strokes of the cane and in more serious cases, 5 bleeding cuts added, or brands as a sign of permanent dishonor. The Pharaoh himself might very well decide the most important criminal cases, or at other times he might appoint a special commission with full authority to pass judgement. Depending on the severity of the case, being exiled to Nubia or the Western Oasis, or sent to to labor in the distant mines or quarries was not uncommon.

Some crimes were punished with mutilation consisting of cutting off a hand, tongue, nose or ears. In extreme cases, capital punishment was inflicted by implement on a stake, burning alive, drowning or decapitation. Because the guilty had violated Ma'at, it was also assumed the individual would suffer failure, poverty, sickness, blindness or deafness, with the final settlement awaiting in the Court of the Dead. It should be noted that, while ancient Egyptian punishment is often seen as barbaric, there was some support of basic human rights. For example the pharaoh Bocchoris suppressed imprisonment for debt.
 
There were many laws in Egypt, for there was a lot of punishment for breaking a law. One of the punishments was one hundred strokes of the cane, and if the crime was worse, five bleeding cuts were added. Other punishments included branding, exile, mutilation, drowning, decapitation, and burned alive.

The worst crime was tomb raiding as the treasures of the tomb was sacred. A lot of punishment in ancient Egypt were fatal, such as drowning, decapitation, and burned alive. Pharaoh General decided what would happen to the criminal.
 
The ancient Egyptians did not leave us a code of law, but they lived in a society where good and evil were distinguished and acutely felt. Literary texts towards harmony in society, but the crime and the punishment was often severe exist. Nor riches, nor the nobility raised a person above the law. High treason committed by powerful nobles and officials were treated harshly. Armed with sticks, the police guarding public places, at times making use of dogs or, more rarely without doubt, trained monkeys.

Prevention of crime and the apprehension of criminals was the duty of local officials and police. They have opened investigations following complaints from citizens. During the Old Kingdom, there was apparently no professional judges. The cases were tried before the courts of scribes and priests appointed for this purpose, with officials, or even sometimes two viziers of the President.


Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments


Ancient Egyptian Punishments

Ancient Egyptian Punishments



The concept of Maat was significant in the legal framework. Maat, the goddess of the world order represented truth, balance and justice in the universe. This concept allowed that everyone, except slaves, should be considered equal before the law, regardless of the position of wealth or social status.

Minor offenses such as personal attack could see a person Whipped be sold as slaves or sent to a worker in one of the countries construction projects or mines. There are cases where the culprits had their hands, nose, tongue and feet cut off as a punishment. Also the role of punishment continues after death. After the death of Egyptian life was to prepare him / her for the journey into the afterlife. They mummified body, provided the deceased with food and other items to support him / her.


Ancient Egyptian Punishments Video

The Ib (heart) the individual has acknowledged the good and bad deeds of the deceased to the gods, and was examined by the god Anubis. During the ceremony weighing-of-the-heart, Ib was then weighed with the feather of truth (Ma'at). If the heart is heavy, it was eaten by the demon Ammit.



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