2000–2001 Annual Report
Edward F. WenteDuring the past academic year Edward F. Wente has been devoting some time studying certain Coffin Text spells involving father and son. Inscribed on the interiors of Middle Kingdom coffins as aids for a deceased individual, these spells, which are of considerable philological and religious interest, seem originally to have been used by a living person and express the interdependent and reciprocal relationship between a son and his deceased father. Two of the spells contain predictions about the longevity of the living son, and Wente is exploring the possibility that they may reflect the existence of an individual at Heliopolis who functioned either as a seer or interpreter of oracles. Several articles by Wente have appeared in the recently published Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, and his article on ancient Egyptian esotericism and mysticism has been submitted to Harvard University Press for inclusion in a projected encyclopedia of ancient religions.
Revised: June 6, 2007