Secondary epigraphy and interaction with transfigured dead: the case of Nikauizezi, Saqqara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents an overview of so-called ‘secondary’ epigraphy (dipinti and graffiti) in the tomb chapel of an early sixth dynasty official named Nikauizezi in Saqqara, ranging from a rare painted hieroglyphic inscription (dipinto) recording the day and month of Nikauizezi’s burial, through to semi-hieratic scratched additions (graffiti) of names, perhaps left by Nikauizezi’s extended household. The chapter reflects on different modes of inscription-making that are sometimes identified as being ‘added’ or ‘secondary’ as belonging, instead, to the process of completing a decorated tomb-chapel, and how they are different to inscriptions which are clearly graffiti (sensu stricto). The latter may tentatively be considered an ancient response to a sacred environment—a dwelling-place for the transfigured dead—and mark the ongoing salience of the chapel through time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVariability in the earlier Egyptian mortuary texts
EditorsCarlos Gracia Zamacona
Place of PublicationLeiden ; Boston
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789004677982
ISBN (Print)9789004677975
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameHarvard Egyptological Studies


  • Nikauizezi
  • Teti
  • Graffiti
  • Secondary epigraphy
  • Hieroglyphs
  • Hieratic
  • Saqqara
  • Old Kingdom
  • Scribes


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