Writing board of an apprentice scribe

Period: First Intermediate Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 11 or earlier

Date: ca. 2030 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Wood, whitewash, ink

Dimensions: H. 22 cm (8 11/16 in); w. 8.5 cm (3 3/8 in)

Credit Line: Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1928

Accession Number: 28.9.5


It is clear from the awkwardly formed hieroglyphs and their uneven spacing that this is the work of an apprentice scribe who was practicing his penmanship. The writing board could be used again and again by scraping or wiping off the ink and adding a new coat of whitewash. Another writing board in the collection shows corrections made in red ink.