Series Černý MSS 6 - Graffiti

Identity area

Reference code

Černý MSS 6




  • 1918-1970 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 folder

Context area

Name of creator


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Content and structure area

Scope and content

38 groups of records and notes on graffiti, including tracings, transcriptions and maps.
Notes and indexes mainly for Theban graffiti and the Nubian graffiti.
A set of proofs for a part of Graffiti de la montagne thébaine.
The Theban material largely covers work on the Theban mountain in the 1960s and includes preparation of graffiti lists for publication.
There are also some graffiti Černý consulted for A. J. Arkell in the late 1940s/early 1950s.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged by theme.

Conditions of access and use area

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Language of material

  • Ancient Egyptian
  • Arabic
  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Some tracings require careful handling - fragile paper. Identified in individual files.

Finding aids

Černý MSS, typewritten catalogue.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Photographs of graffiti:
-Černý MSS 2.2-3, 3A (Valley of the Kings)
-Černý MSS 2.79A (forecourt of Luxor temple)
-Černý MSS 2.88-94 (hieratic graffiti probably from Medinet Habu)
-Černý MSS 2.94A (Karnak)
-Černý MSS 2.95-6 (the mastaba of Ptahshepses)
-Černý MSS 2.144-75 (Wādi el-'Allāḳi)
See also:
-Černý MSS 5.187-221
-Černý MSS 21.57-62 - (correspondence with R. O. Faulkner)

Černý notebooks containing transcriptions and other records of graffiti:
-Černý MSS 17.11 (Osireion, Abydos, Kom Ombo)
-Černý MSS 17.13 (Saqqara, Step pyramid)
-Černý MSS 17.21 (Thebes, from Černý's first year in Egypt and the 1920s)
-Černý MSS 17.78 (Beni Hasan graffiti)
-Černý MSS 17.126
-Černý MSS 17.138 (graffiti from Theban tombs - Pairi, TT 139)
-Černý MSS 17.139 Graffito from Medinet Habu (p. 2), Coptic graffiti from the Temple of Deir el-Medina
-Černý MSS 17. 140 (Theban necropolis graffiti)
-Černý MSS 17.143-4 (Theban necropolis graffiti, in 17.144 also Abydos graffiti)
-Černý MSS 17.149 (Nubian graffiti, including Abahuda)
-Černý MSS 17.154 (Nubia, Kasr Ibrim graffiti)
-Černý MSS 17.155 (Nubia, Ellesiya graffiti)
-Černý MSS 17.175-9 (Theban graffiti, hieratic and hieroglyphic)

Černý - Lexa correspondence, fonds F. Lexa, Archive of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

Gunn MSS
Gardiner MSS

Publication note

Černý 5.187-221 (Graffiti Wādi el-'Allāḳi), published as:
Černý, J., 'Graffiti at the Wādi el-'Allāḳi', in Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 33 (1947), 52-57 (OEB 52).
Visitor's graffiti from Saqqara:
Contributions by J. Černý in Firth, C. M. andQuibell, J. E., The Step Pyramid, vol. i (1935) (OEB 139530).

Notes area


Černý proposed an integrated plan of study of West Theban archaeological and written resources in the 1920s (in a letter to F. Lexa). He began a collection of Theban graffiti texts already during his first sojourn in Egypt in 1925 and continued since. He was in contact with Wilhelm Spiegelberg and Battiscombe Gunn, as well as Herbert Eustis Winlock. Spiegelberg and Winlock encouraged Černý in his graffiti studies, according to Černý's own recollection.
Gunn consulted his graffiti finds from the Eckley B. Coxe expedition activities in Maidum with Černý. These consultations led to a manuscript of a revised publication of the Maidum visitors' graffiti, which was not published and now forms part of the Gunn MSS (Notebook 54), and the Eckley B. Coxe Expedition archive, Philadelphia.
Having established his reputation as a specialist for hieratic ostraca and graffiti, Černý was invited to participate in the edition of visitors' graffiti from Saqqara (in the 1930s), which resulted in a contribution to, Firth, C. M. andQuibell, J. E., The Step Pyramid, vol. i (1935) .


For early graffiti studies the available materials consist of transcriptions and notes in notebooks and in references in Černý's correspondence with F. Lexa (Academy of Sciences Prague, the fonds Lexa, correspondence), and B. G. Gunn (Gunn MSS, Griffith Institute Archive).


Černý MSS 6.20 - Not used.

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