A central issue of Egyptological research is the question of dating the original composition of religious or literary texts. Very prominent is a lively debate about the date of composition of a number of literary texts, traditionally dated to the Late First Intermediate Period or the Early Middle Kingdom but known only from New Kingdom manuscripts. Over the last years, several attempts have been made to date the production of some of these texts much closer to their first physical appearance. More recently the discussion has heated
up considerably with contributions that argue for a New Kingdom origin of Merikare, Neferti, and Amenemhet—a reassessment based on conceptions of Egyptian cultural history or on linguistic analysis. On the other hand, there is an equally strong tendency to retain at least the early datings or to propose even earlier ones for some literary and many more religious texts.
This volume presents both overviews and in-depth case studies of current Egyptological dating practices and methods. While giving the 'state of the art' of dating Egyptian literary texts, the book also addresses important methodological issues to provide a basis for future research.