Foy Scalf

Foy Scalf
University of Chicago | UC · Oriental Institute

PhD

About

29
Publications
9,372
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22
Citations
Introduction
Foy Scalf is a scholar, librarian, and humanist interested in the history of the ancient world, the methods of its study, and how to spread that knowledge. He is Research Associate; Head of Research Archives; and Head of the the Integrated Database Project at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He also acts as Principal Investigator for a corpus-based digital project known as OIDOO, the Oriental Institute Demotic Ostraca Online. He curated the exhibit “Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt” and edited its catalog. He works at the intersection of texts, religion, and society, and is currently working on a monograph about Demotic funerary literature as well as a co-authored edition of a Demotic archive belonging to a Theban necropolis worker.
Education
September 2004 - June 2014
University of Chicago
Field of study
  • Egyptology

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
Many ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts inscribed with funerary compositions contain annotations within the text and margins. Some of these annotations relate directly to the production process for illustrating and inscribing the manuscripts by providing instructions for scribes and artists. Two overlooked examples, pKhaemhor (MMA 25.3.212) and p...
Article
Full-text available
A publication of the papyrus of Iry-Iry in full with accurate identification of its contents. As a result, a Memphite hymn to Osiris has been identified from several sources gathered together with P. Iry-Iry. In addition, a new source for the introductory section of the Book of Caves (BD 168) has been discovered, known previously only from the papy...
Article
Full-text available
In the past twenty years, important theoretical developments have had significant impacts on how scholars of the ancient Near East articulate their ideas and interpretations of materiality. The focus of this growing body of literature has often been on the physical form of objects, the importance of the media into which their forms are embedded, an...
Article
Full-text available
In the recent exhibition catalog Death Dogs: The Jackal Gods of Ancient Egypt by Terry Wilfong, there appeared as number thirty-two a papyrus inscribed with a Demotic text accompanied by a rather interesting illustration (fig. 1). Wilfong mentions that the “text is, as yet, unedited, but the illustration — showing a jackal-headed god most likely to...
Article
In recent years, a renewed focus has emerged on the dynamic vitality witnessed in the production and transmission of Egyptian funerary literature during the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods. The so-called Books of Breathing have been central to this ongoing discussion. In the following article, a new analysis of the First Book of Breathing is provided b...
Book
Full-text available
The Archive of Thotsutmis, Son of Panouphis presents for the first time one of the largest collections of Demotic ostraca to have been discovered intact by archaeologists in the twentieth century. Rarely have such deposits been found in situ. Excavated by Ambrose Lansing on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1915–16 at the site of Deir el...
Presentation
Online interview for Oriental Institute in on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VadMR0RW4CY
Article
Full-text available
On display in the Research Archives of the Oriental Institute is a large wooden cabinet made in 1929 by Hamilton Manufacturing Company. Although Hamilton himself started out making wood type in 1880, the printer’s cabinet in the Research Archives was designed to hold a metal letterpress set. Inside its forty-eight drawers are thousands of pieces of...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the Oriental Institute Oral History Project and its recent successes.
Chapter
Full-text available
This article describes and edits several embalming bowls inscribed in Demotic with texts related to the mortuary cult.
Book
This book explores what the Book of the Dead was to the ancient Egyptians, what it means to us today, what it was believed to do, how it worked, how it was made, and ultimately what happened to it. Edited by Foy Scalf, PhD, this volume includes fourteen essays showcasing the latest research on the Book of the Dead written by thirteen internationall...
Article
Full-text available
The Oriental Institute Integrated Database Forges New Connections to the Worlds of Big Data and Digital Humanities, at a Critical Moment for Cultural Heritage Stewardship.
Chapter
Full-text available
This article publishes a collection of jar fragments inscribed with Demotic votive texts now kept in the Oriental Institute Museum. The texts indicate that the jars were used in the context of the animal cult dedicated to the Thoth, the ibis, and most likely derived from the Theban area.
Article
Full-text available
With a continuous tradition spanning more than two millennia, funerary texts from ancient Egypt offer an excellent data set for studying how compositions were composed and passed on in the ancient Near East. Clear evidence demonstrates the importance and mechanics of scribal copying in the transmission process. What remain less clear are the method...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines a difficult passage from the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (pHermitage 1115, 150). Near the end of the story, the official relates the good deeds which will be performed on behalf of the divine snake if he allows the official to return home. The snake's enigmatic response has provoked a variety of interpretations. It may be p...
Article
Full-text available
Stemming from an observation of Alan H. Gardiner, studies of Egyptian grammar have unanimously agreed about the function of the m of predication. According to the generally accepted view, the m of predication is employed to indicate secondary or acquired characteristics in identity statements. However, a diachronic examination of the use of the m o...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
The Oriental Institute’s Integrated Database Project aims to provide public access to information about the diverse research and object-based collections managed and cared for by the Oriental Institute via an online Collections Search. The project began in 2005 and has involved migrating data from the older databases to our new KE EMu (Electronic Museum) database. For public access to information about the Oriental Institute's collections, a public website portal was created and functional development to this "front end" will continue for the foreseeable future to provide access to more data and improve user experience.
Project
The goal of the Oriental Institute Oral History Project is to collect and preserve information about the Institute, its history, its population, and their experiences. Oral traditions represent a unique perspective on institutional history rarely captured by conventional research and publication methods. In order to collect samples of Oriental Institute oral traditions, the project will conduct voluntary interviews with various members or former members of the Oriental Institute community. Interviews will be recorded in both video and audio formats. The original files will be cataloged and stored in the Oriental Institute digital repository (for further information on the digital repository, see the Integrated Database Project). An edited version of the files will be released publicly on official Oriental Institute platforms, websites, and social media. The project coordinators are Foy Scalf, Head of Research Archives and the Integrated Database Project, and Anne Flannery, Head of Museum Archives and Digital Content Specialist. Knut Boehmer provides all IT and audio/visual support for this project.
Project
The O.I.D.O.O database was developed as both a scholarly research tool and a means for the publication of the unpublished Oriental Institute Demotic ostraca. It is our aim to make available all of the Demotic ostraca in the Oriental Institute collection, both published and unpublished, to scholars worldwide in a format that will allow for complex searching and sorting criteria as well as quick and easy updating. This will be accomplished through periodic updates as additional texts are edited and entered into the OCHRE database platform, which provides an extensive and flexible tool-set for corpus-based analysis.