New Kingdom Egyptian justice with a happy ending: towards an understanding of OI 12073

02 Feb 2018

This article offers a new assessment of the events described in Chicago Ostracon OI 12073: a series of Twentieth Dynasty court cases concerned with debt repayment. Particular attention is drawn to the way in which the matter was ultimately resolved after eighteen years of litigation, including the function of the oath and the nature and significance of the eventual financial settlement. Some wider implications of this study for Egyptological research into judicial process are also put forward, most notably with regards to the capacity of local courts to resolve complex cases with long histories in ways acceptable to both litigating parties.