|Ancient Egypt and Archaeology Web Site|
The Semna Despatches, 12th Dynasty from the Ramesseum (EA 10752/3). Part of hieratic papyrus with reports by the Fortresses Commanders on the tracking of a group of 32 Nubians and 3 asses. This level of monitoring must have taken high levels of resources, as did the extensive communication between Buhen (and other fortresses) and Thebes.
The document was found with other papyri in a Middle Kingdom tomb under the Ramesseum in 1896 by James Quibell, are detailed administrative records, probably mainly originating mainly from the fort of Semna on the southern border. They record the arrival and departure of various groups of Nubians, and include the reports of various surveillance parties who were tracking in the desert. The texts show that the Egyptians carefully monitored the movement of people and controlled trading activities.