A Limestone Tablet Dating Back To 1250 B.C. Proves That Even Ancient Egyptians Called In Sick To Work, Just Like Modern Humans

Sailingstone Travel - - illustrative purposes only

You might not think we have much in common with the people who lived thousands of years ago, but it turns out there’s one major practice we share with the ancient Egyptians that still takes place in the modern world.

According to a tablet housed in the British Museum, employees called in to work and kept track of their days off on such tablets.

On the tablet, there is a list of 40 employees, along with the number of work days they missed and their reasons for missing work.

All sorts of interesting reasons were documented, ranging from illness to wrapping the dead corpse of a family member. The written record offers a glimpse into what the work-life balance was like in ancient Egypt.

The limestone tablet was discovered at Deir el-Medina, an archaeological site that was once a workmen’s village for the artisans and craftsmen who built and decorated the royal tombs.

It dates back to 1250 B.C., and both sides are covered with New Egyptian hieratic script. The text was written in red and black ink.

The days of each worker’s absences were delineated by season and number, such as “month 4 of Winter, day 24.” On that particular day, a worker named Pennub was unable to come to work because his mother was sick.

Other employees had illnesses of their own to contend with, like Huynefer, who regularly experienced “suffering with his eye.”

Furthermore, someone named Seba was bitten by a scorpion. Several other employees, like Buqentuf, needed time off to embalm and wrap their dead relatives.

Sailingstone Travel – – illustrative purposes only

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