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By: Renate Müller-Wollermann In ancient Egypt crimes are acts against other persons or the state.

Punishments are official, not private sanctions against persons who committed crimes.

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There is no Egyptian word for “treason,” only paraphrases such as “great crime worth of death,” “great abomination of the country,” or “abomination of all gods.” The best-known case of treason is the harem conspiracy against king Ramses III, which aimed to raise a prince to the throne.

Although the king was murdered by the cutting of his throat, the plot failed, a special tribunal was established, and the culprits punished.

Despite the number of cases no punishment for murder is known, although the death penalty is likely.

Mummies and skeletons provide some evidence for killings and even murder.

According to a court protocol from Deir el-Medineh near Thebes dating to the Ramesside Period, a worker is accused of having insulted the king but his punishment is unknown.