Lest anyone think that the need for a #MeToo movement is a 21stcentury phenomenon, think again. A 3000-year-old Egyptian papyrus called Salt 124 is said to be the world’s first documentation of a sexual assault claim against a powerful man.
Amennakht, an Egyptian laborer and son of a former chief laborer accused his rival master craftsman Paneb, of sexually assaulting a woman named Yeyemwaw. He also accused Paneb of other crimes including grave robbing, violence, serial adultery and general debauchery.
Dating back to around 1200 B.C.E. the papyrus was discovered in the early 19thcentury, but was recently analyzed by scholars at the British Museum. Their conclusion is that this may be the oldest recorded record of an individual lodging accusations of sexual misconduct as grounds for dismissal. There was apparently no discussion of justice for the victim; in fact there is speculation that the idea of consent was not one Egyptians would have even considered in those days.
The ultimate fate of Paneb and his victim is unknown, although scholars assume that at the very least, Paneb did lose his job.
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