The Magic of Dedi the Magician
The history of magic would not be complete without at least a brief mention of the ancient Egyptian magician called Dedi. Dedi allegedly performed before the Pharaoh Khufu known today as Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid at Gizeh. In 1823, English-born Henry Westcar discovered an ancient papyrus under circumstances that are rather unclear. After Westcar died, German Egyptologist Karl Lepsius obtained the papyrus from Westcar’s niece. It was determined that the Westcar papyrus was written in Hierac, a classical middle-style Egyptian script commonly used by early scholars and later religious writers and written in iron gall ink with a reed brush onto papyrus. The title of the papyrus reads “The Tale of King Cheops Court” (from the German translation “Die Marchen des Papyrus Westcar”). It has been established that the Westcar papyrus dates from the 18th–16th century BC during the fourth Egyptian dynasty. The papyrus is said to contain 12 stories or fables but was in very poor condition when last seen. Fragmented and frayed, it was extremely delicate and fragile. Be that as it may, it gave some valuable insight into the lifestyle during the fourth Egyptian dynasty.