Cyprian H.W. Fong


Cyprian H. W. Fong obtained his degree of Bachelor of Arts at the University of Hong Kong, studying History and Chinese History and Culture in 2015. In 2017 he completed a Master of Arts in Antiquity (Egyptology) at the University of Birmingham, and his research focused on the First Millennium BC. In 2020 he obtained the degree of Master of Philosophy in Egyptology at the University of Oxford, further specialising in Late Period religious texts, hieratic, and Demotic.

Since April 2021 he has been working on the project ‘Beyond the Text’ as a doctoral student and project assistant.

Re-understanding the Second Document of Breathing: An Emic Approach

Current Doctoral Project

Supervisor: Sandrine Vuilleumier

Being part of ‘Beyond the Text’ project, Cyprian’s doctoral project focuses mainly on the Second Document of Breathing, with the goal of re-examining its nature and property. As a whole, the Documents of Breathing have been studied by different scholars, but these studies have been conducted mainly from a textual perspective. A holistic view of these compositions, in particularly that regarding their compositions and applications in the general context of Graeco-Roman Thebes, is lacking. Instead of treating Documents of Breathing as standalone texts or isolated funerary compositions, they should be regarded as an integral part of the ancient Egyptian funerary practice. In other words, understanding the Documents of Breathing from an emic perspective is necessary. With this goal in mind, this doctoral project seeks to collect a primary corpus of Second Documents of Breathing and a secondary corpus of related objects, that could include funerary papyri and equipment that were discovered in the same burial locations, belonged to related people (e.g. the same families or groups with the same social status), objects that bear relevant or comparable texts, or texts written by the same people. These corpuses would then allow a multi-levelled in-depth analysis: archaeological, theological, palaeographical and orthographical, and textual perspectives, so as to reconstruct the funerary practice in Graeco-Roman Thebes and shed light on the Thebans’ usage of the Documents of Breathing, thus trying to solve the very fundamental questions of ‘how and why’ would there be an emergence of such compositions.


Cyprian H.W. Fong

Universität Basel

Departement Altertumswissenschaften

Petersgraben 51

CH-4051 Basel



(+41) 61 207 29 25