THIRD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD1
Relatively few legal texts are preserved from the historically complicated and obscure Third Intermediate period proper. This is particularly the case for the Libyan Dynasties (Twenty-second through Twentyfourth);2 the Nubian Dynasty (Twenty-fifth) is more productive of juridical documents and economic contracts.3 The surviving sources for law from the Third Intermediate period and especially the Late period (Saite Dynasty onwards) do tend, however, to be more explicit than their predecessors.4 A distinguishing feature of the later New Kingdom and earlier Third Intermediate period is the prominence given to oracular or divine decrees. One has recourse to the divine for confirmation of legal, economic, and political decisions.
Malinine suggested that the relative scarcity of legal texts, specifically contracts, until about the time of Shabako (ca. 700) may reflect an actual change in Egyptian legal practice.5 The popular tradition reflected in Diodorus Siculus held that there was a legislative reform instituted by King Bocchoris (Twenty-fourth Dynasty: ca. 720–715).6____________________