Ancient Egyptian tablet is an "attendance sheet" listing excuses for missing work

A 3,200 year-old ancient Egyptian tablet, held by the British Museum, was a work supervisor's attendance sheet used to register the reasons workers were absent. The article in My Modern Met is here.

"Other employees were absent due to their own illnesses. One Huynefer was frequently "suffering with his eye." Seba, meanwhile, was bit by a scorpion. Several employees also had to take time off to embalm and wrap their deceased relatives.

"Some reasons may seem strange to modern ears. "Brewing beer" is a common excuse. Beer was a daily fortifying drink in Egypt and was even associated with gods such as Hathor. As such, brewing beer was a very important activity. Fetching stones or helping the scribe also took time in the workers' lives.

"Another reason is "wife or daughter bleeding." This is a reference to menstruation. Clearly men were needed on the home front to pick up some slack during this time. While one's wife menstruating is not an excuse one hears nowadays, certainly the ancients seem to have had a similar work-life juggling act to perform."

I think brewing beer should be revived as a valid reason for skipping a workday, praise Hathor.

"Please excuse Huynefer from work today. He is suffering with his eye. Signed, Huynefer's Mother"