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Artefact ID395
TM IDTM 64443
Findspot (DEChriM ID)12   (Ismant al-Ḫarāb)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary, Subliterary

P.Kellis II 97; P.Kell. Gr. 97; P. Kellis

Several papyrus fragments from two folios containing religious texts, inter alia a text with affinities to the apocryphal Acts of John, and a Manichean psalm.

The fragments appear to have been written by the same scribe; the script and the format suggests that these fragments probably belonged to the same codex; see the ref. ed. The reference edition divides the fragments into three groups: A.1, A.2, B.1-3:

The text of A.1 contains allusions to the Acts of John 84, 85:9-10, 106:6-12, and 109:1-3.
The contents of A.2 are indeterminate, but terminology could point to a Gnostic or Manichean context; see ref. ed.
B.1 contains a singular Manichean psalm. It consists of couplets that alternate between two vocatives; πότνιά σε ... πολυύμνατέ σε ("Lady, you ... Much-besung, you..").

The text contains several instances of accentuation and rough breathings (the is one instance of a marked, smooth breathing), as well as the occasional diaeresis and diastole (e.g. l. 14 εκ’κλησια on A.1 verso). Punctuation appears in the shape of high stops, as well as dicola and a sign that perhaps marks a period end in l. 14 and 16 of A.1 recto. The text also contains corrections (e.g. epsilon was added in l. 17 and 19 A.1 recto), and paragraphoi (between l. 6-7 A.1 recto and l. 2-3 B.2 recto) as well as long horizontal strokes in l. 8 of  B.1 recto.

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Non-canonical), Subliterary genre (Liturgical), Nomina sacra
Date from275
Date to350
Dating criteria

The palaeography indicates a date between late 3rd to early 4th c. Text internal evidence, together with the archaeological data, suggests a date within the early 4th c. For a detailed assessment of the date, see Zwierlein 2010: 76-83.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Discovered in the excavations of 1988 and 1992 in House 1, House 3 and the North Building (= Structure 4) of Area A in Kellis (Ismant al-Ḫarāb). For a thorough description of the archaeological context, see Hope 1997.

Accession number

Current location unknown, probably excavation or SCA storage.

P.Kell.Gr. 98: Inv. no. A/s/s1; A/3/25; P.92.12; A/1/106; A/3.24


Reference edition:

∙ Gardner, Ian, ed. with contributions by M. Choat, M. Franzmann, and K.A. Worp. 2007. Papyri from Kellis: The Kellis Literary Texts VI. Vol. 2. Dakhleh Oasis Project: Monograph 15. Oxford: Oxbow Books. "P. Kell. Gr. 97", 94-110 and plates no. 29-32. 

∙Editio princeps:

∙ Jenkins, R. Geoffrey. 1995. "Papyrus 1 from Kellis: A Greek text with affinities to the Acts of John". The apocryphal acts of John. Bremmer, Jan., ed. Kampen, The Netherlands: Kok Pharos. 197-216.

Additional bibliography:

∙ Gardner, Iain and Klaas A Worp. 1997. "Leaves from a Manichean Codex". ZPE 117. 139-155 and plates no. 7-10.

∙ Hope, C. A. 1997. "The Archaeological Context of the Discovery of Leaves from a Manichaean Codex". ZPE 117. 156-161.

∙ Zwierlein, O. 2010. "Die Datierung der acta Iohannis und der Papyrus Kellis Gr. Fragm. A.I". ZPE 174. 76-83.

Sofia Heim, 2021
Suggested citation
Sofia Heim, 2021, "Artefact ID 395", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,
External links