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Artefact ID446
TM IDTM 33302
Findspot (DEChriM ID)12   (Ismant al-Ḫarāb)
Writing mediumSheet/roll
Text contentDocumentary

P.Kellis I 12: fragments of a private letter from Samoun to his lord father Tithoes (?).

4 fragments under a glass frame but it remains uncertain whether they really all belong to the same letter. Frag. II refers to a monastery (εἰς τὸ μονοστή|[ριον], l. μοναστήριον) where Samoun tells Tithoes to put his son so that he can learn the trade of linen-weaving. These activities are likely to have taken place in the Oasis, rather than in the Nile Valley.

The monastery in question may have been the monastery at Tenida (cf. Wagner 1987: 196); there is another reference to a monastery in P.KellisCopt. I 12 from House 2 written by Tithoes to Samoun in which it is communicated that Samoun's son Tithoes went to the monastery, together with father Pebo (see P.Kellis I 12, l. 18-19n).

The handwriting, a semi-cursive, is not quite consistently the same in all four fragments; all writings run along the fibres.

Selection criteriaMention of Christian cult officials/institutions
Date from300
Date to399
Dating criteria-
Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Frag. I, II, IV: House 2, room 2, level 2, low in Northeast corner.

Frag. III: Structure 4, room 1, North of levels 2 and 4.

Accession number

Kellis, excavations Dakleh Oasis Project 1986-, inv. A/2/65 + A/2/66 + A/3/22; + A/2/63; SCA numbers unknown.


Editio princeps

• Worp, Klaas. 1995. Greek Papyri from Kellis I. (P.Kell.G.). Nos. 1-90. Dakhleh Oasis Project: Monograph 3. Oxford: Oxbow Books, no. 12: 35-38 and pl. 12.

Additional bibliography

• Choat, Malcolm. 2006. Belief and Cult in Fourth-Century Papyri, Studia Antiqua Australiensia 1. Turnhout: Brepols, 165.

• Choat, Malcolm. 2017. "Monastic Letters on Papyrus from Late Antique Egypt." In Writing and Communication in Early Egyptian Monasticism, edited by Malcolm Choat & Mariachiara Giorda, 17-72. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 56.

• Wagner, Guy. 1987. Les oasis d'Égypte à l'époque grecque, romaine et byzantine d'après les documents grecs. Le Caire:Ifao.

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 446", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,