|TM ID||TM 48135|
|Findspot (DEChriM ID)||58 (Dayr al-ʿIẓām)||Class||Textual|
Almost completely preserved letter from "his servant" Kelbaule to "his beloved father" Apa John in Coptic (S), excusing himself that he did not come to visit John, sending him another man to tell John about his troubles with offcials regarding some field, which Kelbaule relates in his letter too asking John "Any benefit that you can do unto him, do!"
|Selection criteria||Mention of Christian individuals/communities, Christian terms/formulas/concepts, Coptic language|
Palaeography, archival connection
|Absolute/relative date||Relative date|
According to Constantine Zuckerman's reconstruction, the Apa-John-letters were presumably found in September 1897, during the excavations of Farag Ismael and Yassa Tadros on the mountain of Siout (Lykopolis), in the ruins of the Dayr al-ʿIẓām, the presumed site of the monastery of John of Lycopolis. (Note, however, that the German team prefers the Asyūṭ tombs II–IV to have been John's abode, as was definitely later venerated there; see Kahl 2014; 2015; Eichner 2020: 5–10; the Dayr is ca. 300m away as the crow flies on the desert plateau from the group of tombs, see Eichner 2020: 11-38.) However, they never reached the museum in Gizeh – like the other objects unearthed during these excavations – and must have ended on the market, where they were bought soon after the excavations (Zuckerman 1995: 191-192; Van Minnen 1994: 80-82, Gonis 2008: 69-72). Although not proven, this attractive hypothesis is generally accepted by scholars (see discussion in Van der Vliet 2015: 166-167 and Fournet 2020: 13 note 39, and some reservations in Choat 2017: 37-40).
Manchester, John Rylands Library, Coptic P. 273