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Artefact ID695
TM IDTM 34138
Findspot (DEChriM ID)15   (al-Baǧawāt)
ClassFunerary element, Textual
Writing mediumDipinto
Text contentSubliterary

I.Oasis p. 65-66 no. 6; IGChrEg 355; SB XX 14852; SEG XXXVIII 1696: Funerary inscription.

Red dipinto located at the top of the niche, under the arch of the vault, on the wall facing the entrance. All around the dipinto: stylized twigs at the left and right of the niche; two cruces ansatae, letters α and ω, and small friezes above the dipinto; two stylized twigs and three leaves below the text.

The text bears an inscription commemorating someone, most probably a soldier, from the province of Arabia: "Autheio, son of Mataios, Mogabean, coming from the village of No-- the metropolis of which is Bostra", wishing "Good luck to the writer and to the reader (of this inscription)".

Selection criteriaChristian symbols/gestures/isopsephy, Archaeological context associated with Christian markers
Date from350
Date to399
Dating criteria

The inscription is clearly part of the original chapel devoted to the deceased Autheio. The association of the text with early Christian symbols (see Bowen 2014) and the architectural type of the Chapel point toward an early date.

Dated to "Later Roman Imperial Period" by MacAdam 1986 (SEG 38-1696) and to the end of the 4th c. by Cipriano 2003: 283.

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

East wall of Chapel no. 200, one of the oldest square domed type (type 4) acc. to Fakhry 1951.

Accession number

Al-Baǧawāt, in situ (Chapel no. 200 / Roquet, Ghica no. 11.03)


Other publications:

• Wagner, Guy. 1987. Les oasis dʼÉgypte à lʼépoque grecque, romaine et byzantine dʼaprès les documents grecs. Le Caire: Ifao, 65-66, no. 6.

• MacAdam, Henry Innes. 1986 [1988]. "Bostra Gloriosa." Berytus 34, 186-189.

Editio princeps

• Lefebvre, Gustave. 1907. Recueil des inscriptions grecques-chrétiennes dʼÉgypte. Cairo: Ifao, no. 355.

Additional bibliography

• Bowen, Gillian E. 2014. "The crux ansata in early Christian iconography: evidence from Dakhleh and Kharga oases." In Le myrte et la rose, edited by G. Tallet and Ch. Zivie-Coche. Montpellier, 291-303.

• Cipriano, Giuseppina. 2003. El-Bagawat. Un cimitero paleocristiano nellʼalto Egitto. Rivista di archeologia cristiana 79. Todi, 282-287.

• De Bock, W. 1901. Matériaux pour servir à lʼarchéologie de lʼÉgypte chrétienne. St. Petersbourg, 13 and fig. 18.

• Fakhry, Ahmed. 1951. The Necropolis of El-Bagawat in Kharga Oasis. Cairo: Government press, 166, no. 200. 

• Pleket, H.W. and Stroud, R.S. 1988. “SEG 38-1697-1725. Khargeh Oasis (Bagawat). Inscriptions, graffiti, funerary stelai.” In Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Current editors: A. T. E. N. Chaniotis Corsten Stavrianopolou Papazarkadas. Consulted online (2021).

Valérie Schram, 2021
Suggested citation
Valérie Schram, 2021, "Artefact ID 695", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,
External links