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Artefact ID740
Findspot (DEChriM ID)18   (Qaṣr al-Dāḫila)
Writing mediumOstracon
Text contentDocumentary
Description 4

Letter by the foreman (kuv/ for κεφαλαιωτής) Paham to the headmen of the imperial fort (pkastroN Mprro) in Coptic (S) regarding stipulations for the division of a garden plot or a field. The reverse contains a note confirming that the author does not intend to betray the addressee, mentioning the present document. The same Paham is also most probably the sender of 1. Initial staurogram and simple cross at the end.

Selection criteriaChristian symbols/gestures/isopsephy, Coptic language
Date from375
Date to500
Dating criteria

Archaeological context

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

The ostracon belongs to two groups of ostraca described as follows: "Three were discovered above the floor of the room in which Trench 4 was situated, while the remaining nine were found within the confines of Sondage A related to the flooring and stratified contexts associated with the wall at the east end (i.e., what may be the ‘Roman wall’)." (Gardner 2012: 472). It is not clear to which of the two groups this ostracon belongs.

Accession number

Unknown (the number mentioned above is taken from labels of images).


Editio princeps

• Gardner, Iain. 2012. "Coptic Ostraca from Qasr al-Dakhleh." In The Oasis Papers 6: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference of the Dakhleh Oasis Project, edited by Roger S. Bagnall, Paola Davoli and Colin A. Hope, Dakhleh Oasis Project: Monograph 15, 471-474. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 472-473 (Note that this is the edition of the front side only, there are four more lines on the back, see his note 9). 

Matthias Müller, Valérie Schram, Victor Ghica, 2021, 2023
Suggested citation
Matthias Müller, Valérie Schram, Victor Ghica, 2021, 2023, "Artefact ID 740", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,
External links