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Coptic ostraca in the Petrie Museum

The collection of Flinders Petrie included several hundred Coptic ostraca, and many were included in the selection by W. Crum for use in teaching the Coptic language, latest phase of Egyptian (Crum 1939). No complete inventory from the time of Petrie is known, but the marks on the ostraca themselves indicate that there were at least two sequences of numbers, one Latin, the other Arabic numerals as for his hieratic ostraca and Greek ostraca. There was some overlap between the numbering/publication of the Greek and Coptic ostraca; with small fragments, it is not always possible to identify the script, because Coptic is an adaptation of the Greek alphabet. In addition, the collection includes over a hundred other items, mainly small fragments; a small group is marked as being from Denderah, and some of these were also selected for publication by Crum (Coptic Ostraca volume).

The following table presents the ostraca in the two main sequences, as far as they can be reconstructed from marks on or with the ostraca; the other columns give the present museum identification numbers with note of their publication and contents. The sequence of Arabic numerals 'Petrie 1-50' is given first, followed by the less complete sequence of Latin numerals 'Petrie I-'.

 

Petrie series museum number UC Crum, Coptic Ostraca Crum, Varia Coptica contents
1 62841   16 legal document
2 62842   54 letter about a delivery
3 62843   121 field measurements
4 71106   57 payment for a tailor
5 62844   4 moral dialogue
6 62845   30 agreement on sowing
7     61 request
8 62846   69 request for loan of a book
9 62847   15 legal document
10 62848   76 letter
11 62849   24 promise to repay loan
12 62850   56 letter
13 62851   1 Psalms Greek, Coptic
14 62852   20 receipt
15 62855   105 letter on payment
16 62853   106 letter fragment
17     74 reproachful letter
18 62854   91 letter with invitation
19 62856      
20 62857      
21 62858   55 order (?)
22        
23 62859   113 letter fragment
24 62860   34 oath
25 62861   65 request
26 62862      
27 62863   107 letter requesting a visit
28 62864   18 receipt
29 62865   86 letter
30 62866   108 request for payments
31 62867   14 legal document
32 62868   60 delivery, from Wadi Sarga
33 62869   130 unintelligible, not Coptic?
34 62870   23 promise to repay loan
35 62871   43 letter to a bishop
36 62872   59 demand for payment
37 62873   21 agreement to pay
38 62874   127 object list with witnesses
39 62875   12 legal document
40     42 letter on ill-treatment
41 62876   25 promise to repay
42 62877   36a assigning pawned goods
43 62878   17 receipt
44     99 letter with requests
45        
46 62879   101 letter with appeal to pay
47 62880   13 legal document
48 62881     name lists
49 62882     name list
50     103 letter with request
I        
II        
III 62807 498   letter about deliveries
IV 62808     account
V 62809     tax-receipt
VI 62810     tax-receipt
VII 62811     tax-receipt
VIII        
IX 62812 500   order for supplies
X 62813 501   order for supplies
XI 62814     order for supplies
XII        
XIII 62815     order for supplies
XIV        
XV        
XVI 62816 504   order for supplies
XVII 62817 505   order for supplies
XVIII perhaps 62822     (if 62822, order for wine)
XIX 62818 507   letter
XX        
XXI        
XXII        
XXIII        
XXIV 62819 388   letter with apology for material
XXV 62820 237   letter about delivery
XXVI 62821 508   letter about supplies
XXVII        
XXVIII 62823 499   letter about delivery of grain
XXIX 62824 496   identification of jar contents
XXX 62825 479   school exercise?
XXXI        
XXXII 62827 238   letter about delivery of wine
XXXIII 62828     tax-receipt
XXXIV 62829     tax-receipt
XXXV        
XXXVI 62830     tax-receipt
XXXVII        
XXXVIII 62831 428   tax-receipt
XXXIX 62832     record of agreement
XL 62833     name list
XLI 62834     tax-receipt
XLII 62835 509   account of deliveries
XLIII 62836 510   account of pitch
XLIV        

 

 

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