Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Ostrakon with a Letter from Frange to Enoch

Date:
580–640
Geography:
Made in Byzantine Egypt
Culture:
Coptic
Medium:
Pottery fragment with ink inscription
Dimensions:
5 13/16 x 4 5/16 in. (14.8 x 11 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1914
Accession Number:
14.1.157
Not on view
This ostrakon (plural ostraka, pottery sherd with writing) comes from the Monastery of Epiphanios, in Thebes, Egypt. It provides valuable information about some of the everyday economic activities at the site. The fragment here includes a letter in Coptic from the weaver Frange, who requests linen yarn from Brother Enoch at the monastery. Linen was one of the most ubiquitous textiles made in late antique Egypt, used both for daily wear and for burial.
Inscription: [in Coptic]
From the east buildings of the Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes. Museum excavations, 1913–14. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1914.
Crum, W. E., and H. G. Evelyn-White. The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes. Vol. II. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1926. no. 351, pp. 246-247.

Evans, Helen C., and Brandie Ratliff, ed. Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, 7th–9th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 104A, p. 164.



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