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


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.