Ostracon with incised numbers

Old Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 100

This pottery sherd comes from a mold in which the ancient Egyptians baked flat loaves of bread. It was later broken, and used as "note paper," probably during construction of Perneb's tomb. Roughly incised on its surface are a series of numbers (strokes for 1 and an upside-down V to indicate 10), most likely some sort of account.

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