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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ostracon with sketches of crocodiles and identity marks referring to royal necropolis workmen

Period:
New Kingdom, Ramesside - Third Intermediate Period
Dynasty:
late Dynasty 20 - early Dynasty 21
Date:
ca. 1150–1000 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Valley of the Kings, Davis excavations
Medium:
Limestone, ink
Dimensions:
L. 25 × H.15.5 × D. 2.8 cm (9 13/16 × 6 1/8 × 1 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Theodore M. Davis, 1914
Accession Number:
14.6.204
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 122
Ostraca (plural for ostracon) are potsherds used as surfaces on which to write or draw. The term is used, by extension, to refer to chips of limestone, which were employed for similar purposes. Despite their humble appearances, ostraca bear a wide range of images and texts, including administrative documents, literary texts, and depictions of royal and divine figures. The texts were mostly written with reed pen and ink of two colors, red and black, and inscribed in Hieratic, the cursive script of ancient Egypt throughout most of its periods. This ostracon bears identity markers referring to royal necropolis workmen.
Excavated by Theodore M. Davis, 1912–13 and acquired in the division of finds. Donated to the Museum by Davis, 1914.

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