Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ostracon, fragment from the body of a large red-brown pottery vessel, fabric black in section, interior slightly grooved and covered with small traces of a dark resinous deposit, exterior ribbed and with remains of twenty-one lines of Coptic text finely written in black ink, the sixth line being smudged, containing part of a letter.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC-8thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 137 millimetres (max)
    • Width: 104 millimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Transliteration

        Remains of twenty-one lines of fine Coptic text written in black ink - the sixth being smudged.
      • Inscription Translation

        Translation by W.E. Crum: ". . . ] it is [writes to his] dear [father.....]. Before [all things I . . . . .] your fathership [. . . . .] send 8 [camels], that we may (?) load them with fodder (?). [Be so] kind and send(?) [. . . . .] loaves to us and [send?] out the(?) brother and my brother Phi[. . .], that they may stay with us in [. . . . .]. For lo, my brother Papnoute is sick (?), and the papa too will pay (him) a little visit (?). And afterwards he (?) will raise . . . . . . And provide 3 good camels (4) for wine for us . . . . When the camels come up (? down) loaded with fodder, send them out to us, that we may(?) load them (with the wine) for coming down (?up). Farewell in the Lord."
  • Bibliography

    • Trismegistos 87592 ( bibliographic details
    • Crum & Bell 1922 p.89-90 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition


  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1913-1914 by Reginald Campbell Thompson on behalf of the Byzantine Research Fund.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • O.Sarga 93 (text edition abbreviation according to Oates et al 2001)


If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: YCA58994

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help