Amheida IOstraka from Trimithis, Volume 1

Amheida IOstraka from Trimithis, Volume 1

Roger S. Bagnall and Giovanni R. Ruffini

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780814745267

Publisher: NYU Press


This book presents 455 inscribed pottery fragments, or ostraka, found during New York University's excavations at Amheida in the western desert of Egypt. The majority date to the Late Roman period (3rd to 4th century AD), a time of rapid social change in Egypt and the ancient Mediterranean generally. Amheida was a small administrative center, and the full publication of these brief texts illuminates the role of writing in the daily lives of its inhabitants. The subjects covered by the Amheida ostraka include the distribution of food, the administration of wells, the commercial lives of inhabitants, their education, and other aspects of life neglected in literary sources. The book provides a full introduction to the technical aspects of terminology and chronology, while also situating this important evidence in its historical, social, and regional context.