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E05928: Coptic document from Jeme (Upper Egypt) relating the details of a contract to train a camel for one year, from the feast of *Michael (presumably the Archangel, S00181) to the same feast the following year; datable around 710/720.

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posted on 2018-07-09, 00:00 authored by gschenke
O.Crum 218

The Theban document acknowledges the arrangement of a man from Jeme to work with the camel of a man named Apa Jacob for the duration of one year, from the feast of saint Michael to the next.

Lines 23–25 on the back of the ostracon read as follows:

ⲛⲧⲁⲣϩⲱⲃ ϫⲓⲛ ⲡϣⲁ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ ϣⲁ ⲡϣⲁ ⲛⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ

"… and (I am ready) to work from the feast of Apa Michael to the feast of Apa Michael."

(Text and trans.: W. E. Crum)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲙⲓⲭⲁⲏⲗ

Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Other private document Late antique original manuscripts - Ostracon/Pot-sherd


  • Coptic

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Jeme Deir el-Bahari

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Jeme Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Deir el-Bahari Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast


The ostracon is kept at the British Museum in London, BM inv. 32794.


Text and translation: Crum, W.E., Coptic Ostraca from the Collections of the Egypt Exploration Fund (London, 1902), pp. 31–32 and 40–41. = O.Crum German translation: Till, W.C., Die Koptischen Rechtsurkunden aus Theben (Vienna, 1964), 57.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity