This collection of photographs represents the results of a long field project to record the numerous Demotic graffiti located on the temple of the goddess Isis located on Philae Island (Aswan, Egypt). These graffiti are written in the Demotic script used in Egypt from around 650 BC through the fifth century AD. Most of these graffiti are the personal prayers of pilgrims who visited the temple from south of Egypt during the third to sixth centuries AD. Demotic is the fourth of five stages of the ancient Egyptian languages and is known for its extremely difficult script to read. These texts were mainly written by Nubians from south of Egypt when they came up to the temple of Isis to worship. Within the collection of graffiti are the last dated Demotic texts which are known, the last dating to December of AD 452. These are significant because the temple of Isis was the last traditional temple in Egypt which had begun to convert to Christianity mainly during the third century AD. The temple of Isis was kept open by diplomatic treaty between the Roman empire and the Meroitic Kingdom to the south. The temple was not closed until AD 538 during the reign of Justinian. These graffiti provide significant information of the continuation of traditional cults in Egypt long after most Egyptians had converted to Christianity. The first major work on the graffiti was done by F. Ll. Griffith, who published 450 of the graffiti in his volume Catalogue of the Demotic Graffiti from the Dodecaschoenus (Oxford, 1937). This project recorded an additional 534 graffiti. These photographs serve as a companion to the volume to be published by Lockwood Press (Atlanta) later in 2015.

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Ancient Egyptian Collections

The Ancient Egyptian Collections includes images of Egypt, artifacts, writings and other related image collections. The time period covers all of Ancient Egypt.

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