A cache of demotic ostraca has been discovered at the Greco-Roman site of Soknopaiou Nesos/Dime es-Seba, located two kilometres north of Qarun Lake in the Wadi Fayoum, Egypt.
The cache was uncovered during an excavation carried out by an Italian archaeological expedition from Università del Salento.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that 150 ostraca had been found, each piece of pottery is inscribed with the name of a priest who had served in the temple dedicated to Soknopaios, god of fertility and power, who appeared as a man with a crocodile’s head.
Dr. Mario Capasso, director of the Italian mission, believes that the newly discovered ostraca were originally kept in a storeroom in a courtyard in front of Soknopaios’ temple but they were thrown out of the temple during clandestine excavations at the end of the 19th century.
Discovery News (Rossella Lorenzi)
Broken pieces of clay pottery have revealed the names of dozens of Egyptian priests who served at the temple of a crocodile god, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) announced.
Engraved with text dating back to the Roman period, the small potsherds have been found by Italian archaeologists on the west side of the temple dedicated to the crocodile god Soknopaios in Soknopaiou Nesos, an Egyptian village in the Fayoum oasis.
Called ostraca from the Greek word ostrakon (meaning "shell") the inscribed pot fragments “have been very helpful in illuminating the religious practices and the prosopography of Greco-Roman Egypt," the SCA said in a statement.