Two Coptic Ostraca in the Brigham Young University Collection


Coptic Ostraca, Ostraca, Collection of Ostraca


In the late 1970s and early 1980s Brigham Young University (BYU)acquired a modest collection of Coptic papyri, parchments and ostraca from Aziz Atiya (†) of the University of Utah. The Coptic collection is comprised of about eight ostraca, three papyri, a few dozen parchment fragments and a parchment codex containing seven folios.While very little is known about the provenance of the BYU Coptic collection the origin of two ostraca, edited here for the first time, can be determined since they share some distinct parallels with certain provenanced texts.The first is BYU inv. Coptic Ostracon 70 that must have come from Wadi Sarga because it shares a few significant details with a text from this monastery; the second is BYU inv. Coptic Ostracon 71 that must have originated from the monastery of Apa Apollo in Bawit due in part to its use of some unique phraseology. Exactly how Atiya acquired these two ostraca is a matter of speculation, but since the site of Bawit was plundered in the early 1970s and a number of its artifacts went on the antiquities market in Cairo it seems probable that at least BYU inv. Coptic Ostracon 71 may have been obtained at this time

Original Publication Citation

“Two Coptic Ostraca in the Brigham Young University Collection.” Chronique d’Égypte 88 (2013): 182–187.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


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Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor