Oriental Institute Demotic Ostraca Online (O.I.D.O.O.)
The Oriental Institute Museum houses a large collection of nearly 900 Demotic ostraca, pottery sherds upon which ancient scribes recorded a wide variety of text types. The vast majority of the corpus concerns economic matters and consists of receipts, contracts, memos, and lists, but there is a small selection of other genres such as votive and astrological texts. With few exceptions, the material derives from the environs of Thebes and over half of the collection derives from the Oriental Institute excavations at Medinet Habu. Attested dates in the documents range from the early Ptolemaic Period (circa 285 B.C.E.) to the early Roman Period (circa 80 C.E.). Less than one third of the corpus has been published:
- 160 ostraca in Miriam Lichtheim, Demotic Ostraca from Medinet Habu, Oriental Institute Publications 80 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957)
- 61 ostraca in Brian P. Muhs, Tax Receipts, Taxpayers, and Taxes in Early Ptolemaic Thebes, Oriental Institute Publications 126 (Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2005), available online here
- Several dozen ostraca have been published in the articles of Ursula Kaplony-Heckel and Otto Neugebauer.
The O.I.D.O.O database was developed as both a scholarly research tool and a means for the publication of the unpublished Oriental Institute Demotic ostraca. It is our aim to make available all of the Demotic ostraca in this collection, both published and unpublished, to scholars worldwide in a format that will allow for complex searching and sorting criteria as well as quick and easy updating. This will be accomplished through periodic updates as additional texts are edited and entered into the database.
- Click here to access the Oriental Institute Demotic Ostraca Online (O.I.D.O.O.).
On the following page, select "guest" and click "login."
- In order to view the Demotic transliteration fonts correctly, download the O.I.D.O.O. Font and place it in the fonts folder on your computer.
- In order to view the Greek transliteration fonts correctly, download and install the New Athena Unicode Font available at http://apagreekkeys.org/NAUdownload.html
- Foy Scalf and Jacqueline Jay, "Accounting for Life in Ptolemaic and Roman Thebes: Online Access to Ancient Archives," Oriental Institute News & Notes 200 (Winter 2009), 13-17
Please use the following form to submit comments and suggestions to the editors of O.I.D.O.O.
If your comments require diacritic marks or use of non-standard fonts, please email and attach those comments in an Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) document to your email.
Revised: August 3, 2010