السبت، 8 أكتوبر، 2011

Use of Pottery for Written Records

Pottery shards were used as a writing surface extensively in Egypt during the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, and Roman eras. These pottery pieces contained various texts, whether poetry, short stories, or medical recipes, both in the Ancient Egyptian language and in the other languages used through the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

In the third century BC, it was common to inscribe pottery with official documents, special calculations, prayers, letters, and even commercial agreements. Children practiced writing on pottery pieces at school as it was easy to wipe off the writing and start again.

In Egypt, pottery was believed to be the preferred writing medium for the poorer social classes who could not afford to buy papyrus, despite its relative affordability. The Copts of Egypt continued to write on pottery until the advent of the Arabs, who wrote on papyrus or ordinary leather.

The Copts wrote prayers, verses from the Bible, and some poetry verses on pottery, as well as decorative patterns. Pottery vessels were not suitable for longer texts due to limited space, but they were practically free, as they were available in every house in every street and preferred by the poor. These pottery pieces are one of the major sources of information on political life, popular beliefs, customs, and the many aspects of the life of the poor of Ancient Egypt .

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