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Ostrakon
(261 words)

[German version]

(ὄστρακον; óstrakon). Sherd of pottery, sometimes of (lime)stone, which was used as writing material for short  messages, smaller documents, receipts, etc.; they were rarely used for literary texts (Sappho fr. 2 Lobel-Page). Ostraca are attested from pre-Ptolemaic Egypt and then up to the end of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The respective texts were written in ink or scratched into the ostrakon; examples have survived in the Hieratic, Demotic, Greek, Coptic and Arabic scripts. In contrast to expensive papyrus, óstraka were waste products of a household, and th…

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Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg), “Ostrakon”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e902350>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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