The Archive of Thotsutmis

The Archive of Thotsutmis, Son of Panouphis
Early Ptolemaic Ostraca from Deir el Bahari (O. Edgerton)

By Brian P. Muhs, Foy D. Scalf, and Jacqueline E. Jay

Oriental Institute Publications 146
Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2021
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-61491-067-1
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-61491-066-4
Pp. 228 (xxxii + 196)
10 figures; 5 plates; 4 tables
Hardcover, 9 x 11.75 in; $99.95 (hardcover) 


The Archive of Thotsutmis, Son of Panouphis presents for the first time one of the largest collections of Demotic ostraca to have been discovered intact by archaeologists in the twentieth century. Rarely have such deposits been found in situ. Excavated by Ambrose Lansing on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1915–16 at the site of Deir el Bahari, the integrity and context of this find are critical to the proper understanding of the texts it contained. Through the publication and analysis of this archive of Demotic and Greek texts recorded on ostraca, Muhs, Scalf, and Jay reconstruct the microhistory of Thotsutmis, son of Panouphis, and his family, who worked in Egypt on the west bank of Thebes as priests in the mortuary industry during the early Ptolemaic Period in the third century BC. The forty-two ostraca published in this volume provide a rare opportunity to explore the intersections between an intact ancient archive of private administrative documents and the larger social and legal contexts into which they fit. What the reconstructed microhistory reveals is an ancient family striving to make it among the wealthy and connected social network of Theban choachytes and pastophoroi, while they simultaneously navigated the bureaucratic maze of taxes, fees, receipts, and legal procedures of the Ptolemaic state.

Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
List of Papyrological Symbols
List of Figures
List of Plates
List of Tables
Preface on Translations
1. Introduction     
2. Identification, Discovery, and History of the Archive    
3. A Family Archive from Western Thebes in the Third Century BC
4. The Life and Times of Thotsutmis, Son of Panouphis, and His Family
5. Catalog of the Ostraca from the Archive of Thotsutmis, Son of Panouphis
6. Appendices

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