“Schoolboy, where have you been going so long?”: The Old Babylonian Student and School

*GUEST POST by Moudhy Al-Rashid (see her bio here) Amid the ruins of Nippur is a house, inspiringly named “House F”, made up of a small courtyard with four rooms. The crumbled remains of benches appear in one room and in the courtyard, where there are also three recessed boxes constructed from mud brick. In … More “Schoolboy, where have you been going so long?”: The Old Babylonian Student and School

What is an Ostracon?

When dealing with ancient texts, the term ostracon refers to pottery sherds and limestone flakes that were reused to write documents. Pottery is by far the more common material used, but some areas show a particular preference for limestone. They are especially well-known from Egypt, but the practice occurs across the ancient world; see, e.g., … More What is an Ostracon?

Protecting the Tax-Payer, Protecting the Tax Man

On 17 April 731, an Egyptian priest John son of the late Victor wrote a declaration for the state treasury, represented by the Muslim official Rashid. He had paid two gold coins (holokottinosin the document) for his village’s taxes, representing the headman, Peter. However, it turned out that he – and so his village – had paid … More Protecting the Tax-Payer, Protecting the Tax Man