“I could not alleviate her mother’s grief”: On the loss of children

At birth, there was only a 66 per cent chance of celebrating your first birthday: one-third of all new-borns in the ancient world died before reaching that milestone. Once a child reached the age of five, their life-expectancy rose considerably, but the loss of at least one child was something that every parent experienced. While … More “I could not alleviate her mother’s grief”: On the loss of children

Sickness, Treatments, and Medical Books in Late Antique Egyptian Villages

“I greet my Father Athanasios. I spoke to you about the medical book. I often wanted to come south, but looking after here has not allowed me to come south. I wanted to come south, (but) the roads prevented me. Now, please send it to me, either (by) Pmoute or give it to Aaron and … More Sickness, Treatments, and Medical Books in Late Antique Egyptian Villages

One-way Tickets to the Netherworld: Mummy Labels and Inscribed Mummy Shrouds

*GUEST POST by Luigi Prada (see his bio here) On 26th April of the 24th year of reign of an unspecified Roman emperor (probably Commodus, which equals the year 184 AD), a modest Egyptian priest named Bes, son of his namesake and a lady called Tadinebhau, died in Pernebwadj, a provincial town in Middle Egypt—then a remote … More One-way Tickets to the Netherworld: Mummy Labels and Inscribed Mummy Shrouds

Pay After Reading: The Cost of Education in Late Antique Egyptian Villages

In the ancient world, education – learning to read and write – wasn’t a right and was accessible by only a small number of people. Only 5–10% of the population was literate. But what does this mean, what constitutes being literate? Does being able to write basic sentences fit the bill, or do you need to be … More Pay After Reading: The Cost of Education in Late Antique Egyptian Villages