Leather fragment with Demotic inscription in ink
Egypt, Roman Period
Fragment Dimensions: 4.2 cm wide x 4.5 cm high, 0.3 cm thick Description: Fragment of leather. Fragment surfaces are curved. Leather surface is dark brown in color and is stained. The surface shows extensive cracking. The surface is also dirty. Edges show uneven and curved cutting/shaping. Two edge portions are broken and expose the lighter reddish-brown colored interior. This leather fragment is most likely from a shoe. Side A Concave surface. Leather surface is dark brown in color. The surface shows extensive cracking. Four lines of text written in black ink. Text appears to be in a Demotic (?) script. Left side shows some dark brown staining. Side B Convex surface Shiny black resin-like stain the right side of the fragment. The stain covers about half the surface of fragment. No inscriptions are visible on the surface. NOTES This leather fragment is most likely from a shoe. It was common practice from the Roman through the Byzantine period (and probably later) for the shoe-maker to inscribe a blessing or statment of good luck or health for the wearer on shoes (often on the instep of the shoe soles). It is also possible scrap leather containing writing was reused for another purpose. Images were scanned directly from the actual fragment. Images were slightly enhanced to improve contrast.