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Names of ancient Roman priests found in Egypt

A collection of 150 clay fragments containing the names of priests who served in Egypt during the Roman era has been found in Fayoum.

“It is really a complete archive that highlights not only the names of priests who served in the temple during the Roman era but religious practices and the prosopography of Greco-Roman Egypt as well,” said Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

For his part, Mario Capasso, director of the Italian mission, from Università del Salento, suggests that the newly discovered ostraca were originally kept in a storeroom situated in a courtyard in front of the Soknopaios Temple, which makes him believes that it was thrown out of the temple during a clandestine excavation at the end of the 19th century.

Further studies on the newly discovered ostraca will reveal more of the site’s history and religious aspects. Soknopaiou Nesos is a very important site for the understanding of Greco-Roman society in Egypt because of its excellent state of preservation and the amount of papyri and other inscribed material found at the site.

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