METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coptic inscription, 6th-century Byzantine Egypt. Fragment of broken pottery with text in ink written by a bishop in around 508 to 640. This is an epistle of Severos, Bishop of Antioch, writing from the Coptic culture of Egypt. He is writing about the religious and political troubles in the distant Byzantine capital of Makedonios II, who was patriarch of Constantinople from 496 to 511. This form of text written on broken pottery is known as an ostrakon, used when parchment was unavailable or too expensive. This object is part of the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA.
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