With a contribution on the Egyptian texts by Eugene Cruz-UribeBeiträge zur Ägyptischen Bauforschung und Altertumskunde
In Ancient Egypt, especially in the Graeco-Roman period, the practice was widespread for worshippers to leave graffiti on the walls of temples, often with religious intentions. Graffiti from temples are therefore a treasure trove for the study of personal piety in Ancient Egypt, as well as in later periods when temples remained attractive to Christians. The present study, the first final report of the excavations at ancient Syene (Aswan) conducted since the year 2000 by the Swiss Institute for Architectural and Archaeological Research on Ancient Egypt and the Supreme Council of Antiquities, is among the first to study together all graffiti (352 in total, both figures and texts) from a single temple, the temple of Isis at Aswan, ranging in date from the 3rd century BCE until the 19th century CE, and to place them within their architectural context. The graffiti provide us with many fascinating snapshots of religious life, and other activities, in the long period in which the building was used and reused.
Jitse Dijkstra is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Ottawa. He has published widely on several aspects of Graeco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt, in particular the monograph Philae and the End of Ancient Egyptian Religion. A Regional Study of Religious Transformation (298-642 CE) (2008). Since 2001, he is a member of the joint archaeological mission of the Swiss Institute and the Supreme Council of Antiquities at Aswan.