Wananga landing Wananga landing


20 November 2023

Ceramic, 2nd Century AD
Acc #: 168.81, James Logie Memorial Collection
Purchased from Charles Ede Ltd., London


A fragmentary ostrakon inscribed with a few characters in Greek. The inscription has the standard form for the end of a letter, which was: I wish you well / pray for your health.


[Er] rwsth [ai
[Eu] xwm [ai


Many early forms of writing are found inscribed on materials other than paper. Ostraka were sherds of pottery used for writing on. Pottery, and especially broken pottery, was plentiful in the ancient world. Ostraka are essentially ancient ‘post-it’ notes.
Ostraka were often used for tax receipts, school exercises, letters, and religious texts, especially in Egypt. Ostraka were also common in Athens, where they were used to vote for a person who would be exiled. From this practice we get the term ‘ostracism’.

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.