April 2011 - Ostracon no.1042 in demotic Greek

Very occasionally, ostraca (1) carry drawings. This item shows a man holding two dogs on a lead, and three inscriptions in demotic Greek writing directly related to the portions of the drawing opposite them. The inscriptions referring to the dogs read, for the uppermost: "wa simos" (which may refer to the particular shape of the muzzle of this type of dog) and "wa mlitin" ('a Maltese'; i.e. 'a Maltese dog') for the one at the bottom. This second one is probably the hunting dog known as "Pharaoh’s Hound" in English and as "Kelb tal-Fenek" in Maltese; it may be identified as the Egyptian deity Anubis.

Ostracon démotique 1042Ostracon démotique 1042
The ostracon was published in Zeitschrift für aegyptische Sprache, no. XLIX, pl. VI, 4, 1909-1911 and appears in Excavations in Malta, by Margaret Murray, 1929.

(1) Ostraca are pottery shards used for writing on.

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