Skip to main content
A project of the American Research Center in Egypt



Ostraca (plural of ostracon from the Greek ɒstrəkɒn) refers to flakes of limestone used as a writing surface. In Ancient Egypt, these pieces of limestone were the cheaper alternative to papyrus and were usually used for private letters, administrative and accounting records, preliminary sketches, and copies of literary works.

Hieratic ostracon with "Necropolis Journal" entries, Turin Museum Collection.