Aramaic Adoption Contract
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
This document originates in the archive of Ananiah and Tamut, members of a Jewish family living on Elephantine Island in the fifth century B.C.. This contract allows a man named Uriah to adopt a boy named Jedaniah and thus free him from slavery. Adoption was one legal method used to free slaves in ancient Egypt.
October 22, 416 B.C.E.
47.218.96a: Largest Fragment #1: 13/16 × 1 3/4 in. (2 × 4.5 cm)
47.218.96a: Largest Fragment #2: 1 × 1 3/16 in. (2.5 × 3 cm)
a: Small Box of Fragments: 1 3/4 x 4 1/16 x 4 1/16 in. (4.5 x 10.3 x 10.3 cm)
b: Glass: 15 1/2 x 17 1/16 in. (39.3 x 43.3 cm)
b: Object: 11 5/8 x 13 3/4 in. (29.5 x 35 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
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Aramaic. Aramaic Adoption Contract, October 22, 416 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, 47.218.96a: Largest Fragment #1: 13/16 × 1 3/4 in. (2 × 4.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.96a-b (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 47.218.96_PS1.jpg)
overall, 47.218.96_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Papyrus inscribed on recto only in twelve lines of Aramaic. Adoption text made out to Zaccur documenting the “gift” of the houseborn slave Yedoniah to Uriah. Upper half of recto blank.
Condition: Text practically intact. Upper right corner of blank portion missing. Minor gaps at edges. Papyrus folded through present left center. No writing visible but one overlap (one third of width) was clearly missing.
47.218.96a: approximately two dozen blank papyrus fragments, reputedly from the Aramaic papyrus.
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