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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.

MEDIUM Papyrus, ink
DATES October 22, 416 B.C.E.
PERIOD Persian Period
DIMENSIONS 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)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Aramaic. Aramaic Adoption Contract, October 22, 416 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, 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). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.96a-b
IMAGE 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.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Papyrus inscribed on recto only in twelve lines of Aramaic. Upper half of recto blank. Translation of text in vertical file. 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.
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