As Easy as ABC?: A Review of Thomas Schneider’s Study of the TT99 Ostracon

Schneider’s work advances the discussion of the TT99 ostracon in several important ways.  His suggestion that the entries on the ostracon formed a mnemonic verse that could contain grammatical elements is both persuasive and helpful.  But, at the same time, his claim that the back of the ostracon lists Semitic words arranged according to the abgad alphabetic sequence suffers from several problems.

By Aren M. Wilson-Wright
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Zurich
October 2018

In 2015, Ben Haring published an important 15th century BCE ostracon from Theban Tomb 99 (TT99).  Inscribed on both the front and back, the broken ostracon features ten complete entries in syllabic orthography, a special way of transcribing foreign words into the hieroglyphic script

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