A number of significant Roman Period buildings and artifacts were excavated by the University of Michigan expedition to Karanis
Stairway leading up to the North Temple, dedicated to the local crocodile gods (Pnepheros and Petesouchos), at Karanis, Egypt. Photographed in 2010.
Context Glass Textiles
One way to look at the chronology of Karanis is by the frequency of coins excavated from the site and reported by Haatvedt, Peterson and Husselman (1964). Here is the list of issues with over 100 examples.

Ptolemy VI and VIII (after 169 BC) = 131 examples

Hadrian (AD 117 - 138) = 112 examples
Commodus (AD 180 - 192) = 124 exampels

Severus Alexander (AD 222 - 235) = 225 examples
Maximinus I (AD 235 - 238) = 133 examples
Gordian III (AD 238 - 244) = 280 examples
Philip I (AD 244 - 249) = 464 examples
Valerian I (AD 256 - 260) = 474 examples
Gallienus (AD 153 - 268) = 283 examples
Claudius II (AD 268 - 270) = 247 examples
Aurelian (AD 270 - 275) = 542 examples
Tacitus (AD 275 - 276) = 155 examples
Probus (AD 276 - 282) = 4,469 examples
Carus, Carinus, Numerian (AD 282 - 283) = 2,531 examples
Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, Galerius (AD 284 - 296) = 13,318 examples

Constantius II (AD 324 - 361) = 135 examples
Valentinian II (AD 375 - 392) = 108 examples
Theodosius I (AD 379 - 395) = 325 examples
Arcadius (AD 395 - 408) = 165 examples

Gold aureus of Antoninus Pius issued in year 12 (AD 148/149). Obverse shows the emperor and text ANTONINVS AVG IVSPPTRPXII. Reverse shows the goddess Aequitas holding scales, a cornucopiae and COS IIII. Diameter = 20.5 mm and weight = 7.31 grams. published by Haatvedt et al. (1964:151, Plate VIII,71). Reg. no. 40951. Image from the Kelsey Museum webpage.

Interesting social facts gleaned from the Archive of Aurelius Isidorus (Boak and Youtie 1960) from Karanis:

Cairo, Inv. 57033 and 57034 - a Taxation List after Nov. 30, 309:

"In reply to your request, we report to you the amount of wheat, barley and lentils exacted on the crops of the 17th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st year, to the account of the said village and horiodeiktia."
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Cairo, Inv. 57303 - a List of Payments in Kind, approximately AD 314 to 315

The text is a record of phaselus beans and other vegetables, possibly contributed for the military annona,and if so, probably as a compensated requisition.
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Cairo Inv. 57091 - Collection and Delivery of Meat in approximately AD 303 to 304.

An account of pork collection from local contributos and delivered to procurators.
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Cairo Inv. 57025 - Receipts for Annona in approximately AD 293 to 294

Chaeremon has paid through Kopres the price of wine, chaff, wood, and the price of a camel, for the horiodeiktia of Karanis, ninety-two drachmas.
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Cairo Inv. 57024 A-E Receipt for the price of Clothing in Jan. 15, 314.

The officials of Karanis acknowledge that they have received payment from the bankers who handle the government funds in the Arsinoite nome, in accordance with a warrant issued by the strategos, for 22 tunics (sticharia) and 8 cloaks (pallia) which they delievered to the receivers Cyrillus and Demeas. These articles constituted the village quota of a requisition of military clothing for the year 310/311, but payment was delayed until the beginning of 314.

Compensation for the tunics was set at 4000 denarius each, and for the cloaks at 5000 denarius each. The price paid for tunics thus corresponded to the price fixed by Edict. de pret. XXVI, 30 for soldiers linen tunics of the third or poorest qualty.
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Cairo, Inv. 57059 is a Petition addressed to Aurelius Leontius on Sept. 5, 296 AD.

The petition was presented to Leontius by Thaesion and Kyrillous, daughters of Kopres, of the village of Karanis... Their stepmother induced Kopres to remove 7 sheep from his flock. The stepmother claimed that Kopres' estate owed her a mina in gold and a half interest in a slave girl as security for her dowry. The daughters (Thaesion and Kyrillous) reques that Leontius compel their stepmother to furnish them with copies of the documents in question so that they may test their genuineness by a search in the archives.
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Cairo Inv. 57077 is a Petition to a Strategos in approximately AD 298

Taesis and Kyrillous, daughters of Kopres, of the village of Karanis accuse their paternal uncle Chaeremon of appropriating all movable goods left by their father at his death. The append a list of the property in question:
62 full-grown sheep
40 full-grown goats
1 grinding mill
3 talents of silver
2 artabas of wheat
2 slaves (1 of which had been sold)
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Cairo Inv. 57390 is an Order for Arrest from approximately AD 308 to 309

The officer charged with the maintenance of order and the police officers of the village of Karanis are accused to arrest an individual based upon the accusation of Paisis, son of Neas, an oil-manufacturer.
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Cairo Inv. 57380 is a letter from Dioscorus to Isidorus written in Late 3rd century or Early 4th century AD

You will do well, whenever I send Heronas to you with the donkeys, to load him up with vegetables. But don't neglect it, because we have need of them.

[Vegetables grown in Egypt during the Bronze and Iron Age include leeks, onions, garlic, beans, peas, lintels and several varieties of melons (Brewer and Teeter 1999: 104). Other vegetables listed in David Shennum's English-Egyptian Index of Faulkner's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian include bitter gourd, carob bean, coriander, cummin, fenugreek (?), leeks, lettuce, onion, pea, and thyme (?)].
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Crawford (1979:144) lists a variety of foodstuffs available for purchase in Egypt during the Hellenistic Period included loaves of white bread (made from Triticum durum) and kyllestis-bread (made from olyra), cakes of meal and oil, milk-cakes, honey-cakes, goose-meat, offal, honey, kiki-oil, milk, beer, water, salt, sauce, pomegranates, walnuts, fig, mulberries, lettuce, turnips, small cabbages, papyrus, chick-peas, sesame, fennel, garlic and cummin.
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Boak (1933:87-88) lists the identified botanical remains from Karanis including wheat, barley, date, fig, filbert (xxx), walnut, pine kernels, olive, peach, Indian medlar, quince, pistachio, lentils, radish and lotus.

Cairo Inv. 57033 and 57034 is a list of landholders at Karanis in the time of Diocletian and Constantine after Nov. 30, 309.

Metropolitans
Abook, gymnasiarch
Apollonius, veteran
Heracles
Alexander
Nilus, veteran
Ptolemaeus son of Ammonianus
Serenilla daughter of Ptolmemaeus


Villagers
Abok son of Melas
Achillas son of Antoninus
Adora daughter of Aboecis
Aion son of Papeis
Alexander son of Alexander
Am(a)is son of Horion
Ammonas son of Papeis
Ammonius son of Leein
Ammonius son of Papeis
Apilla daughter of Ptolemaeus
Arabicus son of Ptollas
Ariston son of Serenus
Atisius son of Hatres
Atisius son of Paianus
Atous son of Neas
Aunes son of Harpocration
Capeis son of Apollonius
Cyrillous daughter of Copres
Didyme daughter of Aboecis
Doulus son of Aion
Euhemerus son of Artemidorus
Harpalus son of Harpaeieg
Harpalus son of Heras Hatres son of Petoubestis
Heron son of Aion
Heron son of Ammonas
Horion son of Castor
Isidora daughter of Ptolmeaeus
Isidorus son of Ptolemaeus
Ision son of Demetrius
Leonides son of Papeis
Marcella daughter of Ptolemaeus
Maronis daughter of Palemon
Melas, son of Horus
Morus son of Isidorus
Paesis son of Ision
Paesis son of Masculinus
Paianus son of Aphelis
Palemon son of Ptolemaeus
Pancratius son of Ptolemaeus
Pantel son of Papeis
Papeis son of Isidorus
Pecysis son of Anotius
Pelalius son of Casius
Pesouris son of Callonius
Priscus son of Eudaemon
Ptolemaeus son of Ptolemaeus
Ptollarion son of Polydeuces
Ptollas son of Germanus
Sempronia daughter of Melas
Seuthes son of Heras
Syrion son of Sotas
Taesis daughter of Ptolemaeus
Tanouphis daughter of Patas
Theonas son of Antoninus

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Cairo Inv. 57032 = Account of Taxes in Kind from approximately AD 311 to 314

Acotas son of Germanus
Atisius son of Paianus
Harpalus son of Harpaeieg
Ptollas son of Sarapion
Kopres son of Orsenouphis
Ariston son of Serenus
Arabicus son of Ptollas
Comon son of Callonius
Euhemerus son of Artemidorus
Alema son of Saumaus
Isidora daughter of Ptolmaeus
Ammonius son of Leein
Paous son of Paianus
Heras son of Atisius
Didyme daughter of Ptolemaeus
Morus a priest
Venaphrius son of Atisius
Paesius son of Ptolemaeus
Venaphrius son of Aion
Dius a veteran
Kapeis son of Apollonius
Abok, gymnasiarch
Heron son of Aion
Souchiaena and Horion
Ammonas son of Papeis
Paesius son of Ision
Serenus son of Horus
Amis son of Horion
Taesis daughter of Ptolemaeus
Amis son of Korous
Abok son of Melas
Alexander son of Alexander
Hatres son of Petoubestis
Heraclas son of Aianus
Atous son of Neas
Paulus son of Isidorus
Isidorus son of Horus
Priscus son of Eudaemon
Serenus son of Ekysis
Tetouis wife of Chaeras
Ptolemaeus son of Ptolemaeus
Theonas son of Antoninus
Pleein son of Eudaemon
Sarapion son of Artemidorus
Peeous son of Ptolemaeus
Panesates son of Aunes
Pecysis son of Anothius
Pancrates son of Souous
Saras son of Harpaeieg
Syrion son of Sotas
Aion son of Germanus
Atia son of Paesius
Mios son of Eudaemon
Sotas son of Apollonius
Apollonius, veteran
Ais daughtet of Salious
Kopres son of Pannous
Pemes son of Hermias
Demetrius son of Callonius
Sarapammon son of Horion
Horion son of Castor
Pesouris son of Callonius
Kopres son of Palemon
Heron son of Aponis
Casius and Isidorus
Herais
Sempronia daughter of Melas
Ptollarion son of Polydeuces
Casianus son of Saprus
Theon, cosmetes
Sarapammon son of Chaeremon
Melas son of Socrates
Colluthus
Leonides son of Papeis
Alolas
Heron son of Heron
Paianis son of Aphelis
Heron and Demetrius
Aunes
Papeis
Isidorus son of Ptolemaeus
Maronis daughter of Palemon
Pelalius son of Casius
Ptollas son of Germanus
Heracles and Alexander
Seuthes son of Heras
Tanouphis daughter of Patas
Pancrates son of Ptolemaeus
Analis daughter of Salious
Melas son of Horus
Paesius son of Masculinus
Apous son of Ptolemaeus


Boak, Arthur E. R. and Herbert Chayyim Youtie
1960 The Archive of Aurelius Isidorus. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

Brewer, Douglas and Emily Teeter
1999 Egypt and the Egyptians. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Crawford, Dorothy J.
1979 Food and Tradition in Hellenistic Egypt. World Archaeology 11(2):136-146.

Haatvedt, Rolfe A., Enoch E. Peterson, and Elinor M. Husselman
1964 Coins from Karanis. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Ann Arbor.

Shennum, David
1977 English-Egyptian index of Faulkner's Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Undena Publications, Malibu.

Webpage constructed 22 January 2016
Updated 2 March 2016