“Oidoo”? It sounds a bit like something Scooby-Doo would say… Just kidding. It actually is an acronym that stands for Oriental Institute Demotic Ostraca Online. Held in the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum, it is “a large collection of nearly 900 Demotic ostraca, pottery sherds upon which ancient scribes recorded a wide variety of text types. The vast majority of the corpus concerns economic matters and consists of receipts, contracts, memos, and lists, but there is a small selection of other genres such as votive and astrological texts. With few exceptions, the material derives from the environs of Thebes and over half of the collection derives from the Oriental Institute excavations at Medinet Habu. Attested dates in the documents range from the early Ptolemaic Period (circa 285 B.C.E.) to the early Roman Period (circa 80 C.E.). Less than one third of the corpus has been published…” The Egyptian artifacts are contained in a FileMaker database which does not have the most user-friendly interface unless you’re familiar with the software already. For instance, after trying the Find function to no avail, I couldn’t find my way back to just browsing the ostraca. There’s an introduction however that is a must read for the likes of me 🙂 This is a nice collection with pictures and transcripts included. Nice for scholars of ancient Egypt. Here’s a screenshot:
2 thoughts on “OIDOO”
Don’t badmouth the FMP database too much. It has a very flexible web interface, but you have to set it up. Looks like they went with the default with very little modification.
No, I didn’t mean to speak ill, really. The interface is a bit of a hurdle for the short-attention-span not-so-academic crowd but that’s not whom it is intended for primarily anyway. Thanks for commenting.