Saturday, January 12, 2019

Early Egyptian Inscribed Labels

Database of Early Egyptian Inscribed Labels

The Database of Early Egyptian Inscribed Labels brings together all available evidence on the early Egyptian inscribed labels of bone, ivory, stone and wood from the Lower Nile Valley. This digital resource has been assembled as part of the 2018 publication by Dr Kathryn E. Piquette, An Archaeology of Art and Writing: Early Egyptian Labels in Context funded by Modern Academic Publishing at the University of Cologne, with the kind assistance of Dr Peter Kostädt of the Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln, which hosts this research database.


More than 425 labels are included, with available images and metadata. Each label is identified by a tri-partite identifier including the database ID, source number and site indicator. ID numbers 001–427 follow a generally chronological sequence, from the Naqada IIIA1 (c.3325–c.3085 BCE) through Naqada IIIC to early D (c.3085–c.2867 BCE) and also according to reign (based on the presence of identifiers associated with particular rulers). Compositional format, organisation of graphical content and other typological features form an organising principle within this framework. Nevertheless, the chronological sequence of label types is fraught, and ultimately questions surrounding past use practices mean dating and other temporal aspects of label use are uncertain in many cases. Source numbers follow Jochem Kahl's 1994 Das System der ägyptischen Hieroglyphenschrift in der 0.3. Dynastie, pp. 171–417, as extended by Ilona Regulski in her 2010 A Palaeographic Study of Early Writing in Egypt, pp. 87–2252. The source number is followed by "a–b" if the label is double-sided. For those labels where source numbers are not (yet) assigned, in the book the second part of the designator is given as "*", e.g. "310/*". It is debatable whether some objects in the database should be considered labels; for these and others in poor condition that have not been assigned source numbers by Kahl or Regulski, "--" is used, e.g. ID176/--_A. A fragment presenting uncertainty as to its status as a 'label' is marked with "(?)", e.g. ID233(?)/0631_A. (Note that the use of "*" and "?" apply to the indicator used in the book and corresponding database fields but these symbols could not be incorporated into the image file names.) An alphabetic indicator represents the find site where known (Abu Rowash: Ab; Abydos: A; Giza: G; Helwan: H; Naqada: N; Saqqara: S; Tura: Tu; Unprovenanced: Un), e.g. ID189/0692a–b_A (for further details see Piquette 2018, Preface, DOI:


The contents of this database are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0, unless otherwise indicated. To view a copy of this license, visit This allows for copying any part of the work for personal and commercial use, providing author attribution is clearly stated.


The goal of this online resource is to bring together all available data concerning the early Egyptian labels and it is intended that additional information can be added in the future. Any further information, corrections or comments are welcome.


Kathryn E. Piquette


Piquette, K. E. (2018). Early Egyptian Inscribed Labels. MAP - Modern Academic Publishing, University of Cologne.


--   Sent from my Linux system.