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ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 217-218 Hdlne Cuvigny, Ostraca de Krokodil6. La correspondance militaire et sa circulation. O.Krok. 1-151. Praesidia du desert de B&rnice 2. Fouilles de l'Ifao, Vol. 51. Cairo: Institut frangais d'archdologie orientale, 2005. xi + 283 pages. ISBN 2-7247-0370-7. This volume is the second in the series of publications of the finds from the excavations carried out at the site of Roman forts in the Eastern desert of Egypt, along the route from Koptos to Myos Hormos on the Red Sea, in 1996-1997.1 It is the first volume dedicated to the texts unearthed in one of them, the small fort of Krokodil6. We have 151 ostraca that date from the reign of Trajan and the beginning of the reign of Hadrian (mostly 108-118); almost two thirds are military correspondence, while the remaining are dipinti. Many of the texts included in this volume are unusual; they may appear less so after the publication of the mass of material found in these Roman forts, but this is bound to take a very long time. The excavations at Mons Claudianus have unearthed almost ten thousand ostraca; only a portion, though an important one, has been published in O.Claud. 1-4. The forts on the road to Myos Hormos have yielded their own four-digit number; the published crop currently numbers under two hundred. The scholars who have undertaken the publication of these finds are and will probably remain very few, and there are limits to one's output. A further complication is that editing this material requires a fair amount of time spent at the site and in local stores, usually in less than ideal conditions;2 few, especially among those engaged in teaching, could afford this time, especially in the winter, the time preferred for work in Egypt. One can only wish that those involved in the publication of these finds persevere with their tasks for as long as they are able to. This volume has already received numerous and occasionally extensive reviews,3 so that there seems to be little point in summarizing its contents or even indicating "highlights" here, though perhaps I ought to mention what struck me most. Apart from reports of delivery of fish by courier, even during The first was H. Cuvigny (ed.), La route de Myos Hormos. L'armie romaine dans le desert oriental d',gypte (Cairo 2002), and provides much background information for the material edited in O.Krok. as well as some new texts. 2 Occasionally further aggravated by the stubborn ignorance of local authorities; cf. p. 65, n. 8. 3 I am aware of the following: G. Husson, REG 119 (2006) 793-795; M. Schentuleit, OLZ 101 (2006) 623-625; R.S. Bagnall, BibOr64 (2007) 168-171; J. Bingen, CE 82 (2007) 351-354; A.K. Bowman, JRA 20 (2007) 635-638; T. Kruse, BMCR 2007.01.29; F. Mitthof, APF 53 (2007) 91-94; A. Verhoogt, CR 58 (2008) 273-275.
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