ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 281-286
A. Lajtar, Deir el-Bahari in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods: A Study
of an Egyptian Temple Based on Greek Sources. The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, Supplements 4. Warszawa: Institute of Archaeology,
and Fundacja im. Rafala Taubenschlaga, 2006. xviii + 462 pages + 28
plans and photographs + one unnumbered photograph. ISBN 83 -918250-3-5.
It does not often happen that a substantial new body of Greek inscriptions
from Egypt is published.' When, moreover, this is done by an expert in the field,
who has done important work on Greek inscriptions from the Sudan, Egypt,
and other areas of the Mediterranean, one cannot but feel a sense of excitement
when opening this book.2 And indeed, reading through Adam Lajtar's (henceforth: L.) study and edition of 330 Greek texts from the temple of Hatshepsut
at Deir el-Bahari, the excitement never ceases. This is a model study for any
future publication of Greek inscriptions from an Egyptian temple site.
As can be seen in the preface, work on the inscriptions began in 1988,
when L. first participated in the Polish archaeological mission at Deir el-Bahari, and he has worked on the project on and off for almost twenty years.
The 330 inscriptions are not all unpublished, since Andre Bataille published
a large part of them in 1951.3 L. re-edits these inscriptions and over the years
has added a significant number of new wall inscriptions, for a total of 325.4
Moreover, he includes three ostraka and two "stone inscriptions" (one on a
column and another on fragments of a stela). For his study L. makes use of an
excellent publication of the Ptolemaic sanctuary within the complex, including
its relief decoration and hieroglyphic inscriptions.5 On the other hand, a group
Many thanks to Richard Burgess for some improvements to the English of this
2 Lajtar's main editions of larger collections of Greek inscriptions are: Die Inschriften
von Byzantion 1 (Bonn 2000); Catalogue of the Greek Inscriptions in the Sudan National
Museum at Khartoum (Leuven 2003); and with A. Twardecki, Catalogue des inscriptions
grecques du Musde national de Varsovie (Warszawa 2003).
3 A. Bataille, Les inscriptions grecques du temple de Hatshepsout a Deir el-Bahari
4 L. speaks of 322 wall inscriptions on p. 18, ca. 322 on p. 87 and 323 on p. 107, whereas
his catalogue contains 325 numbers.
SE. Laskowska-Kusztal, Le sanctuaire ptoldmaique de Deir el-Bahari (Warszawa
1984). There are also a few more published inscriptions in hieroglyphic and demotic
from elsewhere on the temple terrain, which are mentioned in the useful survey of the
sources on pp. 16-20.