Ancient Egypt > The Archive of Tikas: An Archive of Commercial Documents of a Woman from Philadelphia in the Fayum

About The Archive of Tikas: An Archive of Commercial Documents of a Woman from Philadelphia in the Fayum

The Archive of Tikas represents the personal business documents from ancient Egypt of a woman named Tikas. Tikas inherited a significant piece of property from her parents and later used that property as collateral for a series of financial transactions. The documents all date from the time frame of 200-180 BC in the Ptolemaic era in Egypt. This time period was the Egypt after the Greeks assumed control of Egypt after Alexander’s conquest in 332 BC and is mostly known as the time when traditional Egyptian culture was placed under significant pressures as the Greek language and customs were being systematically not being used in business and administrative procedures in favor of Greek forms and practices. The archive consists of 44 complete and fragmentary documents all written in the Egyptian script known as Demotic. Demotic Egyptian was used in Egypt from around 700 BC up through AD 300. For business purposes, the Ptolemaic period is the last phase where widespread use of Demotic is found until it is supplanted by Greek. This process began in the Ptolemaic period and was completed during the Roman period. The Egyptian language (written in Demotic) did survive and this archive is a classic example of that. The archive contains further significance as it shows that women in Egypt did have the right to own property outright and were legally capable of disposing and using that property in any manner that they wished.

These plates form the photographic record for the publication: The Archive of Tikas. A Woman’s Archive of Demotic Papyri from Philadelphia in the Fayum by Eugene Cruz-Uribe & Charles Nims, Demotische Studien 15 (Sommerhausen, Gisella Zauzich Verlag, 2015, ISBN 9783924151089). For access to high resolution images, click here:

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