Graffito of Esmet-Akhom
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Graffito of Esmet-Akhom

The Graffito of Esmet-Akhom (or Philae 436) is the last known inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphs, dated to 394 CE. It is inscribed in the temple Isis at Philae in southern Egypt.[1]

The inscription accompanies and refers to an image of the Nubian god Mandulis wearing his characteristic crown. In addition to the hieroglyphic text there is also a demotic inscription. The demotic one is dated to "the day of the Birth of Osiris, his (?) dedication-festival, year 110 [ Diocletian epoch ]", corresponding to . At the time, Roman Egypt had been largely Christianised, and Egypt was a separate diocese within the Praetorian prefecture of the East.

The hieroglyphic inscription:

Graffito of Esmet-Akhom (hieroglyphs in one line)


m-b M?-w-r s? ?r m-?=f Ist-m?-i?m s* r'Ist1-md ?m-n?r

Translation in English:

"Before Mandulis son of Horus, by the hand of Esmet-Akhom, son of Esmet, the Second Priest of Isis, for all time and eternity. Words spoken by Mandulis, Lord of the Abaton, great god."[2]

The demotic inscription reads:

"I, Nesmeterakhem, the Scribe of the House of Writings (?) of Isis, son of Nesmeterpanakhet the Second Priest of Isis, and his mother Eseweret, I performed work on this figure of Mandulis for all time, because he is fair of face towards me. Today, the Birthday of Osiris, his dedication feast, year 110 [of the reign of Diocletian]."[2]


  1. ^ "THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE: NOT JUST HIEROGLYPHS". American Research Center in Egypt Orange County. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b Parkinson, Richard (1999). Cracking Codes: The Rosetta Stone and Decipherment. Contributions by Whitfield Diffie, Mary Fischer, and R. S. Simpson. British Museum Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-7141-1916-8.

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