The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

7 Oct 2022

Report: Nesreen Monir

Research visit to NINO

It was a wonderful opportunity to obtain a NINO Mobility Grant, as well as a grant from Mehen Foundation (Study Center for AncientEgypt). My stay in Leiden of three months (July-September 2022) brought me more benefit than expected.

My project concerns the Coptic language in Nubia, especially documentary texts, important for understanding the daily life of a society. The Coptic language in Nubia was used alongside Greek and Old Nubian (the local language), and later the Arabic language. Nubia was a multilingual society. Coptic was used in biblical and literary texts as well as in documentary texts relating to daily dealings such as funerary stelae, letters, legal documents, graffiti, etc. It should be noted here that there are a few Egyptian scholars who work on Nubia. The NINO and Leiden University libraries were the ideal place to achieve my work. I had access to the archaeological libraries of NINO, Leiden University, and the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO), allowing me to collect all that I need for my PhD dissertation and for my ongoing articles – some publications relevant to my project are not available in Egypt.

Some activities during my trip to the Netherlands were the following:

In July, I gained access to some of the Coptic collections kept in the RMO to compare and study some Coptic ostraca. This was a very good opportunity to work with these objects. I enjoyed the chance to visit the museum galleries, especially the Taffeh temple, the famous Nubian temple which dates back to the Roman Period.

In July, I traveled to Brussel (Belgium), to attend the 12th International Congress of Coptic Studies, where I gave two talks: “Two Late Coptic Letters (P.Cair.Copt.18)” and “The Coptic foundation texts in Egypt and Nubia”.

In August and September, I had regular work sessions with prof. Dr. Jacques van der Vliet. Our discussions were fruitful and very useful to me, and the work on my project has greatly developed. I highly appreciate receiving this grant, which was an important step to further my studies, mostly with regard to the development of my academic and research skills.

Nesreen Monir