Sketch of an Elephant with Two Figures

This drawing is found on the back of an invitation (see photo), though it is unclear if the sketch is related to the content of the letter or simply a doodle created during a moment of leisure.  The unidentified artist depicted an elephant, possibly African, facing a human figure (who may represent an elephant handler) and a relatively large human head.  Elephants were not particularly common sights in fifth/sixth century Egypt, but the artist may have seen these animals at a Roman circus.  The headdresses worn by both human figures are comparable to those in drawings of Africans and Indians of the same era. 


P.Mich.inv. 4290 verso (ZPE 79, 1989, pp. 273-276)


P.Mich.inv. 4290 recto with invitation

Epistles of St. Paul

Birth certificate of Herennia Gemella