late 4th century AD
dark ink on leather; with clay sealing
9.3 x 16.9cm
Bactrian document; recto: 10 lines + 5 lines; verso: 8 lines + 3 lines + 2 lines + 3 lines (address). Complete, with very clear dark writing, and perfectly preserved. Palimpsest, the older letter consisting of at least 10 + 5 lines (recto) and 7–8 + 2–3 lines (verso), is not completely erased but almost entirely covered by the new letter, which follows the same layout line by line.
The letter is addressed to Nawaz the commander of the fortress, from Pidak the scribe, his servant.
The sealing is intact. It bears the impression of a seal with a tamga surrounded by a circular Bactrian inscription, perhaps to be read, ‘seal of Pidak’
N. Sims-Williams, Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan II, Studies in the Khalili Collection, volume III, part II, London 2007, Document cp, pp.94–7.
N. Sims-Williams, Bactrian Documents from Northern Afghanistan III, Studies in the Khalili Collection, volume III, part III, London 2012, Document cp, p.23, pls 158–60.