Kaminoi (meris of Polemon)
The evidence for Kaminoi consists of 93 references in 69 papyri and ostraca, ranging from 246 BC (P.Petrie III 43 ) to the ninth century AD. There is a peak in the third century BC, while the first, fifth and sixth century AD are represented a single text each. Among the eight letters kept by Nektenibis, komarch of Kaminoi at the end of the third century BC, two explicitly mention the village; the remaining six can be ascribed to Kaminoi because they belong to the same archive.
The name Kaminoi refers to κάμινος (an oven or furnace), perhaps for pottery or brick-making, though the few sources that are preserved do not make mention of any economic activity of that kind.
Most of the time, we find the genitive Καμίνων, but three early texts add the article of the feminine plural. The singular Κάμινος is sporadically found in the Roman and Byzantine period. The genitive Καμίνους> and the plural Κάμινα point to a neuter variant.
As to its status, Kaminoi is regularly called a κώμη from the Ptolemaic period up to AD 663. It is called a χώριον in some of the later texts. The χορ(ίον?) Κάμινον (P.Lond. V 1786) is probably just a farmstead in the territory of Kaminoi.
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Several papyri explicitly locate Kaminoi in the meris of Polemon. Though a pagus is mentioned in SB XXIV 15913, it is not certain to which pagus Kaminoi belonged (Derda 2001d). Banaji 2002, p.245 tentatively proposes an identification with Qambasha at the eastern end of the Tutun basin.
There are indications that the village was situated in the northern part of the meris, towards the meris of Themistos. Kaminoi is mentioned several times in connection with villages in that meris; it was close to Kerkesephis, which was also near the border with Themistou meris. BGU III 1003, a text from thearchive, deals with a collapsed bridge towards Kerkesephis; since it belongs to Kaminoi because of its link with Nektenibis, this text confirms that both villages were in each others vicinity.
Another village that might have been in the vicinity is Argeas, where the inhabitants of Kaminoi cultivated land in ἐπιμερισμός.
In a letter from the early second century BC, someone travelled from Oxyryncha to Ibion (Eikosipentarouron); due to a broken bridge, he had to return to Oxyryncha and went up to Kaminoi instead (P.Tebt. III 753).
Only a single cleruch with property (a stathmos) is attested at Kaminoi (P.Petrie2 I 22; cf. Uebel 1968, nr. 590). This infantry officer from Oite bequeathed his stathmos in the village to his wife and daughter.
On land use, only few details are known. Zenon apparently owned about 185 arouras in the village (PCZ III 59530) and somewhat later a certain Chrysermos owned a dorea here. He is not to be identified with the head of the Alexandrian museum, but perhaps with the eponymous officer of that name, one of whose officers built a gymnasion in neighbouring Samareia. Two arouras of the dorea were sown with vetch (vetch) by his farmer Idomeneus, clearly a Greek.
In AD 313/314 the landowners Thermoutharion and Mouses make payments for green fodder, wine and meat from their estate, which is spread over several villages in the Polemon meris, including Kaminoi, Boubastos and Aphrodites polis ( (PSI VIII 820 ).
The name of the village suggests a center for pottery production, but no information whatsoever is found in the texts.
Donkey drivers are attested in several texts, e.g. the late third century ostraca, but more interesting is the Greek Athenogenes in P.Enteuxeis 38 (221 BC), τῶν ἐγ Καμίνοις ὀνηλατῶν, who rents 73 donkeys for the transport of the "things of the king", no doubt tax money.
Farmers of Kaminoi receive seed-corn for sowing public land in neigbouring Argeas, no doubt for epimerismos. PCZ IV 59787 deals with harvesting sesame. P.Tebt. III 984 is a receipt for apomoira paid for vineyards in Kaminoi. The tax is paid at the logeuterion in Mouchis, which suggests that Kaminoi did not have a bank before the second century BC.
A blacksmith named Aurelius Epimachos and a baker Kosmas - who is at the same time a priest - are attested .
P.Tebt. III 1034 (150 or 139 BC) is a report on wheat-shipments from Kaminoi and two other villages in the meris of Polemon; SB VI 09131 (308/309 AD) mentions transport of palm trees to Memphis.
P.Princ.Univ. II 29 suggests there has been an attack or raid on the village by some Libyans (maybe beduins) ca. AD 258.
The earliest reference to a priest, who is at the same time a baker, is Stud.Pal. XX 193 (AD 400-599). In P.Berl.Zill. 8 (AD 663) a farmer working on land in Kaminoi belonging to the church of Arsinoe swears to bishop Petros that he will not steal barley [cf. Wipszycka 1972, p.43]. An eighth century text lists Kaminoi among a group of choria paying to "the great church" (Stud.Pal. X 168).
Sitologoi are attested from the early second century BC (e.g. P.Tebt. 03 774) to the 4th century AD (O.Wilcken 1105; 1107; 1116 and 1117; 1101). Ammonios, an inhabitant of Krokodilon Polis, who served as sitologos in Kaminoi and several other villages in the meris of Polemon in the early second century BC, is the only one known by name. Harmieus and Orsenouphis are presbyteroi of the village in AD 167/168 (P.Berl.Leihg. II 26). In P.Lond. 01 0113, dated in AD 639/640, Kaminoi is unexpectedly overtaken by historical events, when the presbyteroi of the village are requisioned all kinds of goods for the imperial troops fighting the Arab invasion.
In AD 308/309 Aurelius Pamouthis, Aurelius Kollouthos, Aurelius Nepos, Aurelius Sarapion, Aurelius Apon, Aurelius Ames, Aurelius Potamion and Aurelius Z[--] all members of the city council and tax-collectors (ἀπαιτηταί), sign two receipts for Aurelius Tithoeis from Kaminoi.
For inhabitants of Kaminoi included in the database, click here.
B. Van Beek, Dec 7 2004