Re: papyrus discovery

From: Michael Holmes (
Date: Wed Feb 04 1998 - 08:46:34 EST

B-Greek colleagues,
The following is forwarded from papylist; in light of Rod Decker's recent
query it may be of some interest. My apologies if it duplicates anything
already posted.

Mike Holmes
Bethel College

>Date: Wed, 4 Feb 98 10:23:56 +0100
>X-PH: V4.4@homer
>From: "K.A. Worp" <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: Re: papyrus discovery
>X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
>X-Comment: Papyrusliste.
>I'm afraid that these recent statements / press reports concerning the
>excavation of approx. 2000 scrolls by Canadian archaeologists at
>Ismant el-Kharab (ancient: Kellis) in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, are not
>quite correct, in that
>a) the archaeologists in question (working under the directorship of Dr
>Colin Hope, Monash University, Melbourne) are Australian rather than
>Canadian, and
>b) one is dealing with (many) more than 2000 texts, quite a few more or
>less complete, many in rather fragmentary shape. These are written on all
>kinds of material (papyrus, potsherds, wooden boards, linen; to be noted
>especially is a clay tablet carrying a Greek text [probably the first of
>its kind preserved from 1000 years of Graeco-Roman presence in Egypt]); there
>is also some inscriptional material, among which a text to be attributed to the
>reign of Nero [A.D. 54-68], possibly the earliest text found at the site.
>The texts are Greek and Coptic documentary and (sub-)literary texts, dating
>(at least predominantly) from the late 3rd and 4th century A.D.; there is also
>some textual material in Demotic, Syriac and Latin.
>A number of first text publications --edited by various scholars coming from
>Australia, Holland, and the U.S.A.-- have appeared already in the
>meantime, most notably 4 volumes of `P.Kellis' (vol. I [mainly Greek,
>documentary texts]: 1995; vol. II [literary texts in Coptic, Greek, and
>Syriac]: 1996; vols III [the famous Kellis Isocrates Codex] and IV
>[the equally famous Kellis Agricultural Account Book]: 1997; all published by
>Oxbow, Oxford); furthermore, there are various articles, i.a. in the
>Zeitschrift fuer Papyrologie & Epigraphik (Cologne), in Orientalia
>(Louvain) and [forthcoming] in Mnemosyne (Leiden). For a recent listing of
>publications of texts from Kellis see ZPE 117 (1997) 139 fn. 2; more texts
>will become available, it is hoped, already in the course of this year
>and later.
>Of course, enquiries for further information are welcome.
>K.A. Worp (member of the editorial committee supervising the publication of
>texts from Kellis)
>c/o Dept of Papyrology
>Oude Turfmarkt 129
>NL-1012 GC Amsterdam
>Tel: + 31 20 52 52 52 6 (office)
> + 31 23 53 75 44 9 (home)
>Fax: + 31 20 52 52 54 4 (office)
>On Tue, 3 Feb 1998, Albert Pietersma wrote:
>> The Toronto Star had the following this past Sunday:
>> CAIRO (AP) --Canadian archeologists have unearthed about 2,000 papyrus
>> scrolls that date to the era when ancient Rome ruled Egypt, says the
>> country's chief archeologist.
>> "It is the most important find of papyrus belonging to the Roman and
>> Greek periods in decades," Gaballah Ali Gaballah said yesterday.
>> Gaballah, head of the supreme council for antiquities, said the scrolls
>> were found in Egypt's Western Desert.
>> They date to the fourth century or earlier and provide information
>> about the political and social life of the period, Gaballah said.
>> He said the scrolls were in good shape.
>> Canadian and Egyptian archeologists said earlier this month they had
>> unearthed a Roman town built during the reign of Emperor Nero in an area
>> called Esment el-Kharab, near the Dakhla oasis, 550 kilometres southwest
>> of Cairo.
>> Nero ruled from A.D. 54 to 68.
>> Egypt was a Roman province from about 30 B.C. to A.D. 395, when
>> Byzantine rule began and continued to A.D. 640.
>> Gaballah said that some of the scrolls are religious documents that
>> could shed light on early Christianity.
>> In announcing the discovery of the town, Egyptian antiquities officials
>> said a four-year excavation had uncovered homes, the remains of a temple
>> to the the local god Tutu and numerous stone carvings.
>> Al
>> --
>> Albert Pietersma
>> Dept of Near&Middle Eastern Civilizations
>> 4 Bancroft Avenue
>> University of Toronto
>> Toronto M5S 1C1
>> homepage

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