Re: Ancient Scrolls (FWD)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 06:41:48 EST

Since Rod Decker asked for any further updates on the papyrus finds in
western Egypt, I thought it might not be amiss to forward this item from
the Papyrus list which appeared yesterday as a forward to the Classics List:

>------------ Forwarded Message begins here ------------
>From: "K.A. Worp" <>
>Date: Wed, 4 Feb 98 10:23:56 +0100
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: Re: papyrus discovery
>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
>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)
end of forwarded message

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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