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Inscribed Papyrus Fragment

Date Unknown
6.6 cm x 5.2 cm (2 5/8 in. x 2 1/16 in.)
ink on papyrus

Not on view


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In the ancient Mediterranean, the most common writing material was made from papyrus, a marsh plant that flourished in the Nile River valley. Sheets for writing were fabricated by layering the tissues at right angles, giving papyrus fragments the appearance of woven cloth. Although this made the material sturdy, it was still vulnerable to damage from moisture and insects, so the greatest finds come either from arid regions, such as southern Egypt, or from exceptional hoards such as the Dead Sea scrolls, which were buried in jars at Qumran.
J. Hanson

Acquisition History
Discovered by L. S. B. MacCoull in May, 1971 at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library inside a copy of Carl Wessely's Papyrorum scripturae graecae specimina isagogica (Leipzig 1900);

Dumbarton Oaks Research Librray and Collection, Byzantine Collection, Washington D.C.