Papyri in the Archaeological Record

Arthur Verhoogt

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571451
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Papyri in the Archaeological Record

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology of the Near East
  • Egyptian Archaeology


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Beyond every identified archive lies a cache of documents that was discovered at some time in a specific location in Egypt. Sometimes this specific location and the precise circumstances of its discovery are known in more or less detail, but more often archaeological background is not available for such groups of documents because these papyri entered collections as purchases on the antiquities market. This article discusses the relation between cache and archive in more detail in an attempt to treat such caches of papyri first of all as objects from an archaeological record. This is often lacking in many discussions about the archaeological context of papyri. In particular, it would be helpful for papyrologists to take into account recent debates in processual archaeology, especially of household activities.

Keywords: cache; archive; papyri; archaeological record; processual archaeology

Article.  4675 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East ; Egyptian Archaeology

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