History of Papyrology - beta

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My dear Smyly,
I hope that you have now seen the
last of that index, and that P.P.III will be
out by the time we return. Have you tackled
these Tebtunis cartonnages yet? I am curious
to hear if they turn out Greek or demotic.
We have been digging for 6 weeks now and are
just half way through the season. Though not
perhaps wildly exciting, the finds have been
quite good. We began by trying one group of
mounds which we avoided in 1897 and by clearing
away another mound in which good papyri
have been found near the surface, but in neither
case did we effect much more than demonstrate
the judiciousness of our previous action or inaction.
Then we made some biggish hauls1 of 2nd century
documents, and the last three weeks we have

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been engaged after one of the biggest of
the Roman mounds, with very good results,
especially with regard to 1st century
documents. Literary fragments have been
pretty frequent, but we should ^ have liked
them to be larger. It is however
unlikely that any of the mounds that are
left will equal in that respect the two
which were finished last season. Nothing
Ptolemaic so far, but the mound which
we are going to next, and which yielded
some Tiberius documents in 1897, may
conceivably produce some. There is still
a great deal of work before us here, and
we shall want at least 2 more winters to
finish the Roman part properly. We have
built ourselves a house, and which after

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the confinement of tents is a great relief.
I wish you would come out next Christmas
and visit us. We had a delightful visit
from an Oxford friend, JAR Munro,2 about
a fortnight ago, and managed to have quite
a series of good finds so3 that he departed
duly impressed. Our present mound has
turned up several quite pretty and
valuable small anticas—4 being the
first rubbish mound here which has ever
done such a thing.
Jouguet has not yet appeared on the scene,
but his companion, Lefebvre, is digging at
Tehneh about 40 miles S of This, and was
finding some 4th century papyri.5 Rubensohn
is at Abusir near the Fayûm looking
for cartonnage. Did I tell you that one
which he found there last year was dated in
the 12th year of Augustus ? That is much later
than any I have seen from the Fayûm. Petrie

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is at Akhnas (Heracleopolis), digging the
big temple, but will not be able to effect
much till March or April owing to the water.
His assistant, Currelly, has been messing about
in the Gurob cemetery, and found some more
papyrus6 cartonnage, but all in a condition
of powder.
The cattle-plague7 is raging round here: dead cows
and buffalos float8 past in our canal by scores:
they rather get on the nerves of Hunt and the cook
but I, being out at the work all day, am able
to drink my tea without questioning its
I hope you have had some proofs. We shall
leave Egypt about March 4th and shall be back
in Oxford by the 20th.9 The book must be out
by June 25th, so we shall be hard at work at
the proofs all April, and shall be glad of your
suggestions, as soon as you can send them.
Love to J.P.M.
With remembrances from Hunt

Yours ever

1. 'h' in 'hauls' is correction made through Grenfell's overwrite.

2. Biography of J.A.R. Munro from the British Museum

3. 's' appears to be Grenfell's correction through overwrite.

4. Grenfell's word for "antiquities".

5. Presumably 4th-century BCE (which makes them of interest).

6. 'p' corrected by Grenfell with overwrite.

8. 'fl' in 'float' is Genfell's correction; overwrite.

9. '0' in '20'th corrected from what appears to be '4'.

Cite this page: Center for the Tebtunis Papyri. Document 51. History of Papyrology. https://histpap.info/letters/51/.