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Archaeology And Papyrology: Digging And Filling Holes?

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Chapter Summary

Archaeologists dig 'm; papyrologists fill 'm - no real progress is made. Of course, they are not the same holes; archaeologists dig trenches; papyrologists fill lacunae. This chapter attempts to make some inroads into the archaeological record as a papyrologist, and shows how 'objects' and texts together can improve our grasp of the whole - what Graeco-Roman Egypt meant to those who lived it. It presents a brief history of the archaeology and papyrology of Graeco-Roman Egypt. The chapter takes a tour of Egypt, 1000 kilometers down the Nile, from south to north, and then focuses on one region, the Fayyum. It highlights places where archaeology has been especially helpful in answering or raising papyrological questions, or where texts have provided archaeologists with a clue or a challenge for interpreting the material evidence.

Keywords: archaeology; Fayyum; Graeco-Roman Egypt; papyrology



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