Arts, Culture & Media

Analyzing ancient egyptian paperwork

Mummies were often packaged inside and out with crinkled up paper, back then it was papyrus, and often recycled papyrus which people had written on. This researcher at Yale is holding an Egyptian papyrus which is 2,200 years old in her hands. The papyrus was removed from a mummy. The ragged scraps with faded ink on them were donated to Stanford in 1920 by an alumnus who found them in an antiquity seller in London. This scientist says that until just a few years ago the papyrus were forgotten until now and waiting to be discovered. He brought a specialist in papyrus cleaning in on a hunch and afterward the ink was much clearer, but the scientist still didn't know what they said. That's where the students came in. This researcher says this one papyrus talks about a prenuptial-like agreement. most of the scraps covered similarly mundane topics, but one scrap talked about a Greek general who conquered nearly all of Egypt in 170 BC. This professor says when the Greek general took over Egypt, he kept the pharaoh in place, or so it's been thought. But this professor says he found one scrap which refers to the general as �the pharaoh.� Why is this of such significance? Because the Greeks and Romans were competing for Egypt and the Greek general was demanded to withdraw from Egypt by the Romans.

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