Conservation Survey of Papyrus Collection

An important subset of the Egyptian collection is the Museum’s papyrus collection consisting of material relating to writing and literacy in ancient Egypt and Nubia. A general conservation survey of papyrus collection is currently being done with the objective to safeguard and steward the papyrus collection and enhance its availability and accessibility for teaching, research, loans, and display in the Museum’s galleries. Project Director: Lynn Grant

A survey of the Penn Museum’s Egyptian papyrus collection was started this fall. The goals of the survey include preparing and rehousing the collection to be moved to a new storeroom, identifying unstable papyri that need to be treated, and getting some of the papyri ready for exhibit. The collection includes around 1200-1800 papyri featuring a wide range of personal, legal,administrative, literary, and religious texts in six languages: Arabic, Greek, Coptic, Hebrew, Demotic, and Hieratic. These include Books of the Dead, Homer’s Iliad, and the Gospel of St. Matthew. There are also numerous groups of small fragments which have not been reconstructed or studied. The Penn Museum’s collection of papyri has never been the subject of a concerted conservation campaign – until now.

Project Details


Location: United States, Northern America, Americas Organiser(s): University of Pennsylvania Project partner(s): Penn Museum - University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Funder(s): American Research Center in Egypt - Antiquities Endowment Fund Grant Funding received: $59,890.00 Commencement Date: 08/2019 Project Status: Active
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