Ancient Egyptian papyri: unlocking secrets to the history of writing

Project: Research

Project Details


Papyrus and carbon-based ink were the primary writing materials in the Mediterranean from 2600 BCE to 1000 CE, a period of massive environmental, technological, and socio-cultural change. Papyri (>95% of which are from Egypt), provide information on all these, but their uncertain provenience and date limits our understanding of them. This project investigates the chemical composition of papyri and their inks to identify scribes, date texts, detect forgeries, match fragmentary texts, and illuminate environmental and technological change. The new insights into writing technology, scribal identity, dating, and authenticity this cheap non-destructive analysis provides will revolutionize our understanding of ancient cultures from Egypt to Rome.
Effective start/end date4/01/1931/12/21