Object of the Month

Here, another special text from the collection will be introduced every month.

The donkey, protector of the Pharaoh’s position?

BGU XIII 2253 (P. 21448) We all know that cute donkey from the petting zoo, with the fluffy ears and the friendly „hee-haw“. However, few people know that its ancestry goes all the way back to the wild donkeys of… Read More

Afebrile through Magic

SM I 10 (P. 21165) We all know this stressful situation: it all starts with an elevated temperature, you feel weak, then you get hot and cold… You have caught the fever again and your plans for the next few… Read More

Mysterious List of Herbs

BGU III 953 (keine Inv.Nr.) We have probably all written a shopping list at some point. Very few people think that this piece of paper could be found and examined many centuries from now. Nikon, the author of this order… Read More

Order to farm

O.Wilck. 1224 (P. 321) Egypt’s wealth relied on the annual flooding of the Nile and its fertile riverbanks; hence, the land was considered the granary of the ancient world. The ancient Egyptians also possessed excellent irrigation systems, further augmenting their… Read More

Wisdom or power – who is the moral winner?

BKT IX 38 (P. 6934 V + P. 21137 V) The conflict between wisdom and power is an old topic. It is therefore not surprising that stories of many famous wise women and men have been handed down in which… Read More

One receipt’s literary „glow-up“: an anthology from the Kleitorios archive

P. 12311 First used a receipt, then upcycled as a surface for a writing exercise: this ostracon contains remnants of a receipt as well as being an “anthology” with three short texts! To be precise, three independent texts are recognisable… Read More

Christmas with Thorns? Two Christian Hymns

P. 8687 Most definitely, you have heard of Christmas, perhaps you often even celebrated it and sang carols while doing so. But what have thorns to do with Christmas? What was it like 1400 years ago? Were there the same… Read More

Puzzle of a Multiplication Exercise

SB XXII 15312 (P. 11702) An odd drawing, a multiplication-table and a bird! All of this can be found on a Berlin papyrus and gives puzzles. What does that mean? In what context are these elements related to each other?… Read More

Babylonian planetary calculation in Greco-Roman Egypt

P. 16511 V Anybody who is eager to determine the precise position of stars or planets in the sky, can nowadays open their computer and find everything they seek with a few clicks through modern software. In antiquity, this was… Read More

Medicine and Philosophy united?

BKT IX 42 (P. 21141) Reason in the head, bravery in the heart, desire in the liver – the famous ancient physician Galen tries to build a bridge between Hippocratic medicine and Platonic philosophy. A small fragment from this great… Read More