Object of the Month

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

The Return of the Sower: Egyptian Amulet

P. 982 What do rabies and firefighters have to do with the film Tenet (2020)? And why is this question papyrologically relevant? In the movie about the secret mission Tenet a Russian named Sator — founder of the company Rotas… Read More

A Philologist at Work

BKT I, S. 4–73 (P. 9780 R) The papyrus is fairly extensive, in relatively good condition and contains interesting texts on both recto and verso sides: texts from ancient scholars whom we knew to be prolific but by whom prior… Read More

Tax receipt for an installment payment

BGU II 676 (P. 3544) ATTENTION!! This piece from the Berlin Papyrus Collection is not papyrus. Instead, it is parchment! This „papyrus database“ comprises mostly papyri, but also parchments, paper, wood, pottery sherds, wax tablets and inscribed textiles. But what… Read More

Arithmetical Memory Board

SB III 6219 (P. 10506) Mental arithmetic is difficult. Cheat sheets are therefore popular. Another way to avoid having to do mathematical calculations over and over again is to use boards with lists of multiplications and divisions that you can… Read More

Orders by letter

BGU III 874 (P. 2748) Through letters we learn a lot about the people of former times and gain insights into their everyday lives. However, many letters are difficult to understand, especially because of their lack of context, and the… Read More

Receipt for wheat

SPP III2.5 493 (P. 2675) Receipts are among the most common types of text that have survived on papyrus. Naturally, the Berlin Papyrus Collection also possesses many of these mostly very short and dry texts. Yet they contain a great… Read More

Hymn to Demeter

P. 11793 Inconspicuous, but always good for surprises. A small papyrus fragment provides insights into literary production beyond the major centres and can score points with details that are otherwise barely documented, if at all. The papyrus comes from mummy… Read More

The Suitors of Helen the Beautiful

BKT V.1 28-30 (P. 9739 R) It is well known that Helena was beautiful. However, she was courted by so many suitors that lists had to be drawn up in antiquity. One of them has been preserved on this papyrus,… Read More

Easter Canon

BKT VI 6.3 (P. 9051) „Resurrection Day“ – these words begin the first verse of the song on this writing and stand as the heading for what follows: Christ’s resurrection, the Easter. Many hymns have been handed down from the… Read More

Toll Receipt

SB XII 10915 (P. 13311 Fr. a) Who was Satorneilos (Saturninus) for whom this customs receipt was issued? What cargo did he transport that was cleared through customs? What was it used for? The customs receipt does not answer any… Read More