Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1896-1897

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Egypt Explokation Fund.

thirty-five feet in height. Some of them are isolated, others connected by
ridges into irregular groups. There were no particular indications of
the site of the more important buildings, except a large space covered
with limestone chip3, near the road leading to the tomb of Dakruri.
The stone building which once stood there was probably a late Ptolemaic
or early Roman temple, almost equal in size to that of Dendereh,
and facing towards the west. The banked-up chips on the west side of
it probably represent the entrance pylons, a deep depression in the
middle the great court, and the mounds of chips at the east the naos
and other chambers. In two or three places parts of the massive outer
walls are left; but to clear the scanty remains of this temple would be a
season's work, and a very unprofitable one, considering the extent to
which the walls have been dug: out.

As this was by far the largest building traceable, we started work
upon the town on January 11th by setting some seventy men and boys
to dig trenches through a low mound on the outside of the site, a little
to the north of the supposed temple. The choice proved a very fortunate
one, for papyrus scraps at once began to come to light in considerable
quantities, varied by uncial fragments and occasional complete or nearly
complete official and private documents. Later in the week Mr. Hunt,
in sorting the papyri found on tha second day, noticed on a crumpled
piece of papyrus, written on both sides in uncial characters, the Greek
word KAP$>OC ("mote"), which at once suggested to him the verse in
the Gospels about the mote and the beam. A further examination
showed that the passage in the papyrus really was the conclusion of the
verse in question, but that the rest of the writing differed considerably
from the Gospels, and was, in fact, a leaf out of a book containing a
collection of Christ's sayings, some of which were new. The following
day Mr. Hunt identified another uncial fragment as containing most of
the first chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel. The evidence both of the
handwriting and of the dated papyri with which they were found makes
it certain that neither the " Logia " ncr the St. Matthew fragment were
written later than the third century a.d. ; and they are therefore a
century older than the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament. It is
not improbable that they were the remains of a library belonging to
some Christian who perished in the persecution during Diocletian's
reign, and whose books were then thrown away. By a happy freak of
fortune we had thus within a week of excavating in the town lit upon
two examples of the kind of papyri which we most desired to find.

Since this rubbish mound had proved so fruitful I proceeded to
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