Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1904-1905

Seite: 14
DOI Artikel: 10.11588/diglit.12055.5
DOI Seite: 10.11588/diglit.12055#0026
Zitierlink: i
Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen

Egypt Exploration Eund.

notice. The first of these, which after a depression continued the range
just described in a northerly direction, began by producing first to fourth
century papyri iu fair abundance, but mostly in poor condition, on its east
side. The crest and west sides, however, yielded but little, and the second
mound—a small one, adjoining the first and marking the extreme north-
west limit of the site—practically nothing. The third and fourth mounds,
which ran in an easterly direction towards the later parts of the site, had
large accumulations of Byzantine rubbish (fifth or early sixth century) on
the top, eight or ten feet deep in most places, sometimes much more.
Neither the upper layers nor the lower, in which second to fourth century
documents were found, but in a poor state of preservation, proved very

The clearance of the northern mounds was finished on March 11th,
and the remaining ten days of the excavations were spent mainly in the
preliminary examination of the only portion of the purely Roman mounds
now left unexplored—a group lying to the north of the temple and east of
the mounds dug in 1903-4. By this time the workmen were diminishing
in number owing to pressure of labour in the fields, and no great progress
was made, nor much of interest discovered except a few early Soman
documents. To that group of mounds we look forward to devoting next
season's excavations, the last that we can hope to make at Oxyrhynchus.
Not, of course, that even five winters' work can exhaust more than a
fraction of so vast a site. The mounds which accumulated in the sixth
or seventh century or later have been merely scratched, and to any one
who cares for early and mediaeval Arabic documents there is plenty of
virgin ground to be explored. But the interest and importance of Greek
papyri after the fouith century wanes rapidly; and if—as is unfortunately
very doubtful—the Graeco-Roman Branch can afford to conduct exca-
vations at all in the winter after next, it would not be worth while to
increase the immense quantity of unpublished Byzantine papyri from
Oxyrhynchus found in 1897, while the chance remains of making much
more important discoveries elsewhere The more promising mounds of
the Roman period are now finished; and, except in the group to be dug
next year, it is improbable that many papyri earlier than the fifth century
are left, save what is so deeply buried under later accumulations that
the heavy expenses of the search offer but a slight prospect of being-
remunerative. One more season's work, however, is imperative, before
we can feel confident that in resigning the concession of Oxyrhynchus
to other probable applicants we have extracted at any rate most of the
loading ...