Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1902-1903

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1 cm
Graeco-Rojiax Egypt.

4 1

years engaged in a very close study of the Petrie Papyri, published and
unpublished, and is consequently a most valuable collaborator with the
two better-known editors in a volume consisting wholly of Ptolemaic
papyri. In date they are later than the Petrie MSS., belonging mainly to
the latter part of the second century b.c. With the trifling exceptions
enumerated above, all are non-literary in character, and consequently of
less interest to the general reader; but for the specialist, especially in
economic history, they are of the greatest importance. They include
royal decrees, especially a long series of rescripts of Euergetes II. on
various matters of domestic administration, which contribute to the
rehabilitation of this much-abused sovereign; official correspondence,
especially that of a certain village secretary (/c&iucr/paM/xaTei}?), Menches,
all relating to details of local administration; petitions for protection
against injury or redress of grievances ; tax-registers, leases and sales, and
accounts of various kinds; but above all a long series of elaborate
documents relating to the land survey of the village of Kerkeosiris,
illustrating in the fullest detail the various kinds of land tenure there
in use, the methods of taxation applied to it, and the machinery for
collection and record. These long registers are a wilderness of small
facts and figures, which by themselves would be almost useless to the
ordinary student; but their results have been tabulated, explained, and
discussed in an admirable appendix, which may almost be said to contain
the gist of the whole volume. The system of tenure of land by the
crown, and of grants to military settlers, is fully and clearly set forth,
together with the explanation of many technical terms which occur in
connection with it, especially with regard to land which, for one reason or
another, was not paying its full rent. Space will not admit of an
analysis of this appendix, which is likely to remain the standard authority
on its subject for a long time.

Another long appendix deals with the evidence of the Tebtunis Papyri
on the coinage and currency of Ptolemaic Egypt, a subject on which Mr.
Grenfell has written before. The present essay, however, demolishes the
previously accepted view of himself and others, that the ratio of value
between the silver and copper drachma was 120 : 1. There is clear and
repeated evidence in these papyri of conversions of one currency into the
other at ratios varying between 375 and 500 : 1 (rates which are also found
in the Roman period). With this rate of exchange, it seems impossible to
explain the extant Ptolemaic coins on the old view that the weight of a
copper drachma was approximately the same as that of a silver drachma ;
and the theory now advocated is that the weights of the two coins were
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