Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1906-1907

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Egypt Exploration Fund.


Excavations at Oxyrhynchus.

In our sixth season at Behnesa, which began on December 3, 1906, we
were accompanied by Mr. A. M. Blackman, who threw himself into the
work with great energy and rendered most valuable service in assisting to
superintend the excavations. Only a few mounds remained to be cleared,
and with a hundred workmen we had no difficulty in finishing these by the
beginning of March 1907. As was to be expected, those parts of the site
which we had left to the last did not prove to be especially productive, and
with regard to papyri of the Boman period the results of last season do not
bear comparison with those of former years. One very good find of classical
fragments however occurred, and there was no lack of Byzantine documents.

After a few days devoted to a low mound which yielded some moderately
good 3rd-4th century documents, we proceeded to excavate the small
remaining portion of the extensive mound in which we had found in
February 1906 the debris of a library consisting largely of lyric poetry
(cf. Arch. Rej). 1905-6, p. 12). Here our efforts were rewarded by the
discovery of several hundred literary fragments of various sizes, chiefly
poetical, belonging to the same group. The bulk and value of this is-
substantially increased by the new additions ; but the task of sorting and
combining the enormous number of pieces which compose it is rendered
more formidable than ever, and some time must necessarily elapse before
we are in a position to publish any of the more important texts. Apart
from this find of literary fragments very few papyri of interest were
unearthed in that mound.

The greater part of the season was occupied in clearing two large
mounds, about 25 feet in height, situated in the northern part of the site,
both of which had been avoided in previous years owing to the great
depth of the Byzantine accumulations. In one of these the Boman layers,
10-20 feet below the surface, yielded a fair number of 2nd-4th century
papyri, together with a good-sized fragment of a philosophical work written
in the first century b.c. The other mound proved to be Byzantine in most
parts down to the damp level. Several large finds of 5th-6th century
documents were made, chiefly about 6-8 feet from the surface; but as a
whole the papyri from this mound tended to be in poor condition, and
theological and other literary fragments (Greek, Latin and Coptic) were
scarce. In one place the Boman strata came up to the surface, but the
papyri obtained from them were very fragmentary,
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