Report on Papyri Purchases by Columbia University and The University of Michigan November 1925

November 1925

This group of Greek papyri was put into the hands of a reputable dealer in antiquities in New York City by Mr. Nahman when they met in Paris last summer. They were offered to Professor Kelsey of Michigan University in late October of 1925. According to Mr. Nahman's report the lot contained 57 complete pieces and 57 fragments and came from Drb-el-Guerza in the Fayum. They proved to be in a fine state of preservation, on the whole. By separation of pieces which were wrongly listed as belonging together, and by combination of two separate pieces into a complete letter, the lot turned out to include 117 pieces. Of these 28 were Roman or later, the Ptolemaic. Most of the 89 Ptolemaic pieces, though not all, proved to be of the Zenon find. In the case of three or four fragmentary Zenon letters in this group it looks very much as if the missing portions had been cut off recently with shears. In the publication of these fragmentary pieces it is recommended that especial attention be paid to the Zenon documents which have already appeared, for posible combination of related pieces.

Only a cursory reading has so far been attempted for the purposes of the inventory and distribution. In case of any doubt regarding the assignment of any piece to the Zenon group, that doubt is expressed in the description. The datings of the pieces of the Roman period are especially open to question, as my knowledge of handwritings for chronological purposes is not well developed.

W.L. Westermann
Columbia University

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