At Parchment and Pen, Dan Wallace reports on photographic projects at Patmos and "an Eastern European country":
As many of you know, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (www.csntm.org) sent out two teams on expeditions this past summer—one to Patmos and one to an eastern European country. The expeditions accomplished far more than we thought they would: 25,000 images shot with high-resolution digital cameras, more than sixty manuscripts photographed altogether. Not only that, but we discovered several manuscripts that are up till now unknown to western scholarship. We’re not sure exactly what we have found in all instances so far because with thousands of images to go through it takes time to determine exactly what each manuscript contains. But we’ve been working through the images and documenting what we have found.In Archaeology Magazine, Marco Merola reports on thousands of recently excavated inscribed papyrus fragments and potsherds at Tebtunis in Egypt. This part of the online abstract caught my eye especially:
In addition to the new discoveries, CSNTM also ‘rediscovered’ several manuscripts that had been presumed lost decades ago. To put all this in perspective, those manuscripts that go missing almost never show up. And certainly they don’t show up in batches. This time, they did. More importantly, we photographed them as well as the newly discovered manuscripts.
Gallazzi puts on a pair of white gloves to remove a piece of papyrus from the ground with very thin tweezers. Since 1998, the Italian-French mission has found 7,000 papyri and many inscribed potsherds. This is one of the very few places in Egypt where archaeologists are still unearthing papyrus fragments. And the finds here are startlingly diverse, written in Arabic, Coptic, Greek, Aramaic, and Egyptian demotic, a simplified, cursive form of hieratic writing.As always when I hear of such manuscript discoveries, I want to ask whether there are any Old Testament Pseudepigrapha among them. I suspect that projects like this will provide fodder for a future More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project in decades to come.
"Many are concerned with administrative procedures, but also include contracts, receipts, inventories, letters, and school exercises, as well as copies of literary works by Homer, Menander, and Euripides," says Gallazzi, who seems to be able to read ancient papyri the way you're reading this article.
By the way, the current MOTP project is going well. Entries are starting to come in and we expect to be doing much of the editing of the volumes in 2008. Thanks to those who have already turned in their entries, and we look forward to receiving the rest in the coming months.