- H. Maehler
ExtractPapyrus, manufactured in Egypt since c.3000 bce from a marsh plant, Cyperus papyrus (see books, greek and roman), was the most widely used writing material in the Graeco-Roman world. The object of papyrology is to study texts written on papyrus (and on ostraca, wooden tablets, etc. in so far as they come from the same find-spots) in Egyptian (hieroglyphs, demotic, Coptic), Hebrew, *Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Pahlavi, and Arabic. Greek papyrology also deals with Greek texts written on parchment (see palaeography, Introduction). The vast majority of Greek papyri have been found in Egypt, preserved in the dry sand; with the exception of some carbonized papyri from *Bubastis and Thmouis, no papyri have survived in the damp soils of the Delta or *Alexandria (1). Outside Egypt, Greek papyri have been found at *Herculaneum, at Dura-*Europus, in Palestine, and one text has come from Greece: the carbonized Orphic commentary found in a burial at Derveni near Salonica; see orphic literature; orphism.
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