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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Papyrus Codex Tongeren

At the end of 2006 an extraordinary object was discovered in the Gallo-Roman Museum's collection in Tongeren, Belgium.

Though these finds were the result of excavation work carried out on the Broekberg in Tongeren back in the 1930s, they had never been thoroughly researched. Because it was discovered in a box of Roman finds, it was assumed that it, too, dated from that period.

At first glance it looked like a piece of tree-bark, but on closer examination it was realized that this could not be the case. The object most resembled a packet of papyri. This was highly unlikely though, as little or no papyrus had survived in Europe. And no letters were immediately identifiable either.

Professor Clarysse, Papyrologist at the K.U.Leuven (KUL) was called in and he immediately confirmed that it was an important discovery: a papyrus codex.

location of the Museum
Source: Papy-L (W. Clarysse)