What's New in Papyrology

Recent publications of papyri & ostraca 4th BC-8th AD; conferences, lectures etc. from Papy-L and other sources as noted. PLEASE SEND SUGGESTIONS

Monday, January 05, 2015

Papers relating to Papyrology and Egypt at the AIA

SESSION 5C (Saturday 10 January 2015, 10:45 AM - 12:45 PM)

Recent Histories of Ancient Objects

(2nd paper in session)

Spreading the Word: The Role of a Medical Missionary in Bringing Ancient
Christian Books from Egypt to America
Brent Nongbri, Macquarie University

In the first half of the 20th century, three important groups of ancient Christian
codices from Egypt were purchased by American collectors: the Greek biblical
manuscripts bought by Charles Lang Freer (now in the Smithsonian), collections of Coptic codices bought by J. P. Morgan (now in the Morgan Library and Museum in New York), and substantial portions of the Chester Beatty biblical papyri bought by the University of Michigan and John H. Scheide (now at the University of Michigan and the Scheide Library at Princeton). In the records pertaining to each of these acquisitions, one finds the name of David Askren, an American Presbyterian missionary and medical doctor active in Egypt from 1899 to 1939. Askren’s name also turns up in connection to less-prominent purchases of papyri and assorted artifacts for Yale University and other institutions. Askren, whose patients sometimes included the Egyptians who unearthed the ancient manuscripts, often acted as a middleman in transactions.

Published accounts of the Freer and Morgan purchases and unpublished archival records at Michigan and Princeton indicate that Askren worked with leading international antiquities dealers, such as Maurice Nahman (based in Cairo), as well as with local dealers further south. He also appears to have played a role in the “papyrus syndicate” headed by the British Museum’s H.I. Bell. The present report tracks Askren’s activity in the antiquities market and begins to compile a list of purchases in which he was involved. It also serves as a plea for assistance in tracking down further information on Askren and determining the whereabouts of his own personal correspondence. As papyrologists and archaeologists address the troubling issues raised by the antiquities market and unprovenanced artifacts, it is crucial to gather and consolidate the information that we do have about figures involved in the trade, even figures as seemingly unlikely as David Askren.

SESSION 7C Death and Ancient Egypt
What Does it Mean to be a God? Identifying Markers of Apotheosis in Ancient Egypt
Julia Troche, Brown University

Mortuary Culture, Elite Identity, and the Ptolemaic-Roman Transition in Egypt
Thomas P Landvatter, Valparaiso University

Osiris Mummy Shrouds and the Expression of Gender and Identity in Roman Egypt
Lissette M. Jimenez, University of California, Berkeley

Signaling Syncretism: Contextualizing “Greco-Egyptian” Material in the Roman Catacombs of Kom-el-Shoqafa, Alexandria
Sean ONeill, Hanover College

A New Interpretation of Santa Costanza and the “Ebersolt Fragment” in Istanbul
Jackson Perry, Baylor University

Christianity and the Demythologization of Roman Sarcophagi: Numbers and Purchasing Power
Mont Allen, Southern Illinois University

Spoliation of Tombs and Changing Funerary Culture in Late Antique Aphrodisias
Esen Ogus, Texas Tech University

In the Likeness of Osiris? Symbolic Objects in Roman Egyptian Funerary Portraiture
Mareile Haase, University of Toronto/Ruhr-Universität Bochum

SESSION 8A Recent Work in Egypt
The Role of Crop-Weeds in Ancient Egyptian Agriculture: A Study of Third Century B.C.E. Archaeobotanical Remains from Giza
Claire J. Malleson, Independent Scholar

Augustus as Emperor and Pharaoh in Egypt
Erin Peters, University of Iowa

Excavating Colonial Encounters in Greco-Roman Egypt: The Significance of Recent Discoveries at Tell Timai for Understanding Egyptian-Greek Cultural Interaction.
Jessica L. Nitschke, Stellenbosch University

Mudbrick Geo-Archaeological Analysis and Conservation in Tell Timai, Egypt
Marta Lorenzon, University of Edinburgh