How do papyrologists communicate their findings?

After transcribing the papyrus, the papyrologist prepares the text for publication.  A traditional papyrus publication (“edition”) contains a description of the physical characteristics of the papyrus, an introduction to the importance of the particular document, a transcription of the text, a translation into a modern language, and some explanatory notes on individual words or passages. 

Original Papyrus

This papyrus contains a letter, of which the beginning has not survived.  The unidentified sender writes he has just been appointed as a legionary, but is experiencing some difficulties with the appointment.  Because the letter was found in Karanis, Egypt, it is likely that the addressee was an inhabitant of that town.  The sender was probably stationed near Alexandria.


P.Mich.inv. 5457 verso (P.Bingen 113)

Modern Publication

The papyrus text shown here was first published (as text number 113) in this volume of texts published by various papyrologists to honor their colleague Jean Bingen.  The edition was prepared by Bob Caldwell and Traianos Gagos (1960-2010). 


P.Bingen (2002)

What do papyrologists do?

Are papyrologists ever done with a papyrus text?