New Discoveries

In recent years, University of Michigan papyrologists have ventured into the unpublished and uncatalogued parts of the collection.  Even a collection that is now 90 years old can yield surprising finds!

Who knows what else is hidden in the collection?

Sole of a small shoe

When this sole of a small shoe, made from linen and several layers of papyrus, came out of the boxes, University of Michigan papyrologists were excited about the unexpected find.  The shoe soon proved to be a forgery — very similar in kind to forgeries found in other collections.  The papyri used to fabricate such forgeries sometimes are actual ancient papyri, yielding, in one case, fragments of Homer.  This shoe will be analyzed in the future to see what surprises it might contain.


P.Mich.inv. 4218 (unpublished)

Documentary papyri from a mummy casing

These two soles were recovered from a real mummy casing.  The papyri were cut from a roll that contained some kind of agricultural survey of land.


P.Mich.inv. 7018 (unpublished)

Bracelet with papyrus rolls

These four small strips of papyrus were rolled around a string and worn around the arm.  One expects the text on the papyrus to contain magical formulas.  The use of CT scanning may help recover the text without unrolling the original papyri. 


P.Mich.inv. 3527 (unpublished)

Highlights from the University of Michigan Papyrus Collection

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