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Oxyrhynchus: A City and its Texts, Virtual Exhibition: The Site

Grenfell and Hunt’s house at Bahnasa (Oxyrhynchus): 1903?

The excavators were provided with the relative comfort of a mud-brick house, illustrated in photograph in the exhibition, as their base during the excavations; this is where the nightly work of sorting and packing the day’s finds would have gone on, to release the baskets for the workmen to use the next day. No doubt they also spent time here in preliminary decipherment of some of the papyri, all by the light of paraffin lamps.

Packing the Papyri

Metal tins were made up on site for packing up the papyri as they were found. Grenfell and Hunt gave the tins consecutive numbers in a simple sequence which alas does not enable the tins to be linked to specific rubbish-mounds.