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

After Grenfell and Hunt: The Italian Excavations

Three years after Grenfell and Hunt left Oxyrhynchus for the last time, an Italian team under Ermenegildo Pistelli resumed their work, continuing until 1913. A volume of Pistelli’s correspondence from the site was published, and contains interesting anecdotes about the site. Evaristo Breccia directed the resumption of the work between 1927 and 1934, and it was in this period that it was possible to re-locate the tomb of Sheikh Ali Gamman and thus complete the excavation of this particularly rich rubbish mound, begun but not finished by Grenfell and Hunt. Consequences of this work were not only the quantity of Oxyrhynchus papyri in general, now in Florence, but in particular the number of texts of which parts are in Oxford and parts in Florence because of the shared work on Kôm Gamman.

A sequence of photographs shows the rapidly disappearing Kôm Gamman. The first volume of Papiri della Società Italiana (1912) derives in large part from these excavations.