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The Papyri

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Demonstration of movable (digital) papyrus fragments

Using Macromedia Flash, we can produce a Web-deliverable representation of digitised papyri fragments that can be repositioned or reassembled by the user through their own web-browser and without any further specialised software (other than the common Flash browser plug-in that comes as standard with so many browsers), as well as being able to zoom in or out on the magnification and navigate the magnified area with an intuitive click-and-drag method.

If you move the cursor over a fragment in this Flash version, below, you can click on it (the fragment) and drag it around - keeping the mouse button pressed down - to another position on the screen, releasing the mouse button when done with the move. You can also move the ruler at the bottom of the screen around in the same way.

On Windows computers, you would move the cursor over the image and click the RIGHT-side mouse button to get to the Flash popup menu. If you want to zoom in on a section of image, right-click on that area and choose Zoom In to magnify the area, repeating as necessary, or choose Zoom Out from the menu in order to pull back. When you have zoomed-in on an area, you can drag the entire collection in situ by left-clicking on a white, background area - not a segment of papyrus - and dragging it with the mouse. To return to the original magnification, you would select Show All from the Flash menu.

On an Apple Mac, you need to press the control-key and mouse click simultaneously over the presentation to get the Flash menu up, and the previous instructions regarding zooming or panning the overall image still apply.

One application for this type of Web-based functionality would be to allow users to easily piece together fragments of a papyrus that may not have an obvious scheme for reassembly without resorting to printing or photocopying and manually cutting pages with a pair of scissors and experimenting with trying to piece them together.

Because the formatting of this web page may restrict your viewing area on this demonstration, you can also click here to open the above presentation in a new window.

Another demonstration (below) works in the same way as the previous one, but these pieces of papyri are written on both sides. Here we have four pieces, which you can still move around using your mouse. However, you can turn a piece over - and back - by pressing one of the '1', '2', '3', or '4' keys on your computer keyboard. Be sure to click once on the image to engage the interactive presentation, otherwise pressing the keyboard will not do anything with flipping over the pieces.

You can click here to open the above presentation in a new window.