Egypt Exploration Fund (EFF): Graeco Roman Branch

The Graeco-Roman Branch of the EEF sponsored the work of Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt in their mission to find papyri. In 1893-4 Grenfell came to Egypt to work with Petrie at Koptos. He then went on to dig primarily in the Faiyum with Hunt, moving quickly from area to area or site to site looking for usable papyri that had not been damaged by damp or insects. Their achievments were as papyrologists rather than archaeologists which meant that there was little regard for archaeological methodology or scientific recording. The did stumble over objects which were kept and distributed to institutions that sponsored their excavations. The papyri are owned by EES but have been kept ay the University of Oxford since their discovery for the purposes of translation, where Grenfell was first a fellow and then was named in 1908 the Professor of Papyrology. These half-a-million fragments which were recovered provide and extraordinary snapshot into the ordinary lives of Egyptians from the early Ptolemaic to the Fatimid era.