Facebook just informed me about a cool online exhibit at the University of Michigan library that explains how papyri are found, how they are studied, and some examples of nice papyri from their collection. It seems like a great introduction to papyri for students–and a great way to flip the classroom.
Here are some other cool links or books I know about papyri that could help:
- Papyri.info – A great resource with bibliography and online transcriptions of papyri, and (I think) some translations
- Ancient Lives – a website that asks people to help transcribe papyri (with explanation of how to use it here) – I could see this being a great experiential learning tool
- Three explanations of the work being done on the papyri from the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum (The Philodemus Project website at UCLA and a write up in Smithsonian Magazine and a longer one in the New Yorker)
- Links to Papyrological things from Oxford
- Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt: A Sourcebook – a great collection of translations of papyri on various topics that I have used very fruitfully in stations about Roman law
- P.W. Pestman’s The New Papyrological Primer – An introduction to papyrology
- Roger Bagnall (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology
Possible Lesson Plan to teach about Papyri/Greco-Roman Egypt:
- At home, students read through and look at the Michigan online exhibit and answer questions about papyrology
- In class, students go rotate through stations focusing on papyri. Students would answer questions about selections from the Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt sourcebook, about transcriptions & translations (from papyri.info) of the documents in the Michigan online exhibit, and possibly some information about the Herculaneum papyri. One of the stations could be an online station with Ancient Lives where students attempt to transcribe papyri.
- At the end of class, the worksheet is collected and everyone engages in a synthetic discussion about how papyri are studied and what they can tell us about Greco-Roman Egypt.
- Students’ knowledge is assessed through questions on regular assessments or a reflection paper/blog post that synthesizes the ideas like in the discussion.