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Rare Books Exhibition

From the Sands of The Sahara : Ancient Kellis and Its Texts : Monash University Excavations at Ismant el-Kharab Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt.

30 July - 2 October 1998  

An Exhibition of Photographs from the Department of Classics and Archaeology and Material from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection.

Virtual Exhibition.  You may also read the text of the catalogue online.

Retrieval of Painted Plaster Fragments in Shrine I
The exhibition represents a summary of some of the major discoveries of a group of about 20 international researchers - including a team from Monash - working at the site of Ismant el-Kharab, ancient Kellis, in Egypt's Dakhleh Oasis.

A primary focus of the exhibition is written material found at the site. These include almost perfectly preserved wooden books (codices), remnants of ancient texts written on papyrus and parchment and fragments of pottery vessels, known as potsherds.

According to Dr Colin Hope, an archaeologist and lecturer from Monash's Classics department and a member of the Dakhleh team, the inscriptions deal with a diversity of topics and provide a vivid account of life in the village where they were found. "We know the affairs of several generations of various families who occupied specific houses over a period of about 100 years," he said.

About 35 books, documents and artefacts on Egyptology, including a number from private collections, are on show.

The artefacts contain examples of major pre-Arab languages and scripts as well as the ancient language of Egypt, ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Coptic. The development of Egypt's various languages is illustrated by several rare books and antiquities loaned from private collections.

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>> Exhibition catalogues are available, free of charge, from the Rare Books information desk

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