|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