Different Scripts, written on papyrus, parchment and paper

Numerous documents from the land of the Nile

Almost all the items in our collection come from Egypt, where papyrus has been preserved by the dry climate. The oldest items date from about the 15th century B.C., the most recent from about the 16th century A.D.

The documents record all the languages and scripts that were used over the turbulent history of the land of the Nile since the time of the New Kingdom of the pharaohs. The majority of them are in Arabic, Greek or Coptic, but hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic texts are kept as well. The less numerous Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian, Ethiopian and Latin texts and the documents in Pahlavi (Middle Persian) are of great importance historically, because they document the multilingual culture of the country or shed light on specific historic situations.