ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 219-223
Tomasz Derda, Deir el-Naqlun: The Greek Papyri, Volume Two (P.
Naqlun II), with contributions by Jakub Urbanik and Jacques van der
Vliet. The Journal of Juristic Papyrology, Supplements 9. Warszawa:
Faculty of Law and Administration, Institute of Archaeology, and
Fundacja im. Rafala Taubenschlaga, 2008. xiii + 176 pages + 1 unnumbered plate. ISBN 978-83-918250-8-2.
Thirteen years after P.Naqlun 1, Tomasz Derda offers us the sequel. As
he explains in the introduction (p. 4), the working conditions in the Coptic
Museum, where most of the papyri are kept, have been susbstandard in the last
decade or so, and this explains both the relatively poor quality of the illustrations (photographs taken by the excavators) and the many doubtful readings
in the volume under review. On the other hand, P.Naqlun 2 yet again shows
how carefully monitored excavations can enrich our understanding of ancient
texts and of the world from which they derive.
The volume opens with a particularly intriguing introduction to the archaeological context (pp. 5-11), which has to be read in conjunction with the
color plate facing p. viii, an aerial map of the Naqlun monastery between the
gebel on the east, separating it from the Heracleopolite nome, and the Bahr
el-Gharaq, in the Arsinoite nome, on the west.' The editor distinguishes five
* a rubbish heap in sector B of the central mound (with materials from the
late sixth century onwards);2 here, the Psalms (15), the two ostraca (16-17),
the patristic text (19), and many letters (25-30 and 32-34) were found as well
as more as yet unpublished Greek texts
* an area with residential buildings; here, the bilingual liturgical text (20)
and the tax list from the Heracleopolite nome (24) were found
* Hermitage 89, where the legal documents (21-23) were found in a storage pit below the sixth- or early seventh-century floor together with decorated
miniature pottery vessels that seem to be from a century or so later (p. 88)
* Hermitage 2, where the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (18) was
1 On the excavations, see, in addition to the literature referred to (p. 5, n. 1), W.
Godlewski, "Naqlun (Nekloni). The Hermitages, Cemetery and the Keep in the Early
6th Century" in S. Lippert and M. Schentuleit (eds.), Graeco-Roman Fayum - Texts and
Archaeology (Wiesbaden 2008) 101-112.
2 Confusingly, the editor on p. 7 speaks of two stages, but he only discusses the first