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Found: the dustbin of history

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  • Kim Noyes
    * * *Found: the dustbin of history * The Guardian [UK], May 18, 2008 Our collective memory of the past is mostly confined to grand figures and epic events,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2008
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      *Found: the dustbin of history *
      The Guardian [UK], May 18, 2008

      Our collective memory of the past is mostly confined to grand figures
      and epic events, while the vast majority of humanity ends up in the
      wastelands of oblivion. Thanks to nearly half a million papyrus
      fragments uncovered in Hellenic Egyptian rubbish dumps which are being
      gradually decoded, however, we are, quite literally, salvaging fragments
      of ordinary people's lives from the dustbin of history.

      The rubbish dumps in question belonged to the provincial but thriving
      Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus (City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish), about 100
      miles south of modern Cairo, which was established during the pharaonic
      New Kingdom and became Hellenised in Ptolemic times, but was eventually
      reduced to a single standing column. Most of the unearthed documents,
      discovered by two Victorian archaeologists, date from the time when
      Egypt was part of the Roman empire, and include a treasure trove of lost
      classics and non-canonical gospels.

      http://snipr.com/29g01
      <
      http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/khaled_diab/2008/05/found_the_dustbin_of_history.html
      >

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