Used, very good condition, hard cover with dust jacket, published 2007.
In 1897 two Oxford archaeologists began digging a series of low sand-covered mounds a hundred miles south of Cairo. When they had finally finished, ten years later, they had uncovered 500,000 fragments of papyrus. Shipped back to Oxford, the task of deciphering these fragments began. It is still going on today. What they found was the entire life of a flourishing market-town - Oxyrhynchos (City of the sharp-nosed fish), on a side branch of the Nile - encapsulated in its waste paper. The total lack of rain in this part of Egypt had preserved the papyrus beneath the sand, as nowhere else in the Roman Empire. As well as Christian writings from totally unknown gospels and Greek poems not seen by human eyes since the fall of Rome, there are tax returns, petitions, private letters, sales documents, leases, wills and shopping lists. We hear the voices of barbers, bee-keepers and boat-makers, dyers and donkey-drivers, plasterers and poets, weavers and wine-merchants, set against the great events of late antiquity: the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of Christianity, as well as the all-important annual flooding of the Nile. The result is an extraordinary and unique picture of everyday life in the Nile Valley between Alexander the Great in 300 BC and the Arab conquest a thousand years later.
The book is in excellent condition with sound binding, sharp corners and clean, unmarked pages. There is very little, if any, shelfwear and the book appears to have been unread.