Once the papyrus had been straightened, the (rather) extensive drying period was begun under weights. Once the papyrus was completely dry, we gave the fragments a careful secondary cleaning to ensure that the text was as readable as possible. Then we (very) carefully realigned the fragments and affixed them together with toned Japanese tissue. At an earlier stage, the papyri fragments had been placed together in such a way that the edges were overlapped, obscuring some of the text.
Once we had a complete papyrus again, we re-housed the fragments, and transferred them back here to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The next stage was to take new images of the papyri, and then send those images out to the scholar working on the texts.
The time taken to treat the papyri was rewarded with Professor Gonis being able to offer new, and important, insights into the contents of the papyri. P.CtYBR inv. 1500, dated to the 690’s C.E. and which will be published in the near future by Professor Gonis, attests to the re-construction of the city of Helwan (Egypt) by ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Marwān. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Marwān is perhaps most famous for completing the Muslim Conquest of North Africa. As the governor of Egypt, at that time, he chose Ḥelwān for a settlement when the floods of 690 C.E. forced him to evacuate Al-Fusṭāṭ (Old Cairo). ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn Marwān, was a member of the Umayyad dynasty, the son of one Caliph, the brother of the next, and the father of the following!