Hieroglyphic and Hieratic Papyri

An online database of metadata.
Svenja A. Gülden / Mark Depauw
(Universität zu Köln / K.U.Leuven)
Version 1: July 2007

Hieroglyphic and Hieratic Papyri [HHP] is an online database of metadata. Its aim is to provide information about all published (and semi-published) as well as some unpublished texts written in these two scripts (excluding Abnormal Hieratic), currently some 2858 items. No doubt we have missed some, and data entry is of course a continuous process, but we hope our current coverage is sufficient for the tool to be useful.

The fields shown give information about the various editions, present and former whereabouts, writing surface, script, type and date. For the time being only the fields inventory, publication, editor, script, provenance and type are searchable, which nevertheless already allows the user to go beyond converting between inventory and publication numbers or finding the most recent edition of a text.

The HHP-database has been created as part of the project Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Graeco-Roman Egypt, sponsored by the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded to Mark Depauw in late 2004. Far from starting from scratch, however, it builds upon some unpublished digital tools which were put at the project's disposal: the database with metadata of Late Period funerary papyri created by Marc Coenen (K.U.Leuven) and that of late Book of the Dead papyri compiled by Ursula Verhoeven and Svenja A. Gülden (Uni Köln). At a later stage the downloadable database of the Book of the Dead Project (Uni Bonn) also proved useful [click here].

The information of theses databases was brought together in a newly conceived database format developed jointly by our project and the Leuven Homepage of Papyrus Collections. Concurrently with the merger of overlapping databases into this new system and the elimination of double entries, new records were entered on the basis of new publications (in the widest sense of the word) as well as older descriptions in lists or catalogues.

The HHP is fully implemented in Trismegistos, which means that direct links have been established with Collections and Places (the latter under construction) to find other texts kept in the same location or with the same provenance. We have also created a directly linked general bibliographic database which we called TM Bib, so that the full bibliographic data are only a mouse-click away for abbreviations used in the HHP. And, the other way round, it is possible to start from a bibliographic entry in the TM Bib and find all related publication entries in Trismegistos, from where the HHP is immediately accessible. This connection furthermore permits to show additional bibliographic references below the database entries.