UC Berkeley Receives Papyrus Text Of Homer - 105 Years Late
A tiny piece of Homer has finally reached home after an odyssey longer than the one endured by the original Odysseus, happy UC Berkeley scholars said Tuesday.
At a celebratory ceremony, the campus gingerly offered a glimpse of scraps of Homer's "Odyssey" and other invaluable texts on ancient papyrus that were unearthed in Egypt more than a century ago but experienced a delivery delay on their way to the Berkeley campus.
"This is an exciting day for us," said Charles Faulhaber, director of the Bancroft Library, which will house the artifacts, which are nearly 2,000 years old.
Though it took 105 years for the papyri to reach the campus, Berkeley was spared the long anxiety endured by Penelope, Odysseus' long-suffering wife. Berkeley didn't even know the missing material existed until three years ago.
Berkeley's papyrologist, Todd Hickey, discovered the materials were stranded on a distant island called Great Britain, where they were being held by a notorious document-hoarding tribe known as Oxford dons.
The material originally belonged to a much larger cache of papyri documents excavated in Egypt in 1899 and 1900 by an expedition financed by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who labored mightily to transform part of her husband's mining fortune into a world-class university at Berkeley.
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Lorraine Paul - 10/22/2005
It should actually read..."stolen from Egypt after being unearthed".
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