In Europe, papyrus lost out to products that could be produced at a less expensive price , parchment and vellum. These materials were also significantly better choices for durability in wetter climates. Some of the last uses are seen in a document dating back to 692 with some examples traced back to the middle of the following century in Gaul.
Papyrus was also used for a papal degree written in 1057 that was connected to Pope Victor II. While no evidence exists, it is believed that papyrus was used as late as the 12th century in the Byzantine Empire.
Examples of Papyrus Documents
Over the years, collections of documents made out of papyrus have survived the test of time. These examples are referred to as papyri. The papers were often rolled up into scrolls. There is a system of naming papyri by the using the name of the discoverer, first owner or institution where it is held. The document is numbered. It is not uncommon to find papyrus documents abbreviated. For example, Papyrus Jones II could be expressed as ‘pJonesII.’
To get a sense of the time period in which papyrus was popular, consider the following documents written on the material.
Surviving Collections of Papyri
From the United States to across the globe, there are examples of papyri that are still in existence and available for study, such as:
Ã‚Â· Amherst Papyri , Known as a collection of Lord Amherst of Hackey, the Amherst Papyri includes biblical manuscripts, early church fragments, and classical documents associated with the Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. The edited versions have been attributed to Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, which were completed in 1900 and 1901. The specimen is now housed at the Pierpont Morgan Library.
Ã‚Â· Yale Papyrus Collection , There are more than 6,000 items in an inventory housed at the Beinecke Library, which has been catalogued and digitally scanned. These documents can be accessible online for those interested in studying the material closer.
Ã‚Â· Bodmer Papyri , Martin Bodmer bought the Bodmer Papyri collection in 1955 to 1956. The specimen offers a glimpse at Greek and Coptic documents, classical texts, biblical books, and writing of the early churches.
Ã‚Â· Martin Schoyen Collection , This collection offers classical documents, as well as biblical manuscripts in Greek and Coptic, and Dead Sea Scrolls.
Ã‚Â· Michigan Papyrus Collection , Found at the University of Michigan, this collection is comprised of more than 10,000 papyri fragments.