Hell-Date (EGRAPSA Hellenistic Dated Papyri Dataset)

This dataset counts 187 images of 155 papyri that are precisely dated (within two years) from the Hellenistic period (3rd to 1st c. BCE, more precisely from -310 to -3). Download.

For each papyrus, the following identifiers are used:

For each papyrus, the dataset contains two types of information:

  • A .csv file giving access to the 187 images with, for each image, a standard name, the location, collection name, inventory number, and the link to access online the file.
    • Names are standardised across the csv as TMnumber_checklistAbbreviation. Some papyri are in more than one image, in that case the name contains additional information to distinguish the various images (e.g., two fragments of the same papyrus preserved in different collections, or the recto and verso of the same papyrus).
    • A python script is joint with the .csv to automatize the download process.
  • A .xlsx file containing metadata for each papyrus: one line represents one papyrus, and the first two columns give the TM number and the checklist abbreviation identifying the papyrus. Thanks to this information, it is possible to link the line in the spreadsheet to the one or two images of the papyrus.

Some caveats concerning the images:

The following metadata is available in the .xlsx file:

  • Column A: TM number as unique identifier of the text.
  • Column B: checklist identifier (usual way to refer to the papyrus in papyrology)
  • Column C and D: Date information:
    • Column C: terminus post quem, i.e. the year before which the papyrus cannot have been written
    • Column D: terminus ante quem, i.e. the year after which the papyrus cannot have been written
    • Therefore, each papyrus dates between column C and column D
  • Column E: the geographical region where the papyrus was written
  • Column F: the type of document (e.g. a contract, or a letter)

Concerning provenance, most documents come from Egypt, but there are a few outsiders from Near East.

The chronological coverage is balanced around 50 papyri per century over the considered period (III – I BCE); only the earliest decades are not covered, and the decade 250s is overrepresented.

Users of this dataset must comply with the licenses provided by the various websites that give access to the images. Please take note that some of them do not allow reuse, or commercial reuse, of the images, and that credits are mostly required. By using this dataset, you confirm that you have read and understood the following licenses: