Welcome to Papyrus Stories!

From the ancient world survive thousands upon thousands of ancient texts, and Papyrus Stories aims to present stories of daily life that have survived the centuries and millennia. While papyrus is perhaps the best-known of the mediums upon which texts were written, people also wrote on sherds of pottery and stone, on wood, on leather, on parchment, on paper. They incised and painted their writing on walls and on stelae, and left their marks as graffiti. Even though the names of the people who wrote these texts are often lost, their stories live on.
When Papyrus Stories began in May 2018, the focus was primarily on texts from Egypt, from the pharaonic period to the arrival of Islam. As the site has grown, the geographic spread has increased, extending from a Roman garrison near Hadrian’s Wall in Northern England to the ancient Sumerian city of Nippur in southern Iraq. And the posts have expanded beyond the written word, as stories are not bound up in the written word.
This blog was created by Jennifer (Jenny) Cromwell, who set up Papyrus Stories while on a short term visiting fellowship at the University of Heidelberg (and otherwise ‘between jobs’, as is the way with the precocity of academic employment). Since then, she (or I, as this is also my story) joined the History department at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she contributes to the teaching and promotion of ancient history. Papyrus Stories was started as a way to widen access to ancient texts, which are more often than not published in obscure places and are inaccessible – in may ways – to a broader public. In addition to contributing to the blog, Jenny has become its curator, having the privilege to work with an increasing number of incredible scholars who share their knowledge and time to write posts on a wide range of topics.
To read the posts as they are published (in chronological order), check out the Posts page here. Alternatively, the menu tabs will take you to posts by language, topic, or by guest writer.
Thanks for joining Papyrus Stories on its on journey!