From the Archives: The Length of a Papyrus Scroll

Revival- server problem corrected. Sorry, just forgot about this.

A while ago, someone asked me a question about determining the length of a papyrus scroll  (before you unroll it obviously). The question pertained specifically to, you guessed it, P. Joseph Smith (the document of breathing part). I thought about this for a few minutes and it’s really not a hard problem.

The inverse problem, deciding what a scroll looked like in its rolled state, if you encounter it unrolled may be of interest, but both problems are connected to basically the same set of measurements. A more interesting problem is estimating the maximum length of a scroll when only a fragment is available.

Some of you geeks might be interested in how it goes, if you haven’t already guessed it.  This of course is clearly connected to the name of this blog, if not to the charter, but, rules are made to be broken (again and again).  Have a little sleep-inducing fun (warning, it’s a pdf doc):


4 Responses to From the Archives: The Length of a Papyrus Scroll

  1. J. Stapley says:

    Didn’t someone ask you to publish on this? Or am I mis-remembering.

  2. wvs says:

    On hold apparently.

  3. Clark says:

    Out of curiosity what did you think of the Dialog article on the length of the papyri?

    • WVS says:

      It was a little thick with computation (a stats friend of mine told me it got a little carried away) but On balance I think most of it was reasonable. I really don’t like typing on an iPad.

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