Ancient Egyptian and Roman papyri can be destroyed by online commerce
Papyri began selling on eBay for thousands of pounds. Recently, a piece of papyrus containing 15 poems of Homer’s Iliad, recorded by an Egyptian scribe from the 4th century CE, was sold at an online auction for £16,000. At another auction, a sheet of parchment containing “Paul’s Letter” to the Romans was purchased for £301,000.
Experts warn that ancient manuscripts may be destroyed because owners do not know how to store them and prevent them from being damaged. An example of stupidity and lack of knowledge of monument conservation procedures is the case of a fragment of the “Gospel of Judas”, which fell apart after the buyer kept it in a refrigerator. As it turns out, the owner kept the codex in a safe. He believed that both methods of storage would have a positive effect on their shelf life.
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