Welcome to the website of the ERC project GESHAEM !
GESHAEM is a scientific research initiative funded by the European Research Council (ERC-StG 758907) for five years 2018-2023. The project is hosted by the Ausonius Institute at Bordeaux Montaigne University and it is coordinated by Dr. Marie-Pierre Chaufray.
It aims at studying a still largely unknown papyrological corpus, the Jouguet collection of the Sorbonne, which should change our vision of the early Ptolemaic administration by reassessing the native Egyptian contribution in the building of the early Ptolemaic kingdom.
The Jouguet collection contains administrative and fiscal papyri, in Greek and in Egyptian, discovered in Egyptian mummies in the Fayyum region . Coming from bilingual archives of the 3rd century BCE, the texts were afterwards reused to make mummy casing called cartonnage. Most of these decorated mummy cartonnages were destroyed immediately after their discovery at the beginning of the 20th century, but around twenty of them remain in part of the Jouguet collection that has not yet been inventoried.
The extraction of new papyri from the remaining cartonnages will be achieved without destroying the objects themselves, which will be restored and, for the first time, studied in their own right. This will bring new elements for the study of funeral practices at the beginning of the Ptolemaic period, a period which has long been neglected in the Egyptological and art historical studies. This in turn will help to find a possible logic in the disposal of obsolete administrative archives and facilitate their reconstruction.
The reconstruction of the texts and archives dispersed in hundreds of fragments will be achieved thanks to the development of a digital instrument for automatic image processing, which will facilitate the work of joining the fragments. This tool could be revolutionary and serve as a model for treating similar fragmentary corpora of texts.
This website is still under construction and new content will be added regularly as the project progresses.
When complete, this page will be a gateway to accessing the results of the project : metadata of the papyri, texts, photos, editions, historical commentaries and bibliographical references. All events related to the project will be announced here as well as job offers.