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The Oxyrhynchus Papyri
The remarkable discovery you’ve probably never heard of
A few years ago we were told that the ossuary of James the brother of Jesus had been discovered. Then followed the Gospel of Judas. Finally, the very tomb of Jesus himself. So it seems that the last decade has offered up a veritable contest: What will be the greatest archaeological discovery of all time? But alas, each of these astonishing finds has come with a caveat or two.a Compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Nag Hammadi Library, these later discoveries seem now to pale in significance. But even those two great discoveries of the 20th century cannot compare to an archaeological event that unfolded at the turn of the previous century in the dry sands of Upper Egypt, near the village of el-Behnesa—neither for drama, nor significance, nor surprise. It all happened at a place that ancients once called the “City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish.”

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