Crocodile mummy, linen and plaster
Fayum, Tebtunis, Cemetery 6; Ptolemaic
Collected by B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, 1899–1900.
The University’s papyri from Tebtunis, the largest collection of papyrus documents from a single site in the United States, contains more than 21,000 fragments. These came from three sources: crocodile mummies, the cartonnage of human mummies, and the town and temple of Soknebtunis (“Sobek, lord of Tebtunis”). The crocodile god Sobek was the principal deity of Tebtunis. While Grenfell and Hunt uncovered more than 1,000 crocodiles, only 31 contained papyrus documents. This stuffing was essentially waste paper, which had been discarded.