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Media Advisory

Reisner papyri returns

30 October 2006

ATTENTION: Higher education, feature writers and editors

Contact: Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations
(510) 643-5651 kmaclay@berkeley.edu

A news conference announcing the return of significant Egyptian Middle Kingdom papyri - some of it over 4,000 years old - and other related artifacts to the University of California, Berkeley, more than a century after their excavation by archaeologist George A. Reisner.

Officials at the event also will recount the dogged detective work behind the materials' recent delivery. They will trace the collection's long and often mysterious journey from Egypt to an attic hiding place in Germany during World War II and the early days of the Cold War, to the Boston Fine Arts Museum and finally home to UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library and the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri.

Some of the papyri will be on display, and digital images will be available.

3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 1

Morrison Library, just inside the northern entrance to Doe Library near the center of campus

Speakers will include Donald Mastronarde, Melpomene Professor of Classics at UC Berkeley and director of the Tebtunis Center; Todd Hickey, curator of the Tebtunis Center; Cathleen Keller, director of Near Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley and a noted Egyptologist; and graduate students anxious to do research on the papyri.

UC Berkeley's Egyptian collection is the largest of any university west of Chicago. Reisner's 1900-1904 expedition at Naga ed-Deir in Egypt was funded by philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst.