Opendata, web and dolomites


Localizing 4000 Years of Cultural History. Texts and Scripts from Elephantine Island in Egypt

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 ELEPHANTINE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the ELEPHANTINE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "ELEPHANTINE" about.

aramaic    80    southern    religions    multiculturalism    christianity    lives    settlement    left    local    puzzle    texts    fragments    strategically    physics    history    international    model    languages    newly    river    arabic    detailing    administrative    historical    papyrus    papyri    coptic    religious    literary    gained    assimilation    border    demotic    egypt    inhabitants    scripts    conquest    setting    community    incorporating    militarily    linked    identity    answer    sources    virtual    cutting    segregation    island    socio    everyday    scattered    material    judaism    unpublished    nile    cultural    digital    amounts    society    unfolding    time    life    arab    ethnic    publicly    humanities    questions    form    family    greek    macro    hieroglyphs    micro    hieratic    written    manuscripts    undertaken    mathematics    organization    vast    benefit    global    kingdom    period    4000    localized    collections    elephantine    edge    islam    links    thousand    medical    attested    glocal    write    back    database    multicultural    unstudied    polytheism    online   

Project "ELEPHANTINE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VON DER HEYDT STRASSE 16-18
city: BERLIN
postcode: 10785

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-07-01   to  2021-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The aim of this project is to write a cultural history of 4000 years, localized on Elephantine Island in Egypt. Elephantine was a militarily and strategically very important island in the river Nile on the southern border of Egypt. No other settlement in Egypt is so well attested over such a long period of time. Its inhabitants form a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious community that left us vast amounts of written sources detailing their everyday lives from the Old Kingdom to beyond the Arab Conquest. Today, several thousand papyri and other manuscripts from Elephantine are scattered in more than 60 institutions across Europe and beyond. Their texts are written in different languages and scripts, including Hieroglyphs, Hieratic, Demotic, Aramaic, Greek, Coptic and Arabic. 80% of these manuscripts are still unpublished and unstudied. The great challenge of this project is to use this material to answer three key questions covering: 1) Multiculturalism and identity between assimilation and segregation, 2) Organization of family and society, 3) Development of religions (Polytheism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Thus, access needs to be gained to these texts, making them publicly available in an open access online database. Links are to be identified between papyrus fragments from different collections and an international ‘papyrus puzzle’ will be undertaken, incorporating cutting-edge methods from digital humanities, physics and mathematics (e.g. for the virtual unfolding of papyri). Using this database with medical, religious, legal, administrative, even literary texts, the micro-history of the everyday life of the local and global (i.e. ‘glocal’) community of Elephantine will be studied within its socio-cultural setting in Egypt and beyond. It will be linked back to macro-historical questions and benefit from newly-introduced methodologies of global history: Elephantine can thus be used as a case study and a model for the past, present and future.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Daniel Baum, Norbert Lindow, Hans-Christian Hege, Verena Lepper, Tzulia Siopi, Frank Kutz, Kristin Mahlow, Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke
Revealing hidden text in rolled and folded papyri
published pages: 171 (7pp), ISSN: 0947-8396, DOI: 10.1007/s00339-017-0808-6
Applied Physics A 123/3 2019-05-29
2017 Verena M. Lepper
Eröffnungsveranstaltung des ERC-Projektes ELEPHANTINE
published pages: 54-58, ISSN: 2196-8942, DOI:
aMun, Magazin für die Freunde Ägyptischer Museen und Sammlungen Nr. 54, 1 2019-05-29

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The information about "ELEPHANTINE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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