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.

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   manuscripts    militarily    family    history    scattered    egypt    global    vast    linked    elephantine    unpublished    arab    scripts    micro    sources    greek    hieratic    languages    attested    back    time    river    unstudied    database    conquest   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

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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