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.

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  arab    macro    newly    administrative    aramaic    society    material    segregation    sources    settlement    unpublished    physics    undertaken    strategically    puzzle    mathematics    border    linked    manuscripts    greek    militarily    hieratic    christianity   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

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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