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Homer and Toilet Paper

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  • Homer and Toilet Paper

    Here is a pic of P. Oxy. 67 4633 which is part of Homer's Iliad. Click image for larger version

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    This papyrus was found in a garbage dump and dates to ca. A.D. 200-250. That darker brown stuff in the center of papyrus is, well you get the idea from the name of this thread. I wonder if the user knew what he\she was doing or if he\she just did not care for the works of Homer. Or may be it was just an emergency. When you got to go, you got to go.

    Leuven Database of Ancient Books (LDAB)

  • #2
    How do we know this isn't just a piece from an old newspaper from back in the day. They don't call it yellow journalism for nothing you know.
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    • #3
      The funny thing is the organic material was examined by an archaeobotanist at the Institute of Archaeology, London. The organic material contain wheat husks. I bet Indiana Jones never did anything like that.
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      • #4
        This is a travesty to history students everywhere. I mean, the person could have just as easily taken paper from a notebook or something, or even just his hands and just wash it afterwards. It's like the paper has survived countless events in time, countless regime changes, countless wars, bloodshed, only to be defeated by a person who needed to use the restroom a little sooner than expected. As a person who has been a fan of the History channel since I was a kid, this is really painful to look at. Artifacts like this deserve to be in a spotlight at a museum, and you would probably pay a lot to see it, just to feel the history behind it.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by OursIsTheFury View Post
          This is a travesty to history students everywhere. I mean, the person could have just as easily taken paper from a notebook or something, or even just his hands and just wash it afterwards.
          Perhaps you misunderstood. The fecal matter is not recent. That is why it was examined by an archaeobotanist.

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          • #6
            LOL! Now that is ... Earthy. And I'm trying to keep the comments, eh-hem, clean here. ;)

            Beyond the scatalogical nature of the topic, what an interesting find. Thanks for the share. :)
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            • #7
              Okey dokey. Now that is interesting. In the days of yesteryear, people used to 'use' just about any kind of paper they could get their hands on. The person who did this, probably couldn't read anyway, so it didn't make much difference to him/her. The urgency of the situation was the only thing that mattered at the time. The person probably thought nobody would even notice. Back in that era, very few people had the knowledge to read or write, so some scribblings on a page of papyrus was child's play and nothing more.
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              • #8
                I agree that whoever that person is, was incapable of reading and is not educated. It was a call of nature and he simply respond to his needs.
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                • #9
                  It would be funnier if it was Homer's fecal matter. Like it's a bad rough draft so he just used it as toilet paper. It would be even funnier to find out that the Illiad we have and love so much as a classic is the wrong version.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LeapOfFaith89 View Post
                    It would be funnier if it was Homer's fecal matter. Like it's a bad rough draft so he just used it as toilet paper. It would be even funnier to find out that the Illiad we have and love so much as a classic is the wrong version.
                    Most likely the screenplay for the movie Troy. lol

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