At Tebtunis, in the Faytum; in 1900, they found a great mass of Ptolemaic papyri, comparable in importance with their great discovery at Oxyrhynchus. One of the most productive sources of papyri at Tebtunis was the crocodile cemetery, in which many mummies of the sacred crocodiles were found rolled in papyrus. Egyptian documents of great historical value have been preserved on these fragile rolls. The Egyptian rolls were sometimes of great length and were often beautifully decorated with colored vignettes (Book of the Dead). in length, preserving revenue laws of Ptolemy Philadelphus, dated in 259-258 BC. Grenfell, the first of many important works in this field from his pen. In 9 large quarto volumes, aggregating 3,000 pages, only a beginning has been made of publishing these Oxyrhynchus texts, which number thousands and are in many cases of great importance.
They consist almost wholly of works of Epicurean philosophy. Startling acquisitions were made about this time by representatives of the British Museum and the Louvre. The British Museum secured papyri of the lost work of Aristotle on the Constitution of Athens, the lost Mimes of Herodas, a fragment of an oration of Hyperides, and extensive literary papyri of works already extant; while the Louvre secured the larger part of the Oration against Athenogenes, the masterpiece of Hyperides. Grenfell, of Oxford, appeared in Egypt, working with Professor Petrie in his excavations, and securing papyri with Mr. In that year Pettie and Grenfell obtained from native dealers papyrus rolls, one more than 40 ft. Grenfell excavated in 1896-1897, at Behnesa, the Roman Oxyrhynchus, and unearthed the greatest mass of Greek papyri of the Roman period thus far found. With them the stream of papyri began to flow steadily into the British and Continental museums. The bulk of this collection passed into the hands of Archduke Rainer at Vienna, minor portions of it being secured by the museums of Paris, London, Oxford and Berlin. Another great find was made in 1892 in the Faytum; most of these went to Berlin some few to the British Museum, Vienna and Geneva. It will be seen that most of these discoveries were the work of natives, digging about indiscriminately in the hope of finding antiquities to sell to tourists or dealers. By this time, however, the Egypt Exploration Fund had begun its operations in Egypt, and Professor Flinders Petrie was at work there.