Palm Leaf Fragment Attached to Funerary Papyrus

Jacob Schmidt-Madsen jacob at FABULARASA.DK
Wed Jan 23 09:43:45 EST 2013


Dear list,

McComas Taylor's posting of a mystery palm leaf manuscript reminded me 
of another mystery manuscript fragment which came to my attention 
recently. It is attached to one end of an Egyptian funerary papyrus 
(21st/22nd dynasty, 1075-716 BC) for sale at Sothesby's (no. 8918, lot 
52):

http://www.sothebys.com/de/auctions/ecatalogue/2012/antiquities-n08918/lot.52.lotnum.html

The catalogue notes states: "A fragment of a Burmese Buddhist palm leaf 
manuscript is attached to the papyrus at right." However, a preliminary 
investigation has determined the script as Grantha, and the language as 
something other than Sanskrit (possibly Malayalam, though this is by no 
means certain).

I have attached a document with enlarged images of the fragment, but 
since the images were screenshot from the webpage referred above, 
unfortunately the quality is quite poor. I have also attached Sothesby's 
own description of the item.

I have not been able to determine just how the fragment is attached to 
the papyrus - and neither for what reason, whether by accident or not - 
but I would be most interested to hear any suggestions you might have. 
It has our Egyptologists here in Copenhagen baffled for sure!

Kind regards,
Jacob

Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
Assistant Teacher
Department of Indology
University of Copenhagen
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