The carbonized papyri found in Bubastos (Egypt) date to the early third century CE, when the area was part of the Roman Empire. These Greek-language documents are the central archive of the administration of a district of Egypt, one of only a few that have survived. They yield precious information about how the Roman administration functioned at the eve of the so-called Crisis of the Third Century. They also fill a regional gap in the papyrological documentation of Egypt.
The papyri are carbonized because the archive burned down sometime after 232 CE. They are broken into thousands of small, brittle fragments that form a giant jigsaw puzzle in which most of the pieces are missing. The writing is black on black. All this makes the reconstruction and decipherment of the papyri an exceptionally demanding task. The project seeks to bring to completion the editions of a number of papyri for the fourth volume of the scholarly series 'Die verkohlten Papyri aus Bubastos'.