I just saw a fascinating show on BBC 2: "Lost in Egypt: Decoding the Papyri" (Thu 20 Jul, 11:20 pm - 12:20 am [originally a BBC4 production]). Blurb:
Documentary about an archaeological discovery in Egypt a hundred years ago that revolutionised our attitudes to the Ancients. It comprised over half a million documents which included not only the lost works of the giants of Greek literature such as Homer, Sophocles and Sappho, but also records of daily life that offered a unique window onto a lost world. New technology developed by NASA promises to reveal some of the most significant finds to date.
Worth watching if you get a chance (or can borrow a video). Makes papyrology look interesting (and complex). Lots of talking Profs from Oxford, UCL etc. (esp. Dirk Obbink). Reconstructions of Grenfell & Hunt etc. Great pictures of Obbink opening up one of the 800 boxes of unedited papyri and looking inside. Repeated claim was that perhaps 500,000 fragments were unearthed and brought to Oxford; so only around 1% have been published so far. Focused on Greek literary texts (Menander, Sappho, Sophocles etc.), nothing on Bible (one small bit on Gospel of Thomas which ended up talking about the Coptic text - which is not from Oxyrhynchus!). Ended up with section on multi-spectral imaging which was interesting.