The Arabic Papyrology Database

How to use TEXT

This tool allows you to search in the text of the documents, as well as restricting your search by metadata (e.g. origin or literary genre). Even though the search is mainly for words (or collocations), the results will be the actual textual passages in which these words occur.

Search - Word 1


1. Choose, in this pull-down menu, the layer you want to search in. For the features of the different layers have a look at layers in HELP.

2. Type in your request. The layers written in Arabic require an input in Unicode Arabic script. Those in Latin script require a Latin input with a special transcription system - use the TRSCR keyboard and the transcription table. As an alternative, you may copy and paste the letters with diacritics from beside the imput field.

3. Additionally you may constrain your request by adding a grammatical form or a part of it. For an overview of all forms have a look here.

Search - Combination


You have the option to combine your request with searching for a second word. There are two possibilities. Either you choose "same word", which enables you to further specify your request - e.g. by choosing a stem, in which the requested word should occur. Or you choose one of the other four possibilities, where you can look for a second word following immediately, on the same line, on the same or next line, or anywhere in the document.

Search - Word 2


If you have chosen to combine your request with searching for a second word, choose again a layer, type in your query accordingly and optionally add a form, just as for the first word.

Search - Metadata


Additionally you have the option of further specifying your request by restricting the metadata of the documents, e.g. the name of the edition, the place of origin, the kind of the document, the material, or the scribe who wrote it. Simply choose your category and type in the respective entry, using the TRSCR keyboard and following the transcription system.

Search - Date


You can further restrict your search to documents written during a certain period of time. It's up to you to choose the start and end dates (CE!). If you choose "possibly" instead of "definitely" undated papyri will be considerd as well and papyri which were only probably written in a period of time that includes the one specified by you.



Irrespective of the search options set you may choose your layers that will be displayed in the "Results" section below. Simply tick the checkbox/es of your choice. If you don't choose any layer, only the search string and the reference to the edition will be displayed.

Additionally you can adjust the number of results by selecting the quantity of matches displayed.


Wildcard characters


1. By default you will find a tick in the check-box "Wildcard character at the end". This means that the request you type in the text field related to the layers is by default a truncated one at the end (e.g. if you type in muslim, you will also get muslimu, muslimaẗ:un etc.). If you want to find exactly and only what you have been typing in, you have to untick this check-box. Please note, that if you untick "wildcard character at the end" this applies to ALL your queries ("form" and "by metadata" also). You might use then the percent sign (%) adding to a query to still allow a truncated search in that field.

2. If you tick the check-box "Wildcard character at the beginning", the search is truncated at the beginning. If you thus type fta, you will find all ĭftaḫara, suftaǧaẗ, ĭftaraqa, daftar etc.



If your request was successful, you will first be informed about the total of matches and about the numbers of results as shown on one page - according to your display settings. If there are no results, check your input, whether it is according to the respective requirements, such as layers or abbreviations.

Within each match, the headline shows you first the requested words as a hyperlink that leads you to the detailed overview of the document. This is followed by the name of edition, its kind, place of origin and dating.

Below the headline you will see the requested word marked in red within the line it appears in, enclosed by the preceeding and following line. However, only the layers that you have chosen in the display options will be displayed.