Non-official agencies (supported by voluntary contributions) for exploration in Egypt comprise the Egypt Exploration Fund, started in London in 1881, with its two branches, viz, the Archaeological Survey (1890) for copying and publishing the monuments above ground, and the Graeco-Roman Branch (1897), well known through the brilliant work in Greek papyri of B.
Antiquities, Sites, &c.The remains for archaeological investigation in Egypt may be roughly classified as material and literary: to the latter belong the texts on papyri and the inscriptions, to the former the sites of ancient towns with the temples, fortifications and houses; remains of roads, canals, quarries and other matters falling within the domain of ancient topography; the larger monuments, as obelisks, statues, stelae, &c.; and finally the small antiquitiesutensils, clothes, weapons, amulets, &c. Where moisture can reach the antiquities their preservation is no better in Egypt than it would have been in other countries; for this reason all the papyri in the Delta have perished unless they happen to have been charred by fire.
Aramaic papyri written principally by Jews of the Persian period (5th century B.C.) have been found at Syene and Memphis.
The non-literary Greek remains in papyri and inscriptions which are being found in great abundance throw a flood of light on life in Egypt and the administration of the country from the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus to the Arab conquest.
On the other hand, papyri and inscriptions in Latin are of the greatest rarity, and the literary remains in that language are of small ifnportance for Egypt.