Spiral design: a professional’s view

3_5143c 1-2 and 2-2_03_recto 7-5 revAlthough the papyrus fragment provides a clear indication of the spiral pattern, damage and loss to the ancient papyrus makes it difficult to reproduce. We were fortunate to have Lorene Sterner, a graphic artist at the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, create a professional visualization of the design for this project.

While working on the archeological drawing, Lorene relayed some interesting observations. She noted that all of the spirals are drawn in a clockwise direction and are neatly aligned in rows. While most papyrus documents were written with a reed stylus, the spiral drawing was produced with a brush. The artist who created the free hand drawing started each spiral its outer edge working inward toward the center. The evenness of the drawing and the lack of hesitation or pause marks shows that the artistic created this representation with confidence and authority.