003) Recovering the Past: The Cairo Geniza, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

The three groups of texts referenced in the title constitute the greatest manuscript discoveries from Israel and Egypt during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Most people have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls (800+ documents), some people have heard of the Cairo Geniza (c. 300,000 documents), while very few people have heard of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (c. 500,000 fragments). How were these texts discovered? What have scholars learned from these documents? Where are they housed today? And how does one begin to read, sort, and catalogue the latter two massive collections? Finally, what have we learned from all this material?