Around the year 300 CE, a village official issues a receipt to two men, Souchidas and Melas. These two men had assumed responsibility for a substantial tract of agricultural land after its owner fled town, and the receipt was issued by the village official for paying the appropriate amount of wheat for rent. This document was discovered 1,600 years later in the early 20th-century. It wasn’t until last year, however, that it was translated and published by two professors from American universities. Where does this document come from, and why did it take scholars so long to figure out what it said?

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