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Charles Donahue, Jr., Papyrology and 3 Caines 175, 27 Law & Hist. Rev. 179 (2009).

Abstract: Those who work with the papyri or stone inscriptions from the ancient world frequently are faced with incomplete texts. Papyrologists or epigraphers will attempt to fill in the missing parts of the text, relying on their knowledge of what similar documents say. Sometimes a later find will provide a missing piece. Experience with such finds has been that an expert reconstruction normally will get the basic sense of the document right, but rarely gets the exact wording right when anything more than a few letters needs to be filled in.