Arabic Papyrology is relevant to more than the first three hundred years of Islamic Egypt. In its larger sense, papyrology is the use of documentary sources for the study of civilization. To limit the definition of Arabic papyrology by the medium on which documents are written would be to ignore the possibility of millenia-long historical investigation. Analysis of time-series of like documents—for example, marriage or sales contracts—without regard to the change from papyrus to paper, will permit the unprecedented study of a particular institution over time, as well as understanding of variations in language and formulary. Arabic papyrology, hence, presents us with the possibility of in-depth cross-cultural studies of institutions which lie at the very foundations of Middle Eastern civilization.