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Oxford University is enlisting the help of "armchair archaeologists" to help unlock the meaning of ancient texts found in Egypt, some of which contain forgotten Biblical episodes or works by master poets.
Scholars have uploaded hundreds of thousands of images of scraps of papyrus known as the Oxyrhynchus collection, after the Egyptian city where they were discovered. People can transcribe the writings, which are in Greek, using character-recognition tools that are included on the website.
The fragments of parchment all date from between 500 BC to 1,000 AD and are written in Greek, a testament to the fact that Egypt spent that period under Greek or Roman rule. Researchers on the project have already discovered some gems, including an account of Jesus Christ exorcising demons and lost works by the ancient Greek poet Sappho and dramatists Menander and Sophocles. But much remains to be discovered.