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Amateur Archeologists Invited to Decipher Papyri

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posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 05:38 PM
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Archaeologists are looking for your help....


Hundreds of thousands of papyrus fragments, retrieved 100 years ago from a dry rubbish dump in the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, have been put online in a bid to crowdsource translations.


Discovered in 1896 so far only 2% of the text have been deciphered. Source




Visitors to the Ancient Lives website are shown an image of an extract and then you can click on a character in the image and then what you believe is the corresponding Greek character in a keyboard below.
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The papyrus include works of literature, gossip, letters and receipts. I assume they are similar in nature to the Vindolanda tablets which date to between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD and were found in Hadrian's Wall....

Fascinating stuff for those willing and able to translate!




posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by Versa
 

Do you know anything about this whole thing? I mean are we literally translating documents that have not been translated in any way before this? It looks like something my wife would love. She really enjoys puzzles and the real life aspect would be a kick for her, I think. It's just hard to believe this hasn't been run through at least once or isn't just scanned in computers and simply corrected on less than 99% matches?

Anyone done this at all? I just want to know from someone whose done it that it's worth the time? Looks like it could actually be fun if REAL discovery is possible.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 

no sorry its just something I came across while reading discovery news.... The links I provided should give you all the information you need. Tell your wife good luck! I'd love to give it a go but my limited intelligence and time simply wont allow me



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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this has been disscussed....


here www.abovetopsecret.com...

i left it because this is greek...not egyptian.....if anything the coptics can decipher this.....personally i dont get it....i rekon they slipped something in for one of us to "discover"....



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 07:40 PM
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Great stuff, and Oxyrhynchus was a very important city in the interior of Egypt, capital of the 19th nome and an important center of learning and government. The manuscripts are Egyptian from around the time of Cleopatra.

Now -- here's what I find incredibly exciting -- it is entirely possible that some of the material in those dumps are copies of books found in the Library at Alexandria (which was started by Cleopatra.)

So, yeah... I've got it bookmarked! I'd love to find fragments of a math or science text!



posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by Versa
 

Do you know anything about this whole thing? I mean are we literally translating documents that have not been translated in any way before this?

Yes. These have never been translated before. There's a zillion little pieces and they just threw up their hands and said "let's get help."


It's just hard to believe this hasn't been run through at least once or isn't just scanned in computers and simply corrected on less than 99% matches?


Manpower. And computers don't always identify things correctly. One of the fragments I was looking at had a line drawn through the letters as though someone was erasing or taking back something... a computer couldn't identify the letter "c" with a line drawn through it as a "c". There also may be some demotic letters in there... not sure.

And then there's handwriting styles. The computer can recognize my writing because of the way I am moving my hand. But if it comes across a scanned document of my scrawly handwriting, it's rather unlikely to be able to tell what some of my letters are.


Anyone done this at all? I just want to know from someone whose done it that it's worth the time? Looks like it could actually be fun if REAL discovery is possible.

Discoveries are being done... not huge ones, but yes they're being done by teams (I was on a team that counted left and right spiral galaxies at Galaxy Zoo for awhile.) This kind of "everyone can try their hand" concept works very well on an impossibly huge workload like this.




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