Request for public to help decode papyri in hunt for lost gospels, letters and literature.
Thread poster: Helen Shiner

Helen Shiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:43
Member (2008)
German to English
+ ...
Jul 26, 2011

Members of the public are being asked to help decode papyri, in order to find fragments of lost gospels, works of literature, and letters about everyday life in ancient Egypt, in a new project launched by Oxford University.

Ancient Lives (ancientlives.org), which launches today, is putting hundreds of thousands of images of fragments of papyri written in Greek online. Researchers say that ‘armchair archaeologists’ visiting the website can help with cataloguing the collection, an
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Members of the public are being asked to help decode papyri, in order to find fragments of lost gospels, works of literature, and letters about everyday life in ancient Egypt, in a new project launched by Oxford University.

Ancient Lives (ancientlives.org), which launches today, is putting hundreds of thousands of images of fragments of papyri written in Greek online. Researchers say that ‘armchair archaeologists’ visiting the website can help with cataloguing the collection, and could make amazing finds, such as the recent discovery of fragments of a previously unknown ‘lost’ gospel which describes Jesus Christ casting out demons.

Nobody knows who wrote this lost gospel: it is part of a treasure trove of papyri recovered in the early 20th century from the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, the ‘City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish’. The texts were written in Greek during a period when Egypt was under the control of a Greek (and later Roman) settler class. Many of the papyri had not been read for over a thousand years.

Because of the huge number of images involved researchers need volunteers to look through and catalogue them or transcribe the text using a simple web interface, which displays both known and unknown texts.

For more information, see: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2011/110726.html

PS There is, by the way, no need to read or understand ancient Greek to participate in this project. A fun thing to dip in and out of....

[Edited at 2011-07-26 16:43 GMT]
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Request for public to help decode papyri in hunt for lost gospels, letters and literature.

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