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Oxford's Ancient Lives Website Lets You Decipher

By: Omar Yusuf - Published: Jul 28, 2011 • References: ancientlives.org and gizmodo
Crowdsourcing is an ingenious resource and shouldn't be ignored; Oxford seems fully aware of this, as it manages the launch of Ancient Lives, the university's newest website.

Deciphering the secrets of archaic manuscripts is no easy task, which is why the Egypt Exploration Society has agreed to scan and upload papyrus texts onto the Ancient Lives site. The idea is to widen the scope of potentially qualified academics who are exposed to these rare, misunderstood papyri. Chiefly excavated from the dig site at Oxyrhynchus, an ancient Egyptian city, most of the texts describe mundane, colloquial activities.

Some interesting tidbits have already been discovered and partially translated via crowdsourcing, including a mythical, non-cannon Christian gospel and scores of ancient theatrical scripts. Who knows what could be discovered next!