Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dead Sea Scrolls: Amateur Archaeologists Involved In Deciphering Papyri

We know the past can help us understand our own existence. One way is to understand what happened to people before us. The problem is time because we need thousands of hours to unravel small bits of discovered evidence. Now with the help of the internet fragments of papyri and scrolls can be put online and amateur enthusiasts may just help in trying to unravel them.

In the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus hundreds of thousands of retrieved pieces of papyri were found on rubbish dumps. These pieces may never have been opened because of their enormous numbers. Now thanks to a new initiative, they are put online and you might sit in your house and try to find out what they actually mean.

Already discovered in 1896 scholars have only managed to decipher two percent of everything. Under the supervision of the Egypt Exploration Society and the Oxford University you can offer help if you have an interest

How To Help?

Have you always wanted to offer your services in archaeological findings but did not know how? Most of the time you could not travel to Greece or Egypt or the Middle East. Another problem was the language. You could not speak the language so how would you help. Well now you can. The good news is, you do not need to know the Greek language at all.

Ancient Lives is a website you can visit.

You only need to been a keen observer. They will show you online a piece of papyri. Then you pick a character in the image. Below this, you can try to identify the corresponding character on a keyboard. The recognition tools built into the program will even help you do this. A previously unknown Lost Gospel has already been discovered. The project is under the leadership of Chris Lintott from the Physics Department.

You can now become part of the exciting world of researching ancient artefacts. Since researchers cannot read everything they find, they need help. The Ancient Lives website gives you this opportunity. Imagine the satisfaction if you can be part of another valuable discovery. Instead of tapping away worthless text messages you can motivate your own child to become part of scientific research and even get him or her excited about the future. By applying the technology of today to the past, we could use numbers to contribute to research and do something valuable with our time. Think of the potential if children could be persuaded to become involved.

Leon is an Online Writer with an interest in Astronomy, Archaeology, Ancient Cultures and Spirituality. He uses his research to write fiction and have used this in a new e-book novel called Ozymandeus. You can get more detail regarding this if you email him at ozyman

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