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Researchers Ask Volunteers to Help Translate Ancient Greek Text

Researchers around the world are asking the public to help translate hundreds of thousands of ancient texts.
A new project created by Oxford University and the Egypt Exploration Society was launched this week and includes U of M researchers. It’s called “Ancient Lives.”
Oxford University has a collection of ancient Egyptian papyri that was excavated more than 100 years ago, but only a small percentage have been translated. The collection has been named Oxyrhynchus Papyri and is written in Greek.
Hundreds of thousands of images of these fragments have been put online, and researchers are using volunteers to look through the images and catalog them or transcribe the text using a computer program.
Members of the public can help read the texts by matching shapes of letters to create words that the computer algorithms can translate.
Physics and astronomy associate professor Lucy Fortson in the College of Science and Engineering is leading the University of Minnesota team.
For more information about the project, visit

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