Ancient Lives: Papyrology for People Who aren’t Papyrologists

More and more manuscripts are now appearing online – and, as this one – invites everyone to join. “The site is an attempt to harness the power of the people in an effort to transcribe as-yet unpublished Greek papyri fragments from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt: Ancient Lives is a collaboration between a diverse collection of Oxford Papyrologists and Researchers, The Imaging Papyri Project, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, the Egypt Exploration Society and the following institutions.

The papyri belong to the Egypt Exploration Society and their texts will eventually be published and numbered in Society’s Greco-Roman Memoirs series in the volumes entitled The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. The best part, though, is that you don’t need to be a papyrologist to get in on the fun. You don’t even need to know Greek! (Although it doesn’t hurt…)

Source - Ancient lives

The interface for the transcription project is incredibly user-friendly, even for non-specialists. I watched an entire classroom of NT Intro students (most of whom had never taken a day of Greek) spend an hour exploring the site and transcribing fragments. They were into it.

The site loads for you a papyrus fragment. You look at the letters on the papyrus (even for people who know Greek, that’s all they are at first) and try to match each one up with a letter or special character in the ancient Greek alphabet. Here [above is] a screenshot of a fragment I’m currently working on to give you an idea: transcribe The blue circles are letters that I have, or think I have, identified so far. The red circle is the current letter I am deciphering…

Let the Reader Understand

A few months ago I was introduced to the University of of Oxford’s Ancient Lives papyri transcription project while TAing a class for Eric Smith. This morning I rediscovered it and have been having some fun transcribing ancient Greek fragments.

The site is an attempt to harness the power of the people in an effort to transcribe as-yet unpublished Greek papyri fragments from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt:

Ancient Lives is a collaboration between a diverse collection of Oxford Papyrologists and Researchers, The Imaging Papyri Project, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, the Egypt Exploration Society and the following institutions.

The papyri belong to the Egypt Exploration Society and their texts will eventually be published and numbered in Society’s Greco-Roman Memoirs series in the volumes entitled The Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

The best part, though, is that you don’t need to be a papyrologist to get in on the fun. You don’t even need to know Greek! (Although it…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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