Help transcribe ancient Egyptian texts

You don't need to know an ancient language to help scientists read ancient literature. Researchers are looking for volunteers for a crowdsource project aimed at transcribing (and, later, translating) the words written on a series of crumbling papyrus scrolls, found in a trash heap at the site of what was once Oxyrhynchus, Egypt.


  1. There’s an issue with their licensing, I think. They rightly claim copyright over the images of the papyri, but then there’s this:

    The papyri themselves are owned by the Egypt Exploration Society, London. All rights reserved. 

    How can the text of a thousand of years old papyrus not be in the public domain, and how can they belong to anything less than the whole human race? The Imaging Papyri Project can rightly copyright the photos, but the Egypt Exploration Society simply can’t lay any claims to the content of the papyri once it’s known.

    1. The texts are very likely public domain.

      The papyrii, on the other hand, belong to Egypt Exploration Society.

      1.  Obviously! And very reasonably, of course. However, what I don’t like is their following that observation with “All rights reserved”. That seems to assert an ownership which goes beyond the physical papyri.

        1. Not to mention that all of the physical pieces are actually stolen from Egypt, and belong there. 

Comments are closed.