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Thousands of ancient Egyptian texts have just been deciphered, revealing hangover cur

Submitted by: Odio @ 03:57 PM | Friday, March 4, 2016 | (url: http://www.scienc...)

In January 1897, British archaeology students Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt dug into what they thought was a simple sand dune at the site of the ancient Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus, about 200 km south of Cairo.

Pretty soon they realised there was nothing simple about what they were excavating - theyd uncovered an ancient rubbish dump, from which more than 500,000 fragments of Egyptian papyrus were eventually extracted. But the problem with finding so many documents is that someone actually has to read them all.

Between 1898 and 2012, academics managed to transcribe just over 5,000 of the 500,000 documents that are now housed by the Sackler Library in Oxford and owned by the Egypt Exploration Society in London. That means it took them more than a century to transcribe 1 percent of the documents.

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