Scientists promise $250,000 to decipher ancient manuscript
News » Science and Technology
In 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius devastated the library in Herculaneum owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law. Scholars are promising a reward for deciphering a manuscript from this library, according to Gizmodo.
< br /> Former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and some scholars will be giving away $250,000 to those who, using modern technology, can decipher the scrolls found at the site of the library.
The competition is called the Vesuvius Challenge. participants will receive 3D x-rays at 8 µm resolution of two scrolls of Herculaneum belonging to the French Institute in Paris, as well as scans and images of three pieces of papyrus from the find site.
Participants must extract text from these historical artifacts, by any means, but will only be able to access the data corresponding to the top half of the scrolls. If their methodology is successful, the Vesuvius Challenge team will grant them access to the other half of the artifacts.
In order to receive the grand prize, the winning team must read four a passage of text from the inside of two scrolls, and the team's work will be judged by a panel of technical experts such as papyrologists.
Those interested in entering the competition can download the data files for the scrolls and papyrus fragments from the Vesuvius Challenge website, and all applications must be submitted by December 31, 2023.
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