Excavations in the trash heaps of the Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus uncovered half a million scraps of paper giving us unprecedented evidence of human activity from the ancient Mediterranean world. Countless bits of everyday writing from Greco-Roman times were deposited in these garbage dumps: letters, contracts, tax records, census returns, petitions, recipes, school exercises. Editing, interpreting, and publishing these papyri has been a painfully slow process, with only 6,000 of those half a million texts yet in print. Our Minnesota-based project is using web-powered crowd sourcing to speed up the work and expand its horizons into new areas, such as texts written in the Coptic language representing the concerns of early Christian inhabitants of Egypt in late Roman times.
*Location and parking information can be found here (#29 on the map)
A no-host dinner with the speaker will follow the lecture at Pad Thai Grand, 1681 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.