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Velvet – Check Out – A young man earned 14 million Hungarian forints by deciphering an ancient text

Velvet – Check Out – A young man earned 14 million Hungarian forints by deciphering an ancient text

They were discovered from the ruins of Pompeii, and they have been working on deciphering them ever since: Scientists are trying to uncover the contents of some Roman-era documents in an unusual way so far, and they have launched a kind of challenge: those documents and whoever succeeds in translating the incomplete texts will receive a prize. Huge cash. So far, two guys have succeeded in working on one detail each, but the big prize still awaits them.

Two thousand years ago, it almost became extinct during the destruction of one of the most famous ancient cities, and we never thought that we would one day be able to read ancient Roman documents. A student came up with the solution during a university project. How can we reach it?

A university student has become richer by about 14 million forints, after he managed to translate part of a document from the Roman era that was discovered in the area of ​​​​the city of Pompeii. As is known, the lava plateau near Naples was already inhabited by the Oscans in the 6th century BC, who were attracted here by the fertile soil despite their proximity to Mount Vesuvius. In 80 BC, the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla conquered the region, and it became part of the Roman Republic. Founded under Roman rule, Pompeii had great economic importance, mainly due to the Via Appia, a trade route that ran through the settlement.

In 62 BC, on the feast of Emperor Augustus, a huge earthquake destroyed the countryside, and then the earthquakes became continuous, and the city lost its ancient glory over time. Although they tried to rebuild it from its ruins, due to earthquakes, Mount Vesuvius began to move and finally erupted in 79.

Pompeii was destroyed by ash and rubble.

In 1592, the Neapolitan engineer Domenico Fontana was the first to discover artifacts, especially marble slabs and statues, under layers of rubble. Later, the remains of another settlement destroyed by lava, Herculaneum, also appeared. During the excavation, countless written memories and numerous manuscripts came to the surface. the Excavations are still continuing today and all finds to date are of public interestBut no one dared to touch it yet, because the charred documents could quickly turn to dust.

Since scientists did not succeed in deciphering its content last year, as part of the Vesuvius Challenge, He stored the scrolls in the Villa Babieri, a wealthy Roman statesman’s estate, with a view to… So that someone With the help of creative techniques and innovative technologies Know what is written on fragile pages while maintaining their integrity. The winner of the challenge received a grand prize of $700,000 and several smaller amounts.

For the $40,000 (about 14 million Hungarian forints) paid to decipher the first letters, only one word had to be deciphered. This was the first anyone would recognize of the scrolls stuck in the mud and ash. We owe this great discovery to 21-year-old IT student Luc Varet, who used artificial intelligence to reconstruct the word porphyras, which means purple paint or purple clothes. It wasn’t long before another participant, Youssef Nader, succeeded, while Casey Hanmer identified the ink used to write on paper. Meanwhile, the main prize remains unsold, and enthusiastic hobbyists, computer specialists and researchers are working on the solution even at these moments, using the results of the three young people.

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(Cover image: Roman papyrus. Illustration: Getty Images)

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