TechCan you read this mysterious scrolls. The winner get $700,000

Can you read this mysterious scrolls. The winner get $700,000

Luke Farritor managed to read the first word from the mysterious scroll.
Luke Farritor managed to read the first word from the mysterious scroll.
Images source: © X | Nat Friedman
10:13 AM EDT, October 15, 2023

We have met the first winners of the Vesuvius Challenge, who will help solve the mystery of ancient scrolls found after the eruption of Vesuvius. The unreadable scrolls could not be read almost 2000 years ago, but the motivation to find an idea could be a huge prize of $700,000.

The eruption of Vesuvius, which occurred in 79 AD, was one of the greatest calamities in the world, which completely destroyed several cities in the south of today's Italy – Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. After the site of the tragedy was searched, archaeologists were able to find a lot of valuable relics. Some of them have remained a mystery for a long time.

One of the findings was the mysterious scrolls from Villa Papyri, a wealthy property belonging to a Roman statesman. The scrolls were found in the 18th century, but remained a mystery to researchers for a long time. The charring of the material did not allow them to be read.

They want to unravel the mystery of the mysterious scrolls

Former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, along with a team of scientists, organized the Vesuvius Challenge, aimed at developing innovative ideas for reading scrolls. The organizers arranged a prize of $700,000 for the person who can help solve the mystery of the Villa Papyri. Several additional rewards have also been planned, which will contribute to success.

The IFLScience service reports that the competition is producing initial results. Casey Handmer has found evidence confirming the presence of ink on a fossilized scroll fragment. The discovery has been recognized with the First Ink award in the amount of 10 thousand dollars.

The discovery by Casey Handmer has led to further breakthroughs. Two computer science students - Luke Farritor from the United States and Youssef Nader from Germany decrypted the word "πορφυρας" found in the scroll, which means "purple dye" or "purple fabrics". For this achievement, Farritor received the First Letters award totaling $40,000, and Nader received an additional prize of $10,000.

The grand prize in the Vesuvius Challenge, amounting to $700,000, is still up for grabs. The recent discoveries should make it easier to decipher the mystery of the scrolls from Villa Papyri.

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