For more than a century, scholars have worked on the Oxyrhynchus Papyri: a million fragments of documents recovered from Egypt in the early 20th century, containing everything from lost Gospels to ancient tax returns.

Led by Dr Dirk Obbink, the Ancient Lives project digitised the fragments, and allowed members of the public to identify the characters they contained. The result? More transcriptions in a year, than in a century of work by academics, revealing crucial information about a fascinating period of world history. is part of the network of public participation projects. The project was supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the John Fell Fund, and is indebted to the Oxford University Department of Classics and the Egypt Exploration Society, London who oversee the Oxyrhynchus Collection in the Sackler Library, Oxford as part of a wide range of scholarly and outreach activities.