Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Chinese Museum Is Offering Big Money to Whomever Can Decode This Ancient Script (The going rate is $15,000 per character).

With provisos.

From Atlas Obscura:
It’s not bounty hunting, but it’s close: The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan Province is offering a large monetary reward to anyone who can decode a 3,000-year-old script. The writing, which dates to the ancient Shang dynasty, is one of the “earliest written records of Chin­ese civilization,” according to the South China Morning Post.

So far, experts have decoded around 2,000 of the approximately 5,000 characters found on these oracle bones, which were carved into turtle shells and ox bones and report on everything from taxes to the climate. But the process has proved both costly and time-consuming, so the National Museum of Chinese Writing is crowdsourcing it.

They’re offering 100,000 yuan (~$15,000) for each unknown character a person can translate (with evidence). A sum of 50,000 yuan (~$7,500) goes to anyone who is able to provide an explanation for a character whose meaning is in dispute....MORE