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USC and Swedish researchers use computer to crack 250-year-old Copiale Cipher mystery
LOS ANGELES (AP) ' Scientists in California and Sweden have solved a 250-year-old mystery ' a coded manuscript written by a secret society.
The University of Southern California announced Tuesday that researchers had broken the Copiale Cipher ' the writing used in a 105-page 18th century document from Germany.
Kevin Knight, of USC, and Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer, of Uppsala University, did the work.
They used a computer program to decipher part of the manuscript, which was found in East Berlin after the Cold War and is now in a private collection.
The book, written in symbols and Roman letters, detailed rituals of a society that was fascinated by ophthalmology and eye surgery.
The team tried 80 languages before realizing the abstract symbols ' not the Roman letters ' held the message.