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Fragment of scroll from Herculaneum was partially read

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Fragment of the scroll read
Fragment of the scroll read

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) now allows for breakthroughs also in the field of archaeology. One of the students recently managed to read a fragment of a charred ancient papyrus from Herculaneum.

Carbonized papyri scrolls have been preserved in the library in the so-called The Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, a city that was one of several Roman cities that were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.

A major discovery was made as part of the so-called “Vesuvian Challenge” – a competition that was intended to encourage teams of scientists to read 3D scans of two rolled scrolls and three papyri fragments. The material has been made available to those interested. The top prize – $700,000 – will go to the team that is the first to decipher four paragraphs of text from the inner layers of the scrolls.

The first winner was announced in October and received $40,000. Student Luke Farritor, using his own algorithm, deciphered the first letters of the lines from the inside of the fabric, including the word “purple”, written in Greek (πορϕυρας).

According to the organizers, 1,500 people are taking part in the competition, which will enable them to obtain further amazing information and discoveries.

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