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Digital Unwrapping

Homer, Herculaneum, and the Scroll from Ein Gedi

Progress over the past fifteen years in the digitization and analysis of text found in cultural objects (inscriptions, manuscripts, scrolls) has led to a new and astonishing discovery. In this talk I will tell the story of emerging methods for imaging and analysis culminating in a personal account of the discovery, the people involved, and the technical approaches used.


Dr. Brent Seales is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments (Vis Center) at the University of Kentucky. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), Sophia-Antipolis, France, before joining the Computer Science Department at the University of Kentucky. In the 2012-13 academic year he was a Visiting Scientist at Google in Paris, France. His research program centers around digital imaging and computer vision applied to problems in the digital restoration of antiquities, surgical technology, and data visualization. The digital recovery by Seales of the readable text within the Ein Gedi scroll was recognized by Christianity Today magazine as the most significant discovery in biblical archaeology of 2015.

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