One of the great mysteries within the world of archeology and the history of mankind can be solved thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence.
We are talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls and a new handwriting analysis method developed by researchers at the University of Groningen, a method that is being used on one of the most famous ancient scrolls.
At the moment it is already known that two scribes were responsible for the text, scribes who intentionally share similar writing styles.
The Great Isaiah Scroll was one of the first Dead Sea Scrolls to be discovered in 1946. It is one of the largest and best-preserved scrolls of all, and features the oldest complete copy of the Book of Isaiah.
Exactly how many scribes wrote this and other Dead Sea Scrolls is a hotly debated topic in religious and academic circles, and Mladen Popovic, a theological historian, has decided to use artificial intelligence to analyze the 17 sheets of parchment.
To determine if there was more than one scribe behind the scroll, the researchers grouped all the uses of the Hebrew letter aleph together. The single letter appears more than 5,000 times in the Great Isaiah Scroll, and Popovic suggests that human eyes have a limited ability to notice small differences in handwriting styles.
They used various pattern recognition and artificial intelligence techniques, and small changes in handwriting patterns were detected beginning in the middle of the manuscript.
The new study was published in the journal PLOS One, where it is concluded that there is a school or family environment behind the creation of the scrolls.
Now they will continue to investigate more Dead Sea Scrolls in order to find out more about who wrote these fascinating documents.
You can read more about it on rug.nl.