AI Unravels Ancient Roman Scrolls Charred By Volcano

AI helps decipher the text of a 2,000-year-old scroll burned at Pompeii By Jo Marchant & Nature magazine Text from the Herculaneum scroll, which has been unseen for 2,000 years. Credit: Vesuvius Challenge A team of student researchers has made a giant contribution to solving one of the biggest mysteries in archaeology by revealing the content of Greek writing inside a charred scroll buried 2,000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The winners of a contest called the Vesuvius Challenge trained their machine-learning algorithms on scans of the rolled-up papyrus, unveiling a previously unknown philosophical work that discusses senses and pleasure. The feat paves the way for artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to decipher the rest of the scrolls in their entirety, which researchers say could have revolutionary implications for our understanding of the ancient world. The achievement has ignited the usually slow-moving world of ancient studies. It’s […]

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