Handwriting appraisal using AI reveals that there is a 'second writer' in the Dead Sea Scrolls


Dead Sea Scrolls is a manuscript of the Old Testament of unknown author, written in Hebrew about 2000 years ago, and has been excavated and investigated since the first fragment was discovered in 1947. A research team at the University of Groningen conducted a handwriting appraisal of such Dead Sea Scrolls using AI, and found that the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by multiple authors.

Artificial intelligence based writer identification generates new evidence for the unknown scribes of the Dead Sea Scrolls exemplified by the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa)

Cracking the code of the Dead Sea Scrolls | EurekAlert! Science News

According to Muraden Popovic , a member of the research team, many speculations have been made about the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Furthermore, among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the 7.3-meter-long manuscript of 'Isaiah', which was discovered at the beginning, has 'traces of stitching two scrolls together'. It was written by multiple authors. '

However, Popovic said, 'Handwriting appraisal has a lot to do with subjective factors,' and pointed out that the previous theory relied on subjective factors. Newly, we decided to perform a quantitative analysis of the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls by performing handwriting assessment of the manuscripts of 'Isaiah' using AI.

The research team created an algorithm to identify the characters written on the scroll and extracted the same type of characters from the manuscript of 'Isaiah'. An AI handwriting appraisal of the characters revealed that the handwriting was significantly different before and after the 'trace of two scrolls sewn together.'

In addition, the research team divided the extracted characters before and after the 'trace of sewing two scrolls' to create an average shape for each. Comparing the two shapes revealed that the shapes were significantly different. From these results, the research team concludes that 'the manuscript of Isaiah was written by two authors.'

Popovic also said, 'The method we developed can be applied to other scrolls. Through our research on the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we feel as if we are shaking hands with the authors. We are eager to proceed with the analysis of other Dead Sea Scrolls.

in Science, Posted by log1o_hf