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Artificial Intelligence helps Identify Authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Among the biggest questions about the Dead Sea Scrolls is who wrote them and when. The simple answer is that we don’t know, since the biblical scribes didn’t sign their work, cite their intelligence, or give us many clues about their identity. Alongside, the Dutch researchers have not enlisted Artificial intelligence to analyze the handwriting on the Dead Sea Scrolls and determine how many different scribes were behind it.

The team of scientists and biblical scholars from the University of Groningen, Netherlands tested their analysis on the so-called Great Isaiah Scroll. The study was published on Wednesday in a journal that claimed that the scroll, which contains the text of a biblical book of Isaiah, was penned by two different hands. Well, the argument that pops up in our minds or consents is that what difference does it make how many scribes wrote an ancient manuscript. Actually, it opens a perplexed closed door for engaging in a completely different approach to studying the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Ever since their discovery, the scientists have been focusing on the content of the manuscripts, looking for patterns in the styles, word usage of ideologies to glean some knowledge about the people behind the scrolls. The intriguing aspect of finding more information gets us close to the ancient artwork and helps the scientists analyzing the thought process of those individuals.

While content analysis will continue to be important, the new AI-supported method will give researchers physical evidence to connect different manuscripts that were written by the same hand. The method that got road-tested on the Isaiah Scroll involved algorithms designed by Ph.D. candidate Maruf Dhali and Lambert Schomaker. Their articulate neural networks were taught to distinguish the ink traces from the background parchment and then to find significant patterns in the styling of the characters.

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