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Software “Unwraps” Charred Ein Gedi Scroll

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ein Gedi scrollJERUSALEM, ISRAEL—A charred scroll discovered in the 1970 excavations of the synagogue at Ein Gedi has been “virtually unwrapped” by Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky. Seales and his team used data collected from a micro-computed tomography scan for the study, leaving the scroll intact and unopened. “The text revealed today from the Ein Gedi scroll was possible only because of the collaboration of many different people and technologies. The last step of virtual unwrapping, done at the University of Kentucky through the hard work of a team of talented students, is especially satisfying because it has produced readable, identifiable, biblical text from a scroll thought to be beyond rescue,” Seales said in a press release. Part of the scroll, dated to the sixth century A.D., is from the beginning of the biblical book of Leviticus. “The page actually comes from a layer buried deep within the many wraps of the scroll body, and is possible to view it only through the remarkable results of our software, which implements the research idea of ‘virtual unwrapping,’” Seales said. To read about another project working to decipher ancient scrolls using hi-tech methods, go to "The Charred Scrolls of Herculaneum." 

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