UK Professor And Research Team Decipher Ancient Scrolls

Posted at 2:01 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 14:01:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX 18) A UK professor and his team of researchers made history by deciphering ancient scrolls with the help of computer science. Professor Brent Seales shared his work on 60 Minutes earlier this month and now he’s sharing his discoveries with LEX 18. 

After spending two decades developing and researching a way to virtually unwrap and read damaged historic documents, University of Kentucky professor Brent Seales and his team found a way to do just that. 

"Principally, we’re using imaging methods that are non-invasive. Which means that you don’t have to actually open something up to be able to see what’s in it. And I’ve been using that because there are really interesting materials that you can’t open, they’re too badly damaged," he said.

UK’s Department of Computer Science’s research project is called "The Digital Restoration Initiative." In 2015, Professor Seales and his team deciphered the scroll from En Gedi by using their step-by-step computerized process, which ended in remarkable discoveries.

The En Gedi scroll was on the 60 Minutes piece and proven to be an early copy of Leviticus.

"The scroll from En-Gedi was a fantastic triumph for the technology because we were able to go from completely unknown fragment to the Bible," said Professor Seales. 

As his research team continues to unravel more scripture from En Gedi, and other historical documents, he said research funding will always be needed and donations are greatly appreciated. 

"It would be revealing materials, but also giving students at UK an experience to work on these amazing projects," he said.