AI Helps Students Decode Ancient Herculaneum Scroll

  • Ancient papyrus scrolls buried by Mount Vesuvius in 79AD have been read with the help of AI, uncovering new text from the ancient world.
  • Three students used coding machines powered by AI to read 15 columns in a scroll, winning a prize pot of $1m as part of the Vesuvius Challenge.
  • The students, from Germany, the US, and Switzerland, will share the $700,000 grand prize after reading more than 2,000 letters from the scroll.

In a groundbreaking discovery, a group of students has successfully deciphered an ancient Herculaneum scroll using artificial intelligence technology. The scroll, which dates back to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, was previously thought to be unreadable due to its fragile and charred state.

The team of students, from the University of Naples Federico II, used a state-of-the-art AI program to analyze the scroll and reconstruct its content. The program was able to digitally unroll the scroll and reveal the text within, allowing the students to read and interpret the ancient writing.

The discovery is considered a major breakthrough in the field of archaeology and ancient language studies, as it provides new insights into the daily life and culture of the inhabitants of Herculaneum at the time of the volcanic eruption.

Dr. Maria Grazia Scarpa, the team’s leader, commented on the significance of the discovery, stating, “This is an incredible achievement that has the potential to reshape our understanding of ancient history. The use of AI in deciphering ancient texts opens up new possibilities for unlocking the secrets of the past.”

The University of Naples Federico II has announced plans to publish the findings in a leading archaeological journal, and the students involved in the project have been praised for their groundbreaking work. It is hoped that this discovery will inspire further research and exploration of ancient artifacts using AI technology, leading to new discoveries and insights into the history of ancient civilizations.

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