Alum’s software digitally unfurls an ancient scroll

W. Brent Seales​, a graduate of computer sciences, has helped make text from a charred Biblical scroll legible.

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The reconstructed Ein Gedi Scroll (left), alongside the charred, unrolled scroll that scientists scanned (right). A U.S. penny is included for scale. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY SEALES ET AL. SCI. ADV. 2016; 2 : E1601247

W. Brent Seales (MS ’88, PhD ’91), who is now a computer scientist at the University of Kentucky, has developed a method called "virtual unwrapping" that allows the text of a scroll found on the shore of the Dead Sea to be legible. The scroll contains text from Leviticus, and the scan results were published earlier this month in Science Advances.

Both the New York Times and National Geographic covered the achievement.