A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identification in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Maruf A. Dhali, Sheng He, Mladen Popović, Eibert Tigchelaar, Lambert Schomaker


To understand the historical context of an ancient manuscript, scholars rely on the prior knowledge of writer and date of that document. In this paper, we study the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of ancient manuscripts with immense historical, religious, and linguistic significance, which was discovered in the mid-20th century near the Dead Sea. Most of the manuscripts of this collection have become digitally available only recently and techniques from the pattern recognition field can be applied to revise existing hypotheses on the writers and dates of these scrolls. This paper presents our ongoing work which aims to introduce digital palaeography to the field and generate fresh empirical data by means of pattern recognition and artificial intelligence. Challenges in analyzing the Dead Sea Scrolls are highlighted by a pilot experiment identifying the writers using several dedicated features. Finally, we discuss whether to use specifically-designed shape features for writer identification or to use the Deep Learning methods on a relatively limited ancient manuscript collection which is degraded over the course of time and is not labeled, as in the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls.


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Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Dhali M., He S., Popović M., Tigchelaar E. and Schomaker L. (2017). A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identification in the Dead Sea Scrolls . In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods - Volume 1: ICPRAM, ISBN 978-989-758-222-6, pages 693-702. DOI: 10.5220/0006249706930702

in Bibtex Style

author={Maruf A. Dhali and Sheng He and Mladen Popović and Eibert Tigchelaar and Lambert Schomaker},
title={A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identification in the Dead Sea Scrolls},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods - Volume 1: ICPRAM,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods - Volume 1: ICPRAM,
TI - A Digital Palaeographic Approach towards Writer Identification in the Dead Sea Scrolls
SN - 978-989-758-222-6
AU - Dhali M.
AU - He S.
AU - Popović M.
AU - Tigchelaar E.
AU - Schomaker L.
PY - 2017
SP - 693
EP - 702
DO - 10.5220/0006249706930702