Papyrus Scrolls That Were Carbonized During The Deadly Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius Nearly 2,000 Years Ago Have Been Partly Deciphered Via Machine Learning, Winning Researchers A Prize Of $700,000 Through The “Vesuvius Challenge”

“In a way, it feels like building on my ancestors’ innovative spirit from 5,000 years ago with their invention of papyrus sheets,” said Nader in a statement.

“By bringing an ancient scroll back from the ashes, we continue to celebrate and document the incredible story of human ingenuity.”

Nader is an Egyptian machine learning doctoral student at the Free University of Berlin. He was also a runner-up winner during the first part of the challenge in October 2023.

Back then, participants had only made sense of a few words on a scroll, including the Greek word for “purple dye” or “clothes of purple.”

The requirement for the latest contest was to shed light on four passages of 140 characters each. At least 85 percent of the characters must be deciphered.

The ancient author of the Epicurean writings is thought to be the philosopher Philodemus, who lived from around 110 to 30 B.C.

He wrote about how the lack or abundance of items affects pleasure, stating that abundance is more readily associated with pleasure than scarcity.

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