Hear from experts about the challenges of unraveling and reading hundreds of carbonized papyri scrolls buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. This public program was live streamed from the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 19.
Classicists David Blank of the University of California Los Angeles and Richard Janko of the University of Michigan discuss early and current attempts to open the fragile layers and decipher their texts, and computer scientist W. Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky shares how advances in technology and machine learning might allow the still unopened ancient book rolls to be "virtually unwrapped" and read.
Image: Three carbonized scrolls, second century BC-first century AD, Greco-Roman. Papyrus, wood, and volcanic material. Biblioteca Nazionale “Vittorio Emanuele III” Napoli. Image: Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali. All rights reserved. All other use prohibited.