AI Reveals Part of Ancient Dead Sea Scrolls Were Written by ‘Two Different Scribes’

A fragment from the Dead Sea Scrolls that underwent genetic sampling to shed light on the 2,000-year-old biblical trove is shown to Reuters at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) laboratory in Jerusalem June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Researchers say Artificial Intelligence (AI) has for the first time shown that two scribes wrote part of the mysterious ancient Dead Sea Scrolls.

Tests were carried out on the longest text, known as the Great Isaiah Scroll.

It was found that probably two unknown individuals had copied down the words using near-identical handwriting.

The scrolls, which include the oldest known version of the Bible, have been a source of fascination since their discovery some 70 years ago.

The first sets were found by a Bedouin in a cave at Qumran near the Dead Sea in what is now the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

They contain manuscripts, mostly written in Hebrew as well as Aramaic and Greek, and are believed to date from about the Third Century BC.

The Isaiah Scroll is one of some 950 different texts discovered in the 1940s and 50s. It is unique among the scrolls in that its 54 columns are divided into halves, written in an almost uniform style.

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