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Computer algorithm to decipher ancient texts

A computer program has been developed that can decipher previously unreadable ancient texts.

The program uses a pattern recognition algorithm similar to those law enforcement agencies have adopted to identify and compare fingerprints. But in this case, the program identifies letters, words and even handwriting styles, saving historians and liturgists hours of sitting and studying each manuscript.

By recognizing such patterns, the computer can recreate with high accuracy portions of texts that faded over time or even those written over by later scribes, said Itay Bar-Yosef, one of the researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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