The papyri code.
Text: Angelika Jacobs
Using digital methods, Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello and her team are trying to reassemble fragments of ancient papyri.
When she was just 10 years old, Dr. Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello first travelled to Egypt, where she discovered her life’s passion: She wanted to decode hieroglyphs and read what they had to report back about the ancient world. Today, at the University of Basel, she studies digital methods of identifying the handwriting on Greek and Coptic papyri from Antiquity.
As part of the D-Scribes project, she and her team are working to develop an analysis platform for ancient manuscripts based on the unique properties of the scribes’ handwriting. Their goal is to create a digital tool to date papyrus fragments in collections around the world, join contiguous fragments and pinpoint the authors of writing samples that continue to defy all attempts at identification.
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