Tuesday, May 04, 2021

A prolific scribe at Qumran?

SCRIBE OR STYLE? Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysterious scribe wrote eight diverse scrolls, scholars find (Rossella Tercatin, Jerusalem Post).
“The main purpose of my work has been using artificial intelligence, an extraction algorithm and statistical analyses to test 51 manuscripts which share a particular handwriting style.”
The article is based on an interview with Gronigen PhD student Gemma Hayes. The algorithms she uses reportedly can distinguish individual scribes who use the same scribal style. Her research also adds support to the dating of "scribe G-QS001" to the late first century BCE or ealy first century CE by paleography and carbon dating. The scribe consistently used the Qumran Scribal Practice, which is a spelling style somewhat different from that of Masoretic Hebrew. And she says that the appearance of the scribe's work in two different caves at Qumran may suggest that the scribe was resident at Qumran.

In an e-mail, Joseph Lauer provided links to videos of Ms. Hayes's presentation last month, mentioned in the article, as well as another presentation by her and Maruf A. Dhali in 2020.

For more on the The Hands that Wrote the Bible Project at Groningen University, see here. Follow the links there for more algorithm news. Cross-file unde Algorithm Watch.

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