The “Digital Restoration of the Herculaneum Papyri” project, funded by Andrew W., aims to recover the papyri found in a luxury house in the ancient city of Herculaneum which are now kept at the National Library of Naples “Vittorio Emanuele III “.
The papyrus scrolls were charred during the Vesuvian eruption of 79 AD. Some of them have been opened at times with positive results, at other times disastrous because it is not possible to read them due to the blackened surface, while others are still closed.
The computer science professor at the University of Kentucky and scientific director of the project, Brent Seales, will be in Naples together with the project manager, Christy Chapman, and six students, part of his research group, to present the papyrus recovery project. The National Library “Vittorio Emanuele III” of Naples and the International Center for the Study of Herculaneum Papyri “Marcello Gigante” will also participate as partners. The scholars have a twofold objective: on the one hand, to improve the readability of the papyri carried out, through a new three-dimensional photographic campaign of the collection; on the other hand, being able to virtually unwind the still
closed scrolls, reaching the point of being able to read their writing in a non-invasive way and without actually altering their state.
This represents an important discovery because it will be possible to recover objects that are materially charred using the technology.