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New study says literacy widespread among ancient Israelites

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

    United States
    A new study says the rates of literacy among ancient Israelites might be far higher than previously suspected.

    A new study of inscriptions at Tel Arad, an ancient fort that was probably destroyed during the invasion of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II, claims that at least a dozen different people left written records at the site in the late 7th century BC.

    The handwriting samples – inscribed on pottery, known as ostraca, and dealing with mundane instructions of a military fort – have been of interest to scholars since they were discovered in the 1960’s.

    The latest research – conducted by scholars at Duke University and Tel Aviv University and published Sept. 9 in PLOS ONE journal – used two new algorithmic handwriting analysis methods on the ostraca, as well as an independent analysis by a professional forensic document examiner.

    “We examined the question of literacy empirically, from different directions of image processing and machine learning,” said Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin, one of the authors of the study.

    “Among other things, these areas help us today with the identification, recognition, and analysis of handwriting, signatures, and so on. The big challenge was to adapt modern technologies to 2,600-year-old ostraca. With a lot of effort, we were able to produce two algorithms that could compare letters and answer the question of whether two given ostraca were written by two different people

    Continued below.
    New study says literacy widespread among ancient Israelites
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