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Proceedings Paper

Multispectral processing of combined visible and x-ray fluorescence imagery in the Archimedes palimpsest
Author(s): Derek Walvoord; Allison Bright; Roger L. Easton Jr.
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Paper Abstract

The Archimedes palimpsest is one of the most significant early texts in the history of science that has survived to the present day. It includes the oldest known copies of text from seven treatises by Archimedes, along with pages from other important historical writings. In the 13th century, the original texts were erased and overwritten by a Christian prayer book, which was used in religious services probably into the 19th century. Since 2001, much of the text from treatises of Archimedes has been transcribed from images taken in reflected visible light and visible fluorescence generated by exposure of the parchment to ultraviolet light. However, these techniques do not work well on all pages of the manuscript, including the badly stained colophon, four pages of the manuscript obscured by icons painted during the first half of the 20th century, and some pages of non-Archimedes texts. Much of the text on the colophon and overpainted pages has been recovered from X-ray fluorescence (XRF) imagery. In this work, the XRF images of one of the other pages were combined with the bands of optical images to create hyperspectral image cubes and processed using standard statistical classification techniques developed for environmental remote sensing to test if this improved the recovery of the original text.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2008
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6810, Computer Image Analysis in the Study of Art, 681005 (18 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.766665
Show Author Affiliations
Derek Walvoord, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Allison Bright, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Roger L. Easton Jr., Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6810:
Computer Image Analysis in the Study of Art
David G. Stork; Jim Coddington, Editor(s)

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