Creating a simulation option for the reconstruction of ancient documents: Palimpsests
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Ancient documents were often created by overwriting older documents that had been erased to re-use the expensive parchment. There is thus the situation that we have valuable documents that actually contain possibly more valuable documents “underneath”, hidden to the human eye. Being able to retrieve these originals is an important task, however, associated with several problems. One of these is that the value of the documents limits the distribution and thus the ability to experiment. Another is that the “to be discovered” underwriting might hold important information that should first be examined, classified and put into context by textual scholars, again severely limiting the ability to experiment. This is a strong decrement to scientists and students involved in developing and testing imaging algorithms. This paper describes an approach to create artificial palimpsests that are reasonable approximations based on previous example and thus can be used by everybody to test new assumptions, new algorithms and to study the interaction of the different deterioration mechanisms.