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A new approach for monitoring the state of conservation of cultural heritage objects surfaces is being developed. The technique utilizes multi-spectral imaging, multivariate analysis and statistical process control theory for the automatic detection of a possible deterioration process, its localization and identification, and the wavelengths most sensitive to detecting this before the human eye can detect the damage or potential degradation changes occur. A series of virtual degradation analyses were performed on images of parchment in order to test the proposed algorithm in controlled conditions. The spectral image of a Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) parchment, IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority) inventory plate # 279, 4Q501 Apocryphal Lamentations B, taken during the 2008 Pilot of the DSS Digitization Project, was chosen for the simulation.

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Dead Sea Scroll fragments from a current exhibit in Philadelphia. Credit: Darryl Moran/The Franklin InstituteLast week, a peer-reviewed journal called the Restaurator published a controversial article about the Dead Sea Scrolls written by two Berlin-based scientists...