Digital Image Restoration

The mission of the this laboratory is to apply digital imaging algorithms and technologies to clarify ancient documents, including text material written on parchment and papyrus and on and within clay tablets. Imaging technologies including digital electronic cameras and xerographic printers are used to gather and print images, and image processing algorithms are developed and applied for monochrome, color, and multispectral images.
scroll fragments
The lab is partially funded by a Center for Advanced Technology Grant (CAT), which is a grant program administered by the New York State Science and Technology Foundation. The CAT helps support the Center for Electronic Imaging Systems, which is a joint effort of the University of Rochester and RIT. The CAT program is intended to facilitate and encourage economic growth in New York State by funding promising new technologies that may lead to establishment of new employment.

Besides the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lab also works on the imaging of low-relief clay tablets with raking illumination to bring out features as well as forensic imaging (image clarification and enhancement) applied to evidence.

Bob Johnston, who is the principle scientist in the lab, has been working in archeology for many years that include many trips to digs in the near east. In the course of this work, he was an early advocate of applying imaging technologies to the study of antiquities. For example, he was among the first to use xerographic x-ray imaging (xeroradiography) to view structure within clay pottery and writings on clay tablets stored within clay containers without damaging the container. The work with scrolls resulted from his many contacts in archeology.

Lab Members
Methodology of Digital Image Restoration
Published Work



Rochester Institute of Technology