Innovative imaging technology reveals the hidden inscription on the funeral cross

In an interdisciplinary project, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech Lauren (USA) used terahertz signal and image processing techniques to look beneath the eroded surface of a 16th-century lead funeral cross. Led by David Citrine, a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the effort combined imaging scientists, an artifact chemist, and an art historian to uncover a message that has been obscured by time: the Our Father inscription. study was a statement in the magazine Scientific Reports.

multidisciplinary knowledge

Although important data was collected during the scanning process, the raw images were very confusing and the inscription remained unreadable at the time. But Junliang Dong, who was then a doctoral candidate at Citrine Lab, had the foresight to process images in a special way to eliminate noise. By subtracting and combining parts of the images obtained at different frequencies, Dong was able to recover and improve the images. What remained was a surprisingly legible image containing the text.

Using processed images, Vacheret was able to identify many Latin words and phrases. He decided that everyone was a part of Butter Nosterknown as Our Father.

The team also worked with a conservationist to reverse the chemical corrosion on the cross, confirming the inscription Butter Noster. By comparing their images with the clean cross, the team found that their images revealed parts of the inscription not observable on the original cross. By revealing additional aspects of the inscriptions that were previously undocumented, his work was able to offer a deeper understanding of the cross and a deeper look into Christianity in the sixteenth century in Lorraine, France.

Application in paintings and sculptures

“In this case, we were able to verify our work later, but not all lead objects can be processed in this way,” Citrine said. “Some things are great, and some have to stay On site Some are very sensitive. We hope our work will open up the study of other lead bodies that may also reveal secrets under erosion.”

The Citrin group also used terahertz photography to look beneath the surface of 17th century paintings, to illustrate the paint layer structure and to provide insight into the techniques of the master painters. They are currently examining the surface coatings of ancient Roman pottery.

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Cross design demonstrates that success requires more than just accurate measurements, but also accurate data processing and collaboration between researchers from different fields. The team’s approach opens up new avenues for analyzing terahertz images and could give significant impetus to the fields of digital acquisition and documentation, as well as character recognition, extraction and classification.

“Despite three decades of intense development, terahertz imaging is still a rapidly developing field,” Loquet said. “While others focus on hardware development, our efforts are focused on getting the most out of the measured data.”

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