Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Cairo Geniza Jigsaw Puzzle

I came across this article in The New York Times about putting computers to work assembling the scraps that have come out of the Cairo geniza.
The idea is to harness technology to help reassemble more than 100,000 document fragments collected across 1,000 years that reveal details of Jewish life along the Mediterranean, including marriage, medicine and mysticism. For decades, scholars relied mainly on memory to match up pieces of the Cairo genizah, a treasure trove of papers that include works by the rabbinical scholar Maimonides, parts of Torah scrolls and prayer books, reams of poetry and personal letters, contracts, and court documents, even recipes (there is a particularly vile one for honey-wine).
Fascinating read.

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