Ivan BIRTA – Chemo-mechanical imprimography. Ways to recover lost writings
(Registered by the Benelux Intellectual Property Office, No. 117333/May 10, 2019).
Imagery – generally characterized as a form of pareidolia, offered one more reason why we applied different techniques to recover lost writing. In our case this has nothing to do with misperception of imagery, that have recently been theorized as the ability or capacity of the human mind to perceive patterns (otherwise considered as accidental phenomena) through hypersensitivity, since our case is chemomechanical proven and practically demonstrated.
In particular, we analyzed some chemomechanical imprimography cases in which letters or characters from the original manuscript were copied or embossed on replacement paper.
The process takes dozens, even hundreds, of years and depends on several factors (regardless of our will and influence): ambient humidity, which must be adequate to achieve this purpose, constant temperature and last but not least a constant mechanical pressure on the manuscript.
When shooting, it is important to increase the photo resolution, to transform low-quality photos by reducing the pixelation, as a higher resolution means more image details to restore invisible characters or letters. The resolution quantifies how close lines are located and can still be visible.
Resolution units are to be bound to physical quantities – lines per mm – to the total size of an image in relation to the angular subtense.
After reaching a suitable resolution, the image must be digitally filtered using different color spectra until it is correctly visualized.
Imprimography takes place in three ways:
1. In the original format (by penetrating surrogate/replacement paper);
2. In the mirror view (reverse view – letters appear opposite by copying onto the paper that was placed
over the original);
3. In one way and another.
Once the digital filtering process is complete, the image must be converted to the original view for evaluation (defining the type and language of writing, delimiting the words from the superscript or subscript and placing them in common writing lines – transcription continues, transliteration, translation into modern language and draw conclusions).
The analyzed paper can be subjected to chemical baths using special processes (preliminary tests are carried out on smaller parts of the paper to check whether the paper supports this treatment).
The missing script is reconstructed using linguistic methods (implantation of letters and incorrect characters), historical ones (by completing the names, some of which were saved by the researcher’s scientific expertise), the use of adjacent reference texts or other scientific methods.
In some cases, the reconstitution of the lost writing can be achieved complementarily through the multispectral analysis methods, which are assessed by the independent component analysis.
Due to the high resolution of the sensor – 50 megapixels – and the number of recordings, 19 gigabytes per page (digit) would be saved. In addition, there are usually 1-2 gigabytes of results (images in TIF format).
However, the decoding of the lost texts is carried out by the long-standing scientific staff in the old texts, whereby the methods described above are an absolutely indispensable ingredient.
The correctness and accuracy of these scientific advances was proven by comparison with the original texts discovered later.
Every lost text is unique, and recovery and decryption methods are unique and inimitable and require innovative applications, the practical applications of which are undoubtedly proven.