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John Hessler, Library of Congress
"Video Ergo Scio: Using Markov Random Fields to Reconstruct Ancient Maya Ceramics and Inscriptions"
Thursday, April 8, 11:00am-12:15pm

This virtual seminar will introduce participants to the theory of Markov random fields applied to the reconstruction of ancient Maya ceramics found in archaeological contexts and to the understanding of damaged Maya inscriptions.

The Theory of Markov random fields (MRF) has recently emerged in artificial intelligence research, both as a tool for modeling computer vision, and as a means for making deep and powerful statistical inferences about 3D digital images. These inferences allow for the reconstruction of the underlying objects and scene structure, as well as solutions to such problems as image reconstruction, image segmentation, and the rebuilding of missing parts of damaged 3D archaeological objects. I will discuss my recent work on the reconstruction of ancient Maya pottery from fragments, the complexity of the jigsaw puzzle in computer vision, and the application of newly developed MRF algorithms to the reconstruction of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions.

This event is co-sponsored by the Scholars' Lab, the Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program, and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH).  It is free and open to all, but advance registration is required. Please visit to register.

Archaeology Brown Bag Lecture
Patricia McAnany, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“Imagining a Maya Archaeology That Is Anthropological and Attuned to Indigenous Cultural Heritage”
Friday, April 9, 4:00pm

Archaeology Brown Bag Lecture
Justin Anthony Mann, University of Virginia
"Commanding the Sacred: Structures of Authority and the Sacred on the Byzantine Monastic Landscape'
Friday, April 22, 4:00pm