A University of Nebraska undergraduate student named Luke Farritor used AI to read a 2,000-year-old scroll, making history.

He participated in the Vesuvius Challenge, a competition aimed at deciphering ancient papyrus scrolls from the Roman city of Herculaneum

that were fossilized due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE.

Farritor developed a machine-learning algorithm to detect and read letters on the fragile scroll and discovered the word "Porphyras," meaning "purple."

He won the "First Letters" prize of $40,000 by submitting the required number of legible letters.

Another contestant, Youssef Nader, also discovered the same word in the same area and received a $10,000 prize.

The scrolls are too fragile to unfurl and would turn to dust if mishandled.

Farritor's discovery has the potential to revolutionize our knowledge of ancient history and literature.

The Vesuvius Challenge continues, challenging researchers to read four passages in two scanned scrolls for a $700,000 grand prize.