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Cybernetics helps Egyptologists learn ancient dignitaries

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Prague, July 9 (CTK) – Czech scientists have connected cybernetics and Egyptology in a project that enables to get to know detailed relations between dignitaries, the ruling dynasty members and priests in Ancient Egypt, the Czech Technical University (CVUT) said in a press release on Monday.

The CVUT experts, who participate in the project, have managed to sort out and arrange fragmented data about almost 5,000 people gathered from various sources to create remarkable networks of relations between significant persons in Ancient Egypt.

Egyptologists, from the Czech Institute of Egyptology of the Faculty of Arts of Prague’s Charles University, headed by Miroslav Barta, are studying the period of the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2700-2180 BC). Veronika Dulikova with her team is creating a database of the ancient top officials who were buried in Abousir and the surrounding burial grounds in Sakhara and Giza.

The information on these people is incomplete and it would need a superhuman effort to connect these data and identify their relations. However, this task can be solved with the aid of artificial intelligence and cybernetics.

This is why Egyptologists cooperate with experts from these fields.

Radek Marik, from the CVUT’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Prague, has invented a programme that is able to sort out, complete and interconnect all data. The CVUT calls this new branch cyber-Egyptology.

The ancient Egyptian civilisation developed by fits and turns and not continuously, which makes the sorting out and connecting various data even more complicated.

When creating the networks, researchers had to keep in mind family relations as well as the influences of interest groups that played an important role in filling high posts. They managed to reconstruct a very complex structure, including members of the ruling families, viziers, priests, judges and top officials.

The scientists present the results of their work with an example of one dignitary named Ty. The used method proves that he stood close to viziers and supreme officials.

Egyptologists also use the gathered data for a comparison with trends in other civilisations. It turns out that many regularities and relations from the ancient times are valid at present as well.

“Our institute sets down this direction of research and it has become a subject of interest not only of social sciences, but also of security services, which is proven by the recent seminar for armed and security forces held at the Potomac Institute in Washington, D.C.,” Barta said.

The research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation.

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