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How Do You Read Ancient Scrolls Too Brittle to ­nfurl? American Scientist May Have Answer


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The intact scrolls are too fragile to unfurl.

Ancient papyrus scrolls too fragile to unwrap are being scanned with the hope of "digitally unwrapping" and reading them.

Credit: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Ancient papyrus scrolls too fragile to unwrap are being scanned with the hope of "digitally unwrapping" and reading them.

The University of Kentucky's Brent Seales leads the effort, using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans, and analytical software.

The CT scans generate a set of cross-sectional images to reveal the papyrus' internal contours, as well as surface data.

Software extrapolates something readable from that data, mapping out the papyrus' configuration and any detectable text.

Adding to the challenge is distinguishing text written in carbon-based ink from the carbonized papyrus, which was damaged by a volcanic eruption.

From The Washington Post
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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