Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Breakthrough in Reading Ancient Documents May Herald a 'Second Renaissance'

Oxford University scientists have found a way of using infra-red technology to enable them to read the ancient remnants of Greek and Roman documents including the Oxyrhynchus Papyri and possibly lost Christian gospels.

A new technique developed from satellite imaging means that it is suddenly possible to read a huge collection of writings previously believed to be illegible. Some are saying that there will be a 20% rise in significant Greek and Roman works.

The literary revolution should lead to the reading of "central texts which scholars have been speculating about for centuries". 400,000 fragments of papyrus from one site alone has sat waiting to be read since its discovery in the late 19th century.


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