How a manuscript found in an Irish peat bog was savedThe article has lots more interesting details, such as the conclusion that the codex originally contained the whole book of Psalms.
Restorers are hoping to separate the pages of the ninth-century psalter and recover some of the ancient text
By Martin Bailey | Posted 18 December 2006 (The Art Newspaper)
LONDON. An astonishing discovery in an Irish bog is posing an unusual conservation challenge. A chance find by a peat cutter last summer in County Tipperary, southern Ireland, turned out to be a psalter, which has been dated to around 800 AD. The discovery has been described as the Irish equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
National Museum of Ireland conservator Rolly Read and his team are now stabilising the compacted vellum mass. The difficult issue is how to separate the pages, preserving as much as possible of the ancient text.
The first stage of the work, which has almost been completed, is a full investigation of the book in its excavated condition. This has involved an analysis of the binding and book structure, photography, magnetic resonance imaging, multi spectral imaging, analysis of vellum deterioration and an investigation of pollen samples.
Work is about to start on the second stage, which will involve the delicate separation of the pages and the process of drying out the vellum. Sadly, the vellum losses mean that only a fairly small part of the text of the Psalms remains, but it should be enough to enable scholars to see how the book has been written, decorated and bound.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
UPDATE ON THE BOG PSALTER AND ITS CONSERVATION: