Monday, May 18, 2020

Those scroll fragments weren't blank ...

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Dead Sea Scroll fragments thought to be blank reveal text (Joe Stafford, University of Manchester via PhysOrg).
When examining the fragments for the new study, Professor [Joan] Taylor thought it possible that one of them did actually contain a letter, and therefore decided to photograph all of the existing fragments over 1 cm that appear blank to the naked eye, using multispectral imaging.

51 fragments were imaged front and back. Six were identified for further detailed investigation—of these, it was established that four have readable Hebrew/Aramaic text written in carbon-based ink. The study has also revealed ruled lines and small vestiges of letters on other fragments.
The fragments are at the Rylands Library in Manchester. They are certainly genuine. For more on Multispectral Imaging and its application to ancient epigraphy, start here and follow the links.

Now take a deep breath and repeat after me:

Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.

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