Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Imaging an Esther scroll

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Researchers Deconstruct Ancient Parchment Using Multiple Techniques. Analyses of the materials in the scrolls help put the object into an historical context and guides conservators in future restoration efforts (Lab Manager).
A team of scientists from Romania's National Institute for Research and Development in Optoelectronics extracted details about the manuscript's original materials and manufacturing techniques employing various spectroscopic instruments. These specialized cameras and devices capture images that the human eye normally can't see.


The manuscript the team investigated was a poorly preserved but sacred scroll containing several chapters of the Book of Esther from the Hebrew Bible. An artifact from a private collection, little was known of the object's provenance or history.

Oddly, the article suggests no date or provenance for the scroll. The discussion in the introduction focuses on manuscripts dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The study applied "multi- and hyperspectral imaging, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy" to the manuscript. All are non-invasive, non-destructive technologies.

The underlying article was published in the open-access, peer-review, author-subvention journal Frontiers in Materials.

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