[Paleopsych] Independent: Eureka! Extraordinary discovery unlocks secrets of the ancients
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Sun Apr 17 16:57:55 UTC 2005
Eureka! Extraordinary discovery unlocks secrets of the ancients
By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke
17 April 2005
Thousands of previously illegible manuscripts containing work by some
of the greats of classical literature are being read for the first
time using technology which experts believe will unlock the secrets of
the ancient world.
Among treasures already discovered by a team from Oxford University
are previously unseen writings by classical giants including
Sophocles, Euripides and Hesiod. Invisible under ordinary light, the
faded ink comes clearly into view when placed under infra-red light,
using techniques developed from satellite imaging.
The Oxford documents form part of the great papyrus hoard salvaged
from an ancient rubbish dump in the Graeco-Egyptian town of
Oxyrhynchus more than a century ago. The thousands of remaining
documents, which will be analysed over the next decade, are expected
to include works by Ovid and Aeschylus, plus a series of Christian
gospels which have been lost for up to 2,000 years.
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