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Technology may help reveal text of ancient papyrus scrolls

John Seabrook – The New Yorker: The Invisible Library – Can digital technology make the Herculaneum scrolls legible after two thousand years?  “The papyrus scrolls of Herculaneum, which were discovered in 1752, have long fascinated and frustrated lovers of antiquity. They were found in an elaborate villa buried almost ninety feet deep by the volcano—this archeological wonder has been known ever since as the Villa dei Papiri. At least eight hundred scrolls were uncovered; they constitute the only sizable library from the ancient world known to have survived intact. Some were found stacked on shelves in a small room; others were elsewhere in the villa, packed in capsae, travelling boxes for the scrolls, presumably in preparation for flight.”

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