1. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
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    78621
    21 Jan '15 15:43
    The scrolls were buried in ash from the Vesuvius eruption and the material is basically now ash. Previous attempts to read them required that they be unrolled, the problem of course is that they fall apart. This technique uses phase changes in the X-Rays to read them [1][2]. The difficulty is that they are not just rolled up, but also compressed longitudinally with folds, so decoding them is non-trivial. The scrolls form a complete classical library and if they could be read would be of massive historical and cultural value.

    [1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30888767
    [2] http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/ncomms6895
  2. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
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    52619
    21 Jan '15 18:272 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The scrolls were buried in ash from the Vesuvius eruption and the material is basically now ash. Previous attempts to read them required that they be unrolled, the problem of course is that they fall apart. This technique uses phase changes in the X-Rays to read them [1][2]. The difficulty is that they are not just rolled up, but also compressed longi ...[text shortened]... c.co.uk/news/science-environment-30888767
    [2] http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/ncomms6895
    That is going to take a very high resolution X-ray machine for sure. I guess if they can deduce the workings of the Antikythera mechanism via X-ray analysis, they can probably work out the words in that document. Not going to be done in one sitting though, that much is clear. They are going to have to work with that piece from many different angles to get all the words sussed out.

    I hope they have rented time on that x-ray device for a year or so🙂