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Using X-rays, scientists read ancient, volcano-charred scrolls
Using X-rays, scientists read ancient, volcano-charred scrolls

Talk about reading between the lines! Scientists wielding X-rays say they can, for the first time, read words inside the charred, rolled-up scrolls that survived the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius nearly two millenniums ago. The findings, described in the journal Nature Communications, give hope to researchers who have until now been unable to read these delicate scrolls without serious risk of destroying them. The scrolls come from a library in Herculaneum, one of several Roman towns that, along with Pompeii, was destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. This library, a small room in a large villa, held hundreds of handwritten papyrus scrolls that had been carbonized from a...

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