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Carbonized scrolls buried by Vesuvius to be read

Hundreds of papyrus scrolls found at a villa in Herculaneum are about to be read for the first time since 79AD using the latest technology.

Now, a computer scientist from the University of Kentucky hopes that modern digital technology will allow him to peer inside two of the fragile scrolls – without physically opening them – and unlock secrets they have held for almost 2,000 years.

Brent Seales, the Gill professor of engineering in UK’s computer science department, will use an X-Ray CT scanning system to collect interior images of the scrolls’ rolled-up pages. Then, he and his colleagues hope to digitally “unroll” the scrolls on a computer screen so scholars can read them.

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