Tablets can be copied using latex molds, but this runs the risk of damaging the original, Owen said. The most important recent technological development in the field was digital photography; this allowed millions of ancient artifacts to become instantly available to scholars everywhere. But it is nothing like the real thing.
“With a photograph you can see a lot and that’s great, but oftentimes you can read even more if you can actually hold the tablet because of the angle of the light — how it hits the signs can help you see it better,” added Alexandra Kleinerman ’03, a postdoctoral associate working with Owen.
Story: Anne Ju, Cornell University | Photo: Jason Koski, University Photography