X-rays used to reveal hidden texts in Egyptian coffins

Published on November 16th, 2016 | by Admin

0

hieroglyphs_from_the_tomb_of_seti_i

New imaging techniques are being used to find and read hidden text written in coffins made for middle-class Egyptians.

It’s a space-age solution to an ancient problem. For more than a century, archaeologists have dismantled mummy coffins, also known as cartonnage, in a hunt for literary treasure. In ancient Egypt, undertakers entombed the departed middle-class in sheets of papyrus thrown out by local scribes, hiding the recycled wrapping with a layer of paint and plaster, or gesso. To uncover the text—everything from bills of sale to the rare castoff of Greek literature—collectors use invasive methods, including massaging intact coverings in a sink full of Palmolive suds.

The trouble is, it’s impossible to know if you’re searching for Sophocles or a shopping list before dissolving an artifact.

[Full story]

Story: Gregory Barber, Wired | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tags: , , , , ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
     
  • Question of the Moment

    "Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." - Albert Einstein

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Sponsors

  • Archives