Monday, May 02, 2005

New Optical Technology for Ancient Manuscripts, etc.- LexiLine Journal 342

Sammye - a member of our group - has sent us the following e-mail....

New Optical Technology for Ancient Manuscripts, etc.
...

Lexiline members may be interested in the recent (17 April 2005) brief article on new technology being used that makes text visible on ancient manuscripts that has thus far been "invisible" due to deteriorated condition of the documents. See
http://snipurl.com/8hs7
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=630166

It's great news that the technology exists and is being used by a team from Oxford University on previously unreadable texts from Oxford's collection of the "great papyrus hoard salvaged from an ancient rubbish dump in the Graeco-Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus more than a century ago. It's also great news that thousands of texts in the Oxford collection alone can now be read and that because of the new technology it is now known that they include unknown, lost, etc. works of Sophicles, Euripides, Hesiod, Ovid, Aeschylus, a "series of Christian gospels which have been lost for up to 2,000 years" and who knows what else. I wonder if the same or a similar technology would work for texts/images on stone and clay as well as papyrus.

I wonder if and when the Oxford folks will make images of texts in their collection available to the world in general. Hope they don't repeat the behavior of the scholars and institutions in charge of the Dead Sea Scrolls, who engaged in the ethnically questionable practice of preventing all but a small number of scholars from seeing most of the scrolls for decades.

You mentioned over a year ago that you were working on some new translations of Sumerian Hymns. Was hoping to hear more about that, but can't recall your saying anything about it since. What's happening on that project?

Sammye

**********

Sammye, that is very interesting. On the question of the Sumerian
Hymns, I am working on them but what I have is not yet suitable for
publication. - Andis

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