Saturday, June 28, 2014
New Technology Unmasks Ancient Scriptural Manuscripts
What if ancient religious manuscripts once thought to be lost weren’t lost at all? Professor Todd Hanneken, Ph.D., is the first scholar to combine two existing imaging technologies in order to “see” handwritten text that has been indecipherable to the naked eye for hundreds of years. Until the invention of paper, it was a common practice to erase the text of a manuscript to make room for new writing. The result is known as a “palimpsest,” with only ghostlike traces of the original ink remaining. Palimpsests are valuable for studying the early development of religions and cultures because they tell the story of how some beliefs fell from dominance, and how others came to be favored.