30 LexiLine Newsletter 2005 New Optical Technology for Ancient
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
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, 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