ATG Quirkies: Lead May Be the Key to Finally Deciphering Herculaneum’s Charred Papyri

According to this post in the Christian Science Monitor,  scientists caught a break when scholars in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum used lead based ink in writing their papyrus scrolls. Why? Well if you remember your history Herculaneum was “the town which, along with its more-famous neighbor, Pompeii, was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.”  But, incredibly a private library of papyrus scrolls was preserved. However, for centuries a number were too delicate to open.  At least until now. 

Admittedly, it may require “a particle accelerator and X-ray vision,” but the technology is there to do it!

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies!)

Pin It

Leave a Reply