Scans reveal the secrets of papyrus
On Elephantine Island in the Nile, German Egyptologists discovered piles of ancient papyrus writings in the late 1800s, too fragile to be unfolded and read. Not until now, scientists from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin have dared to try.
Using CT scanners, scientists can turn the folded papyrus into some 10,000 digital discs, which they will subsequently "unfold" and reconstruct by means of a computer programme. The work will continue until 2020.. The texts – of which some date back from 2500 BC – include food recipes, temple accounts, divorce documents and more. POTENTIAL: New sources, which could teach us more about everyday life in Ancient Egypt. CHALLENGE: Many writings are badly damaged and might be impossible to scan. Papyrus was formerly successfully scanned. This roll is from Herculaneum, Italy.