NK - Fwd: Palimpsest

Fitzmorgan at cs.com Fitzmorgan at cs.com
Tue Jul 11 16:22:02 PDT 2000

In a message dated 7/11/00 1:29:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
cmerle at running-start.com writes:

>  Tuesday July 11 10:00 AM ET
>  Scientists Find Archimedes' Words
>  http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000711/sc/archimedes__words_3.html
>  ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology are 
>  restoring a 10th century manuscript - the only known copy in the original 
>  Greek of some of the writings of mathematician Archimedes.
>  The text, which scholars believe was copied in the 10th century by a 
>  from Archimedes' original scrolls, was erased 200 years later by a monk 
>  reused the parchment for a prayer book. It was purchased anonymously at a 
>  1998 auction for $2 million.
>  Using digital cameras and processing techniques as well as ultraviolet and 
>  infrared filters, the scientists captured images of the original words and 
>  drawings that were washed away and then covered with a new text.
>  ``There is always a residual, traces of what was there,'' said Robert 
>  Johnston, an archaeologist and RIT professor emeritus. ``It's amazing what 
>  can come out. Soon, nothing will be secret or hidden.''
>  Archimedes lived from about 287-212 B.C. The manuscript is the only copy 
>  the original Greek of Archimedes' theory of flotation of bodies, which 
>  holds that the buoyant force on an object immersed in a fluid is equal to 
>  the weight of the fluid displaced.
>  The text and diagrams also detail his mathematical treatises and 
>  theorems and contain the roots of modern calculus and gravitational theory.
>  The team is working on five pages from the text as part of a competition 
>  that will determine who will analyze the entire manuscript, which contains 
>  more than 170 pages.
>  ``This book is Archimedes' brain in a book,'' said William Noel, curator 
>  the Walters Arts Gallery in Baltimore, where the manuscript is kept. 
>  we need to do is X-ray that brain.''
>  RIT's scientists plan to finish their work by September. The gallery 
>  expects to make a selection by the end of the year.
>  The text is on vellum, a writing surface made from animal skin. It was 
>  cleaned off in the 12th century and the valuable parchment was reused in a 
>  Greek prayer book.
>  The book disappeared from the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre in 
>  Constantinople in the 1920s. It resurfaced in the possession of a French 
>  family in the 1930s and was sold by the family in 1998.
>  --------------------

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Subject: [osfw] Palimpsest
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