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
> 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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From: Christopher Merle <cmerle at running-start.com>
Subject: [osfw] Palimpsest
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 13:23:18 -0700
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