Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Archimedes Hidden Text FOUND

Born in the 3rd century B.C., Archimedes is considered one of ancient Greece's greatest mathematicians, perhaps best known for discovering the principle of buoyancy while taking a bath.

The 174-page manuscript, known as the Archimedes Palimpsest, contains the only copies of treatises on flotation, gravity and mathematics. Scholars believe a scribe copied them onto the goatskin parchment from the original Greek scrolls.

Three centuries later, a monk scrubbed off the Archimedes text and used the parchment to write prayers at a time when the Greek mathematician's work was less appreciated. In the early 20th century, forgers tried to boost the manuscript's value by painting religious imagery on some of the pages.

In 1998, an anonymous private collector paid $2 million for the manuscript at an auction, then loaned it to the Walter Arts Museum for safekeeping and study.

Over the past eight years, researchers have used ultraviolet and infrared filters, as well as digital cameras and processing techniques, to reveal most of the buried text, but some pages were still unreadable.

'We will never recover all of it,' Noel said. 'We are just getting as much as we can, and we are going to the ends of the earth to get it.'"

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