Unraveling ancient scrolls

Scientists in England have figured out a way to read ancient Greek and Roman scrolls that had previously been illegible. These scrolls were found about 100 years ago in a garbage dump. Most of the hundreds of scrolls were dirty, moldy stained or burnt, and couldn't be read.

Dead Sea Scroll FragmentPreviously invisible lettering of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

In the early '90s, scientists working on the Dead Sea scrolls teamed up with NASA and developed a way to photograph the ancient paper using invisible wavelengths of light. (Light comes in a wide variety of wavelengths. Our eyes only respond to some of them. But scientists can build cameras that respond to wavelengths too long or too short for our eyes to see.)

Already, scientists have discovered lost works by Sophocles, Euripides, and other famous writers of the ancient world. Some feel these discoveries could completely rewrite our understanding of ancient Greece and Rome — and the beginnings of Western civilization.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bonnie Merchant's picture
bonnie Merchant says:

In searching for pictures of ancient scrolls I came across this site and had never before known that ancient wisdom is becoming available to us now. What a gift! Thank you.

posted on Sun, 05/08/2005 - 5:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

thank you for this insight i had no idea that all this was happening, wow!

posted on Mon, 04/17/2006 - 3:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

science and technology have there place.
the law really quite simple....
Love can never be destroyed, in the image of God all retain his love in their hearts may we find and except it now.

posted on Fri, 05/04/2007 - 8:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is quite facinating

posted on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 2:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I totally agree! ;)

posted on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 1:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we can only live in hope that one day they find writings in this way that detail how the pyramids were built for example, amaongst other erstwhile mysteries.........then finally the alien conspiracists will shut the @#!* up

posted on Wed, 08/27/2008 - 1:52pm
Katie-researching Greece's picture
Katie-researching Greece says:

This is going to help me a lot in my Ancient Greece project on scrolls!

posted on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 10:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

great info

posted on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 9:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

that isnt roman or greek language on that scroll it is from the first creation language altantians it actually says carisea a womans name

posted on Sun, 05/24/2009 - 8:49pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

The language on the scroll in the photo is either Hebrew or Aramaic.

The languages on the scrolls described in the article are indeed Greek and Latin.

I cannot find any information on an "altantian" language. Unless you mean "Atlantian," in which case, there is none. Atlantis was a myth, not unlike the Loch Ness monster.

(I'm sorry. The trolls look so cute when they're hungry...)

posted on Thu, 05/28/2009 - 10:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this has got really good information

posted on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 12:04pm
Jazzi's picture
Jazzi says:

I know right this is so cool! :)

posted on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 1:22pm
m. e. w.'s picture
m. e. w. says:

did that say the scrolls were found in a garbage dump?!
thats kinda gross...

posted on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 3:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

whoever controlls the scrolls controls the whole religious world! wow..........

posted on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 2:56pm
elli10's picture
elli10 says:

did the person just lose his goat in there?

posted on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 7:20pm
geulmlmiy's picture
geulmlmiy says:

where are the scrolls housed now?? :}

posted on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 7:26pm

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