More recent update from Arstechnica: So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution” | Ars Technica Librarians would have “rebutted it in a heartbeat,” says medieval scholar. Unfortunately, say experts, his analysis was a mix of stuff we already knew and stuff he couldn’t possibly prove.
The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded | Ars Technica
Since its discovery in 1969, the 15th century Voynich Manuscript has been a mystery and a cult phenomenon. Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women’s health that’s mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.
Although one may not have interest in religion or reading the Bibliotheca text, you have to have full admiration for the dedication of the Bibliotheca project creators and the commitment to developing a quality product. Great case study for crowdfunding and design concepts.
This Book Designer Redesigned The Bible As A Novel | Huffington Post
Bibliotheca Bible Project Blows Up On Kickstarter With Chapterless Bible | HuffPo
Bibliotheca: Finished from Bibliotheca on Vimeo.
Source: Seales et. al, Science Advances 21 Sep 2016: Vol. 2, no. 9, e1601247, Fig. 2 Completed virtual unwrapping for the En-Gedi scroll.
New software tools have enabled scientists to read an ancient, damaged Hebrew scroll without ever unfurling the fragile, disintegrating parchment.
The digitization techniques, known as “volume cartography,” transformed what were the charred remains of the nearly 2,000-year-old En-Gedi scroll into legible columns of handwritten text from the book of Leviticus, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
“We are reading a real scroll that hasn’t been read for millennia,” said Brent Seales, who helped develop the cartography techniques and is a computer sciences professor at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
READ MORE: 3D ‘unwrapping’ tools let scientists read an ancient Hebrew scroll | Mashable
There are some books that are simply too delicate to crack open — the last thing you want to do is destroy an ornate medieval Bible simply because you’re curious about its contents. If MIT has its way, though, you won’t have to stay away. Its scientists have crafted a computational imaging system that can read the individual pages of a book while it’s closed. Their technology scans a book using terahertz radiation, and relies on the tiny, 20-micrometer air gaps between pages to identify and scan those pages one by one. A letter interpretation algorithm (of the sort that can defeat captchas) helps make sense of any distorted or incomplete text. READ MORE: MIT uses radiation to read closed books | engadget
Scientists have been arguing over the authenticity of an ancient document called the Grolier Codex for 50 years. A new analysis published in a special section of the journal Maya Archaeology has concluded that the codex is indeed genuine, making it the oldest surviving manuscript from the pre-Colombian era. READ MORE: Controversial Maya Codex Is the Real Deal After All | Gizmodo
The 17th century manuscript, which was handwritten by Isaac Newton, describes a procedure for making mercury—a substance that alchemists thought could turn lead into gold. Sir Isaac Newton Image: Godfrey Kneller As reported in Chemistry World, the US Chemical Heritage Foundation has purchased the document, which languished in a private collection for decades. The newly surfaced manuscript was authored by an American chemist but handwritten and owned by Isaac Newton.
Source: Rediscovered Manuscript Shows How Isaac Newton Dabbled In Alchemy
Pompeii has the best press, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD also buried the town of Herculaneum. Charred scrolls were recovered from the town library in 1752, and Italian scientists just discovered it might be possible to use X-ray technology to read them. Their findings were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. READ MORE: We Might Finally Be Able to Read Ancient Scrolls Damaged By Vesuvius Eruption | Gizmodo
Gregory Heyworth is a textual scientist; he and his lab work on new ways to read ancient manuscripts and maps using spectral imaging technology. In this fascinating talk, watch as Heyworth shines a light on lost history, deciphering texts that haven’t been read in thousands of years. How could these lost classics rewrite what we know about the past? Source: Gregory Heyworth: How I’m discovering the secrets of ancient texts | TED.com
The Book of Kells is officially registered as a global trademark owned by Trinity College Dublin, despite complaints made by worldwide fast-food chain Burger King that the new trademark infringed on their own trademark in the US. READ MORE: Burger King challenges the Book of Kells’ global trademark – IrishCentral.com
A Ph.D. student who stumbled upon several ancient pieces of paper hidden in another book may have inadvertently discovered pages from the world’s oldest Quran, researchers at the University of Birmingham in England announced Wednesday.
Radiocarbon dating estimates the pages, likely made of sheep or goat skin, are 1,370 years old, the BBC reports. The testing is more than 95 percent accurate, meaning the parchment is probably from the era of Prophet Muhammad, who is thought to have lived between the years 570 and 632. READ MORE: Student Finds Old Parchment In University Library, Turns Out It’s Probably The World’s Oldest Quran | Huffington Post.