Ancient papyrus fragment

Ancient papyrus fragment

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Papyrus scroll. This scroll was found in the library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, Italy. The Roman villa was owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. Upon its excavation, 1800 papyrus scrolls were found, carbonised and preserved by volcanic ash. This scroll was given as a gift to Napoleon in the 18th century, but is now held in the Office of Papyri in the National Library, Naples. The ancient town of Herculaneum was destroyed in the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. However, the thick layer of volcanic ash that buried the town preserved buildings, bodies and other artefacts.

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