Researcher dating papyrus scrolls

Researcher dating papyrus scrolls

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Researcher dating papyrus scroll fragments. These fragments are undergoing the first stage of chemical testing to date them by measuring the proportions of carbon-14 and carbon-12 isotopes. The scrolls were 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 from the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD. Some have been unrolled, and are found to contain mostly writings by Greek authors. Researchers in the Office of Papyri in Italy's National Library, Naples are working to date, decipher and preserve them.

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