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posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 22 2015, @05:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the I've-already-read-it-in-paperback dept.

A scroll that had been burnt to charcoal inside the Ein Gedi synagogue some 1,500 years ago has now been read for the first time, thanks to modern technology.

Ein Gedi is an oasis located on the western shore of the Dead Sea, where fresh water flows from underground year-round. Over the millennia, it has been home to various human settlements, including a Jewish village with a synagogue erected in the third century.

One of the additions to the synagogue, made in the fourth century, was a niche in the northern wall, which housed an ark, a receptacle to contain the synagogue's scrolls of Torah. The Torah is comprised of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy -- the first five books of the Bible.

An archaeological expedition to the Ein Gedi synagogue uncovered the ancient scroll in 1970 -- the oldest scroll discovered since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found between 1946 and 1956. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating from between around 408 BC to 308 AD, however, were in good condition.

The Ein Gedi scroll -- carbon dated to the sixth century -- was not. It was burned and blackened into charcoal -- unable to be unrolled and deciphered.

[...]

"This discovery absolutely astonished us: We were certain it was just a shot in the dark but decided to try and scan the burnt scroll anyway," curator and director of the Israel Antiquities Authority's Dead Sea Scrolls projects Pnina Shor said. "Now, not only can we bequeath the Dead Sea Scrolls to future generations, but also a part of the Bible from a Holy Ark of a 1,500-year old synagogue!"


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  • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:05PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:05PM (#212441) Journal
    Er, the title says '3D scanning'.
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  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:19PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:19PM (#212444) Homepage

    True, but there again it's a) still just two words (if "3D" is a word) and b) summaries should have more information than the headline, not less.

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    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:30PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday July 22 2015, @07:30PM (#212449) Journal

      Yes, 3D is a word. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/3-d/ [merriam-webster.com] Though, to be fair according to Webster it should be "3-D". I suspect it was shorthand for Three Dimensional. Though, who actually first started using the shorthand 3D is beyond me, but they were probably in marketing.

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  • (Score: 2) by mrchew1982 on Wednesday July 22 2015, @09:09PM

    by mrchew1982 (3565) on Wednesday July 22 2015, @09:09PM (#212480)

    Technically a CT scan or a CAT scan uses x-rays from multiple angles to create a 3 dimensional image. An MRI uses magnetic fields to do the same thing.

    So it is both a 3d scan and an x-ray, or rather a series of x-rays.