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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Scientists discover lost languages at Egyptian monastery | The Times

Photo: Tom Whipple
"Ancient works not read by humans since the Dark Ages have been found at an Egyptian monastery, using a technique that allows researchers to reconstruct documents long ago scrubbed off parchment" notes

The library at Saint Catherine’s monastery has been in continuous use for 1,500 years
Photo: Khaled Elfiqi

The finds at Saint Catherine’s monastery on the Sinai peninsula hailed a “new golden age of discovery”, according to the scientists behind the research, who believe that the methods could reveal many other lost texts.

They have been chronicling the monastery’s library, which has been in continuous use for 1,500 years, but which is today threatened by growing Islamic fundamentalism and attacks on Christians in the region.

Among the discoveries were three ancient Greek medical texts that were previously unknown to scholars, as well as the earliest copies of some from Hippocrates.

The scientists have also found documents written in extremely rare languages such as Caucasian Albanian, which until now has been known only from scattered stone inscriptions.

They said that the techniques being developed meant that lost classical texts, including those by thinkers such as Aristotle, could now be found hiding in plain sight on parchments in libraries across the world.
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Source: The Times