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Scholars Can Finally Start Reading Ancient Scrolls Found Near Pompeii

New technology can tease out letters inked on thousands of pieces of papyrus that were badly blackened, yet preserved, by the infamous volcanic eruption.

Via Wikimedia Commons

In 79 A.D., Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii, a town south of Naples. Much of the town’s relics and dead were well-preserved by the volcano’s ash, but the scrolls in a library in nearby Herculaneum—called the Villa de Papyri for the discovery made there—were left blackened, and so delicate that to even touch them risked their destruction. Scholars despaired that despite finding so many scrolls (about 1,800 at this time) their state of ruination would forever keep their secrets a mystery.

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Food for Thinkers: Traces of the Future

From dried fish bones in Qatar and early descriptions of the tomato in English cookbooks to the difficulty of reconstructing historical kitchens.


I admit it. I'm completely overwhelmed by the incredibly quality and quantity of posts written by so many of my favorite writers for Food for Thinkers week.

So, as I count down the last hours of the week (at least here in Los Angeles), here are a handful more tasty treats for your delectation.

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