Modern scientists completed the challenging task of unveiling the text from an ancient biblical scroll. Although the manuscript was found decades ago, it is now that researchers managed to decipher it. They used modern technology to decode the old writing.
The ancient biblical scroll was discovered in 1970, in the proximity of the Dead Sea. Archeologists estimate that it is almost two thousand years old. The manuscript was in a poor condition not only because it was old. Researchers also found out that it had been through a fire about one thousand four hundred years ago.
Judging by the appearance of the scroll, there is a high possibility that researchers could never get the chance to read it. However, they were able to determine the provenience of the manuscript. It seems like the ancient biblical scroll is a part of the Torah, one of the most important books in the Judaic culture. Moreover, the fragments discovered by the Dead Sea shores are deemed to be the oldest of the book that were ever found.
It was only recently that scientists decided to investigate the ancient biblical scroll again. Although they had given up the hope of deciphering it, they decided to try again. The idea of basically unfolding the rolled materials was eliminated from the very beginning, as such an action will only manage to damage the relic even more.
What the scientists did was put modern technology to good use. So instead of unwrapping the manuscript, they scanned it and rearranged the copies virtually. The computerized scans were made cautiously so that the manuscript shouldn’t be damaged. There were chances that it didn’t contain writing, but the scans revealed that this was not the case.
The unwrapping process was complex and was performed in several steps. The ancient biblical scroll has traveled to several laboratories and universities to be carefully analyzed by specialists. Although all of them agree that there is text on it and that it belongs to the Book of Leviticus (one of the parts of the Hebrew Bible), they weren’t able to accurately decipher the text.
According to the researchers’ studies, the words seem to be written with a dense material. They think that ancient people might have used ink which contained substances such as led. The text is organized in two columns, and a very interesting feature of the language is that it didn’t include vowels.
The scanning of the ancient biblical scroll is a real accomplishment for scientists. This is the first time that this technique was used for such a purpose. It also turned out to be quite effective from its very first use.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia