#1554

2017-01-19

The Library at Herculaneum

With Brent Seales

Professor Seales first got our attention a year and a half ago with the news that he had virtually unrolled a carbonized scroll of Leviticus, excavated in 1970 from a burned synagogue on the Dead Sea shore at Engedi. At the time he took up the Leviticus scroll professor Seales had been at somewhat of a dead end on his efforts to read scrolls from the Villa of the Papyri, excavated a century and a half ago from Herculaneum. The ink on the scrolls was indistinguishable from the burned black papyri. But now professor Seales believes he's found the solution to that problem, and it may well be that this ancient library, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, is once again going to be available to interested readers.

tags: Writing Carbonized papyrus Technology Herculaneum Mt. Vesuvius Scrolls

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#1545

2016-09-25

Reading Carbonized Texts 2016

With Brent Seales

One year later, we bring our listeners up to date on the latest from University of Kentucky Computer Science professor Brent Seales and his computer program for virtually opening unopenable ancient texts. Further work has been done on the carbonized scroll from Engedi that we discussed a year ago, revealing its total contents are the first two chapters of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. New dating, based on the form of the letters in the text, reveals that this book is as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

tags: Writing Bible Carbonized papyrus Technology

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#1506

2016-01-01

Top Ten Biblical Archaeology List for 2015

With Todd Bolen

It’s always fun to look back at the end of the year and see how Biblical Archaeology has opened up new perspectives on the biblical world. This year it was not just the discoveries of the year, but how discoveries from previous years were finally realized. Many of our Top 10 items were discovered decades ago, but their significance was only now becoming apparent in 2015. Once again I was joined by Todd Bolen, the editor of Bibleplaces.com, to discuss the news stories of 2015. And our top item on the list highlighted the work of University of Wisconsin alumnus Brent Seales, now a computer science professor at the University of Kentucky. His software developments could open the way for the reading of many more ancient texts, such as the carbonized scroll of Leviticus from the Engedi synagogue that we reported on this year.

tags: Khirbet Qeiyafa Jerusalem Temple Mount Nazareth Synagogue Leviticus Hezekiah Top Ten List

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#1498

2015-10-20

Reviving Carbonized Texts, part 2

With Brent Seales

More from Brent Seales, of the University of Kentucky, on how he is able to virtually unroll carbonized texts of antiquity and read them through computerized tomography. In this program he talks about how he was able to read the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus, from a cargonized text discovered 45 years ago in the burnt ruins of a synagogue at Engedi.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Brent Seales Carbonized papyrus CT scans Ein Gedi Leviticus University of Kentucky

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#1497

2015-10-13

Reviving Carbonized Texts

With Brent Seales

Earlier this year, it was announced that a CT scan of a cigar-shaped charcoal briquette, in reality the remains of a carbonized scroll from the fire-destroyed Byzantine synagogue at Ein Gedi, revealed the Old Testament book of Leviticus. In this series of interviews we talk with University of Kentucky professor Brent Seales about his work, virtually unrolling and reviving ancient texts with computerized tomography and particle accelerators.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Brent Seales Carbonized papyrus CT scans Ein Gedi Leviticus University of Kentucky

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