Science Advances: Ancient Greek text concealed on the back of unrolled papyrus revealed through shortwave-infrared hyperspectral imaging

Abstract: Only a few Herculaneum rolls exhibit writing on their reverse side. Since unrolled papyri are permanently glued to paperboard, so far, this fact was known to us only from 18th-century drawings. The application of shortwave-infrared (SWIR; 1000-2500 nm) hyperspectral imaging (HSI) to one of them (PHerc. 1691/1021) has revealed portions of Greek text hidden on the back more than 220 years after their first discovery, making it possible to recover this primary source for the ongoing new edition of this precious book. …



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