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April 20, 2005

Second Renaissance

INDEPENDENT -- I have an incomplete collection of classics and just discovered that my collection covers much less than ever before. That's because Oxford classicists have finally unwrapped the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, discovering hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems. This treasure trove of Greek and Roman writings could redraw the map of classical civilisation.

The Independent reports the breakthrough as "the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail".

Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the ... Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.


David Keys and Nicolas Pyke -- "Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world"

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» Oxyrhynchus Papyri - New Imaging from Eachtra Mobile Journal
Bernie Goldbach at Irisheyes points to an article in the Independent about the use of imaging techniques to read early 1st millenium papyrii from Oxyrhunchus in Egypt. Multi-spectral imaging techniques developed from satellite technology are being used... [Read More]

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