College undergrads find hidden text on medieval manuscript via UV imaging

Rochester Institute of Technology students discovered lost text
on 15th-century manuscript leaves using an imaging system they
developed as freshmen.

A page from a 15th-century medieval manuscript turns out to

contain hidden text
that is only visible under UV light. The
discovery is due to the efforts of a team of undergraduate students
at Rochester Institute of Technology, who built their own
multispectral imaging system as part of a class project and managed
to complete it despite the ongoing pandemic.

It’s not unprecedented to uncover previously hidden texts on
ancient manuscripts. In 2016, an international team of scientists

developed a method
for “virtually unrolling” a badly damaged
ancient scroll found on the western shore of the Dead Sea,
revealing the first few verses from the book of Leviticus.
Similarly, in 2019,
we reported
that�German scientists used a combination of

cutting-edge physics techniques
virtually “unfold”
an ancient Egyptian papyrus, part of an
extensive collection housed in the Berlin Egyptian Museum. Their
analysis revealed that a seemingly blank patch on the papyrus
actually contained characters written in what had become “invisible
ink” after centuries of exposure to light.

And earlier this year,
we reported
on a new analysis using multispectral imaging
showing that four Dead Sea Scroll fragments housed at the
University of Manchester in the UK—previously presumed to be
blank—had readable text written in carbon-based ink, along with
parts of characters and ruled lines. One fragment in particular
showed the remnants of four lines of text, consisting of about 15
letters. Only one word, Shabbat (Sabbath), was readable, but based
on the analysis, Joan Taylor of King’s College London thought the
text related to the passages in
Ezekiel 46:1-3.

Read 6 remaining

Source: FS – All – Science – News
College undergrads find hidden text on medieval manuscript
via UV imaging