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Powerful "light scope" used to unearth ancient texts

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According to the BBC, scientists at the University of Cardiff have developed a method of reading ancient, highly-sensitive texts (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls) by projecting beams of light ten-billion times brighter than the sun into the parchment. The new technique combines a powerful X-ray-like device called the Diamond Synchrotron (no, seriously), and a computer algorithm that pieces together layers of text to create a three dimensional, readable images of an iron-inked document. Professor Tim Wess, lead researcher on the projects says, "We've folded up a real piece of parchment and then done a process of X-ray tomography on it. We've been able to recover the structure where we can see the words that are written inside the document." The scientists now plan on using the process to explore ancient texts which have been heretofore unreadable due to fear of damage, including 18th century fire-damaged scrolls, and the previously mentioned Dead Sea Scrolls.

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