International Desk: Ancient works hidden underneath monastery scriptures have been uncovered using imaging technology that pieced together words originally scrubbed off.
The team found a series of lost texts using a method that allows scientists to restore ancient documents that were written over long ago to save on expensive parchment.
The discoveries at Saint Catherine's monastery on the Sinai peninsula, Egypt, signal a 'new golden age of discovery', the scientists behind the research said.
Other lost ancient texts could be revealed using the new technique, which involves taking pictures of parchment from several angles and using different parts of the light spectrum.
Among several new texts discovered by researchers from the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library in California were documents written in rare languages, the Times reports.
These include Caucasian Albanian, which had only been known from scattered stone inscriptions until now.
Three ancient Greek medical texts that were previously unknown to scholars were also revealed, as well as the earliest copies of some texts from famed Greek physician Hippocrates.
Parchment was once extremely valuable, meaning it was often reused.
'At some point the material the manuscript was on became more valuable than what was written on it,' Michael Phelps, from the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library in California, told the Times.
'So it was deemed worthy of being recycled.'
Monks commonly wrote copies of the Bible on top of old texts, meaning many ancient texts have been lost.
But the researchers say that long lost documents, such as those written by ancient philosopher Aristotle, could now be rediscovered on texts in libraries across the world using their technique.
They used photographs taken from a number of angles and using different parts of the light spectrum to reveal traces of ink left by early scribes before the text was washed off.
Images of the parchment are then combined using computer algorithms to highlight the text beneath.
Source: The Mail
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