Thursday, June 4, 2009

2000 Year Old Blog Recovered













A University of Kentucky professor is attempting to CT scan 2000 year old charred scrolls found in volcano incinerated Herculaneum (Herculaneum is similar to Pompeii, but spelled differently).










The little briquettes of carbon are purported to contain writings of Epicurian philosophy, tax records, and an early form of blogging - the last entry of which is from a Roman woman 'Chillingus Maximus, turn down the thermostat... Owwwwwww, it's effing hot in here... aarrrgggghh....'

I'm hoping that it's not barbeque weekend at the university because they could be mistaken for a bit of Kingsford. Well, not that it would damage them much more than they already are. It is just amazing to me that they can scan into basically carbon and pull out writings in three dimensions. The software has to be at least as complicated as Twitter (except for the day their servers went down).

You can read more about the technical details here.


Any speculation about what you think the writings contain?

30 comments:

  1. I was a follower of that Roman woman's blog, too. Shame what happened, it was good stuff.

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  2. Wasn't Herculaneam more like the St. Paul to Pompei's Minneapolis?

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  3. a Roman blog, huh?

    Ahhh...when Russell Crowe still had it...whatever 'it' was...

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  4. LOL, Shawn, yes a big volcanic eruption can ruin your whole day. I hear they used to have black and white cows around there.

    Mjenks, you're right my description was apt to the extent that they were both covered in volcano leavings...

    Lopez, yes it was in the days before Twitter.
    lol 'it'

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  5. It said, "Today be there large blackened scrolls of ash pillowing from the heavens. Gifts from the Gods. Be it so that I must now remove and cultivate hiding places of secrecy for one's vast and encompassing collection of scrolled sketches of nubile ladies sans togas; the sketches a man must keep close to his heart and his ancient Kleenex. Luck be with us all brothers."

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  6. Only....you know....in Latin...

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  7. I can make an educated guess. It laments the decline in quality of television shows.

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  8. er, excuse me but Herculaneum is nothing like Pompei!

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  9. Vegetable Assassin - in Latin, of course :)

    Mo - I blame the ancient bloggers for the decline.

    Mouse - I know, I was just trying to be expedient in comparison for those poor souls not 'in the know'.

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  10. I bet it'll just be a bunch of entries like "Dear Diary, How are you? Not much here. Just writing on you instead of doing homework, hehe." And then those scientists will be disappointed just like I was when I found my little sister's diary, and I will point and laugh.

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  11. Don't ask me how I know but I think that the scrolls contain writings by Philodemus :)

    Maybe one of his poems?

    Whenever I hold Cydilia tight, come I
    by day or with a lot of nerve by night,
    I know I walk a line right on the edge,
    I know I shoot craps with loaded dice.
    What good's it to me? Reckless Love, when you
    have me in tow, I won't see fear's shadow.

    Sometimes I even amaze myself ;-)

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  12. TishTash, you just might be right lol... poor sister, lol...

    Dutch Donut Girl - Very impressive indeed! You are well versed in the classics then, quoting Gaius Julius' father-in-law...

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  13. I'm guessing it was "Ten Top Tips on How to Wear Sandals and a Skirt and Still Appear Manly" ...

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  14. :) Girl Interrupted, I think that's why they were so brutal back then. Some guy would point and laugh, then the next thing you know the swords are all out (no jokes, I mean actual swords).

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  15. Sorry, but Russell is clearly saying "Who used this barbie last and didn't clean it, ya bastards! I'll fight ya!"

    ; )

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  16. S&C - He wasn't the first choice to use but it matched the olde-style grill picture I had.
    ps - I did anticipate your comment lol...

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  17. If they can resurrect a volcano burnt scroll from 2,ooo years ago, then I have just lost confidence in my paper shredder keeping my private documents safe from nosey scientists.

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  18. mmmmmmmmmmm barbeque... is he cookin? yum! :D

    As for the briquettes.. wow. amazing. Technology lol, none of us are safe.

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  19. Chaka, that is a good point. I think shooting it into the sun is about the only safe option to prevent identity theft and the like.

    :) Hi Toni, haha! Are you a Russell Crowe fan? S&C above is from Australia and is not (I have to throw her a curve every once in a while).

    Yep, it's amazing the advances in archaeological science now. Too bad some of this didn't exist back when they were first unearthing Pompeii.
    PS - I see you have a new post.

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  20. these stories are silly eric. I wanna hear more about your counterfeit coins.

    And more of those ancient nudie babes.

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  21. Haha Russell Crowe fan? Not especially. Although I do enjoy the eye candy, so throw S&C as much goodies as you'd like. :D Nothing goes to waste lol. Any buff guy BBQing in leather, sandals and a skirt would do? lol... OK maybe NOT.

    Can you imagine what the world will learn about us, in the future, long after we've gone? We obvously can't even burn the evidence! lol.

    yes, thank you.. and I replied even. Hmmm a real reply darn it.

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  22. They're CHARRED for heaven's sake. Give it up. When will those silly university archeologist people learn to move on? ;)

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  23. Toni, that was a real reply, very interesting :)

    Katrocket - It's a challenge to learn about the mundane lives of people whose bones barely exist anymore. What could be more wonderfully esoteric than that? lol.

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  24. It's probably just a shopping list.

    But I'm now insanely paranoid about the resurrection of my burned diary. You think things are safe...

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  25. Oh, the caption in that first photo made me laugh.

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  26. Wendy B, well that's what it's (mostly) all about... ;)
    ps - love your avatar pic...

    Otherworldly one - yes, you can never be too careful with your diary...

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  27. @TishTash I hope they actually find one that says "hehe". That would pretty much make my life.

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  28. I've been to both places, what struck me most was the brothel at Pompei with the pretty pictures of what services you could purchase in each room, suffice to say that Romans were as obsessed with certain 'practices' back then as modern men are today, which came as rather a blow to my romantic image of rugged Roman!

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  29. LiLu, or should I say Natalie Portman? Good post today.

    Mouse, hehe, I've seen those frescos too, but wondered who was in charge of making sure room 1 actions don't spill over into room 2. I mean really, like a 'hall monitor' or something? :)

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