Scorched Acts of Apostles read via X-ray

Posted: January 27, 2018 at 1:50 a.m.

The leaves of a severely scorched manuscript, or codex, which was written in Coptic sometime between A.D. 400 and 600 in Egypt, is scanned by X-ray at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York in December. Pioneers of new software for reading damaged parchment and scrolls are now deploying a CT scanner at the library, hoping to recover the biblical text.

In a basement laboratory of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, an X-ray scanner is pumping invisible beams into a clump of charred parchment leaves that looks as delicate as a long dead flower.

Maria Fredericks, the head book conservator at the Morgan Library, removes the scorched codex from a CT scanner in New York.

This story is only available from our archives.