'the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail'

In summary, scientists have found long-lost writings by famous literary figures in a stash of Oxyrhynchus papyrus. It is hoped that these writings may help to rewrite the history of the world.
  • #1

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
8,142
1,755
Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome
By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke
17 April 2005


For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infrared technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament. [continued]
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=630165 [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Amazing what they are able to do. I can't wait to see everything they're able to read.
 
  • #3
Can this really be true?
If it is, it's just fantastic!
 
  • #4
arildno said:
Can this really be true?
If it is, it's just fantastic!


It seems to be on the level and is now widely reported.

http://www.toptechnews.com/story.xhtml?story_id=11100BF9KMSL
http://science.slashdot.org/science/05/04/17/0845214.shtml?tid=146&tid=126&tid=14
http://www.austinreview.com/archives/2005/04/oxyrhynchus_pap.html [Broken]
http://www.legendgames.net/showstory.asp?page=blognews/stories/ST0000030.txt
http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_politics_100010_19/04/2005_55372

etc etc etc
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #5
This really brings to the light that Norwegian journalists are UNCULTURED, IDIOTIC AND CRIMINALLY STUPID individiuals who ought to be expunged from the human race by shoving their worthless drivel down their throats and make them choke on it.

I haven't seen a single, damn word about this..:grumpy:
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Makes me wonder how they ended up in a ancient garbage dump in Egypt. Perhaps practice copys of the scribes in training?
 
  • #7
hypatia said:
Makes me wonder how they ended up in a ancient garbage dump in Egypt. Perhaps practice copys of the scribes in training?
That is one very good option, here's another one:

A lot of the salvaged "saga" literature was found as thermal isolation material in the Icelanders' humble dwellings.

Perhaps ancient papyri were used in a similar manner by the Egyptians?
(and later on, ended up as garbage?)
 
  • #8
Thermal isolation...in Egypt ? More likely it was used for TP.

Anyway, this is very exciting stuff !
 
  • #9
Gokul43201 said:
Thermal isolation...in Egypt ?
Yeah, I know, that IS a rather embarassing question (to me at least).. :redface:
 
  • #10
I'm going with the toilet paper. Bet it was softer then dried palm leafs
 
  • #11
hypatia said:
I'm going with the toilet paper. Bet it was softer then dried palm leafs
No wonder they're in a bad shape, then.. :uhh:
 
  • #12
Thermal isolation is a possability. It does get cold in the desert (at night). Insulation also works to keep things cool too.
But I have to agree it was probably better than leaves, and what else do you with scrap paper/notes if it's not needed and you already have the fire lit :wink:
 

1. What is the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail?

The classical equivalent of finding the holy grail refers to the discovery or attainment of something highly desired or sought after in the scientific community.

2. What makes something the holy grail in the scientific world?

In the scientific world, the holy grail can refer to a major breakthrough or discovery that has the potential to significantly advance our understanding of a particular field or solve a long-standing problem.

3. Has the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail ever been achieved?

Yes, there have been several instances in history where the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail has been achieved, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA or the invention of the computer.

4. Can the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail be subjective?

Yes, what is considered the holy grail in one scientific field may not have the same significance in another field. Additionally, the perceived importance of a discovery or breakthrough may vary among individuals.

5. Is the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail the ultimate goal in science?

The classical equivalent of finding the holy grail can be a major milestone in scientific progress, but it is not necessarily the ultimate goal. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is a continuous process in science, and there is always more to discover and achieve.

Suggested for: 'the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail'

Replies
21
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
827
Replies
2
Views
137
Replies
96
Views
3K
Replies
5
Views
953
Replies
8
Views
780
Replies
73
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
1K
Back
Top