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Unlocking Scrolls Preserved in Eruption of Vesuvius, Using X-Ray Beams

Salvatore Laporta/Associated Press
Salvatore Laporta/Associated Press

Researchers have found a key that may unlock the only library of classical antiquity to survive along with its documents, raising at least a possibility of recovering vanished works of ancient Greek and Roman authors such as the lost books of Livy’s history of Rome.

The library is that of a villa in Herculaneum, a town that was destroyed in A.D. 79 by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that obliterated nearby Pompeii.

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