The Invisible Poems Hidden in One of the World’s Oldest Libraries: A new technique is revealing traces of lost languages that have been erased from ancient parchments. – Richard Gray – The Atlantic – August 9, 2017
“The library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest continually operating library in the world. Among its thousands of ancient parchments are at least 160 palimpsests—manuscripts that bear faint scratches and flecks of ink beneath more recent writing. These illegible marks are the only clues to words that were scraped away by the monastery’s monks between the 8th and 12th centuries to reuse the parchments. Some were written in long-lost languages that have almost entirely vanished from the historical record.
“But now these erased passages are reemerging from the past…”
Among other writings, “More than 108 pages of previously unknown Greek poetry were uncovered beneath more recent Arabic and Georgian texts. “