The Libraries of Herculaneum

A quick note to point you to the following article: The libraries of Herculaneum: Not quite destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius? The news came out a week or so ago so some of you may have already seen it, but its worth another highlight.

There are really two things worth noting. First, prior to this discovery, the first known usage of leaded ink was the 4th century. Herculaneum, of course, was destroyed in 79 AD, well before that benchmark. Second, there is the technique for reading the scrolls. Obviously you don’t try to unfold burnt paper; you really don’t try to unfold it when it was burned over 1900 years ago. Having the ability to read these scrolls would be important to our understanding of these communities as well as the Roman world at the time. Paper being a natural fiber, it doesn’t last very long. I wonder what the scrolls hold…


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