Researchers from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, Berlin universities and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin studied a small piece of papyrus that was excavated on the island of Elephantine on the River Nile a little over 100 years ago.
The team used serval methods including non-destructive techniques at BESSY II. The researchers’ work, reported in the Journal of Cultural Heritage, blazes a trail for further analyses of the papyrus collection in Berlin.
The first thing that catches an archaeologist’s eye on the small piece of papyrus from Elephantine Island on the Nile is the apparently blank patch. Researchers from the Egyptian Museum, Berlin universities and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin have now used the synchrotron radiation from BESSY II to unveil its secret. This pushes the door wide open for analysing the giant Berlin papyrus collection and many more.
Illustration: A team of researchers examined an ancient papyrus with a supposed empty spot. With the help of several methods, they discovered which signs once stood in this place and which ink was used.
Credit: © HZB