New discovery from Herculaneum Papyrus!

The papyrus from Herculaneum, carbonized by Vesuvius during the eruption in 79 AD, reveal that the ink used contained metals. This is a big surprise! The use of metals in the ink is much older than what it had been believed. The discovery is due to group of researchers coordinated by Vito Mocella of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems of CNR in Naples. They used the most advanced technologies to understand the mysteries of ancient texts found in the library of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum. About one year ago, the scientific team was been able to decipher, for the first time thanks to an innovative scanning technique with X rays, some words of those precious writings. Now the researchers showed that the ink in which the words were drawn on papyrus contained lead. Prof. Mocella explained why this strike is so important: “Until now we thought that before the 4-5 centuries AD, the metals were not present in the ink, overall in the greek-Roman papyrus. The first metallic mixture used as ink, in fact, dates back only to 420 AD. Later, metallic inks became the norm for documents of late antiquity and in the Middle Ages.”

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Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

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