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To detect and conserve: new research on the science and history of Columbia's ancient manuscripts

  • Butler Library 523 (map)

What happens when researchers in carbon nanotechnology encounter some of the oldest documents in existence? In 2012, scientists, papyrologists and conservators joined forces to study writing materials thousands of years old, and the Ancient Ink Laboratory was born.  Based in the Columbia Nano Initiative, the team found an ideal source of study in the Columbia University Libraries' Papyri and Ostraca Collection, one of the largest holdings of ancient writings in the United States. This talk will describe the cross-disciplinary work of the Ancient Ink Lab and  explain some of its surprising discoveries, including research that may lead to new and non-destructive method for dating carbon inks from the ancient Mediterranean world. To register, please click here.