Science: The Diggers

In the halls of Harvard's Fogg Art Museum last week, there was an expectant hush. After nine months of experimenting with bits of ancient leather, Fogg's Rutherford J. Gettens, chief of technical research, had decided to try a ticklish job: the unrolling of a brown and brittle scroll, dry with the dust of 2,000 years.

The scroll, which was brought to the U.S. by the Metropolitan of Jerusalem, was discovered in 1947 with seven others in a cave near the Dead Sea. Three of the others, which were in excellent condition and easily opened, contain a complete text of the book of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!