Technology: When The Dead Are Revived

Space-age techniques unravel a 2,000-year-old mystery

The day began badly for the team of American biblical scholars who had been granted a rare opportunity to examine and photograph a precious manuscript in Jerusalem's Shrine of the Book. Hunched over a swath of darkened and decomposing parchment with a powerful magnifying glass, they were barely able to discern a single letter. But that night, as they reviewed photo negatives still wet from the developing tank, their luck changed dramatically. Passages that had been invisible to the naked eye jumped out at them from the film. "It was a moment of exploding consciousness," recalls James Charlesworth, professor of New...

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