X-ray technology can read the unreadable

Researchers have long been distressed by the illegibility of fragile ancient parchments, but new techniques developed by scientists at Cardiff University may help read the unreadable.

The new process uses X-rays to scan iron particles used in ancient ink, even in documents too fragile to be unrolled. A 3D image of the script then gives enough contrast for the scrolls to be legible. Prof Tim Wess said it was a "milestone in historical information recovery."