ancient texts

7 Stories

Rare Copy of Forbidden Text on Jesus Found

Written centuries after the First Apocalypse of James was excluded from New Testament

(Newser) - A complete copy of a heretical biblical text that purports to describe conversations between Jesus and his brother James has been discovered in its earliest known form. The forbidden writing, dubbed the First Apocalypse of James, wasn't included in the 27-book New Testament established in 367. It was one... More »

World's Oldest Wooden Statue Twice as Old as Pyramids

New dating puts Shigir Idol at 11K years old, 1.5K years older than thought

(Newser) - When scientists first tried in 1997 to date the famous Shigir Idol wooden sculpture —originally found in a Siberian peat bog in 1890—radiocarbon dating suggested the art was so old the findings were widely disputed. Now, armed with better tech, scientists turned to one of the world's... More »

'Creepy' Doodles Emerge From Medieval Text

UV light reveals erased additions to the Welsh 'Black Book'

(Newser) - Experts have uncovered what LiveScience calls "ghostly" secrets hidden in a medieval manuscript, which happens to be one of the first to reference King Arthur and Merlin. "The Black Book of Carmarthen" was compiled around 1250, but contains poetry, religious verses, and other texts dating as far back... More »

Experts Cracking Oldest Undeciphered Language

5,000-year-old tablets may soon yield secrets

(Newser) - Experts trying to crack the world's oldest undeciphered language say they are close to making a breakthrough that could unlock a large cache of knowledge from the ancient world. The academics are using a high-tech imaging device to scan clay tablets and capture writing in the proto-Elamite language, which... More »

Behold: Oldest 'Yo Mama' Joke of All Time?

Ancient Babylonian tablet analyzed by researchers

(Newser) - At 3,500 years old, researchers may have deciphered the world's most ancient "yo mama" joke. Using images of a tablet discovered in 1976 but since lost, the pair dissected a series of jokes carved by a Babylonian student thousands of years ago, and their conclusions, originally published... More »

Dead Sea Scrolls Going Online, With Google's Help

21st-century technology meeting 1st-century texts

(Newser) - Google is teaming up with Israel's Antiquities Authority to make one of the world's most tightly guarded archeological treasures available to anybody with an Internet connection. The Dead Sea Scrolls will be made available in their entirety online in a project expected to take several years, CNN reports. The IAA... More »

Algorithm Can 'Fill in the Blanks' of Ancient Texts

Algorithm could also be basis of search engine for old docs

(Newser) - A new computer algorithm could soon take some of the guesswork out of deciphering ancient texts, Reuters reports. The program, developed in Israel and currently used with ancient Hebrew, works with digital copies of unreadable texts and uses pattern recognition to “fill in the blanks,” says one of... More »

7 Stories