Particle accelerator reveals ancient medical manuscript replaced with religious text

The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California recently found a 6th century manuscript by Greek physician Galen, which had been scraped from its pages 500 years later and replaced with religious text. Who needs science when there are religious texts that need copying?


An international, multidisciplinary team is using X-rays from SLAC to reveal the hidden text of a medical manuscript by the ancient Greek doctor Galen that was written on parchment in the 6th century and scraped off and overwritten with religious text in the 11th century.

Galen is second only to Hippocrates in the realm of ancient medicine. Most of his work is lost to time thanks to idiots who burned papyrus for kindling or who scraped pages clean to write down their own junk. Those with an interest in such things would do well to read John Brock's excellent introduction to Galen in his translation of Περι Φυσικων Δυναμικων (On the Natural Faculties).

Global Team Uncovers Ancient Medical Texts Using X-Ray Imaging at SLAC (Flickr / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)