How Europe’s oldest book was saved

Scrolls expert conservator Anton Fackelmann at work in a Vienna museum. In 1962 he was invited to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki to try to make the almost charred scroll of Derveni papyrus suitable for reading. By spraying the papyrus with plant sap and placing the fragments under a heat lamp, he managed to save over 260 fragments. The Derveni papyrus turned out to be the oldest book in Europe. The ancient scroll dates back to 340 BC, making it the oldest literary Greek text in Europe.

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