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Researchers Find Way to Read Papyrus Texts Buried at Herculaneum for the First Time

Only one library from the classical world is known to have survived along with its texts: the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. Ever since its discovery in 1754, archaeologists have attempted to crack open the villa’s carbonized texts with knives, chemicals, and unrolling machines, all with little success and often irreversibly destructive results.