On 6 May 2015, the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (LMU) has been named a “Historic Site” by the European Physical Society (EPS). After the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Berlin in 2013, LMU is the second German institution to receive this honour.
Writing that has lain undiscovered for centuries inside a scroll that was charred in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD has been uncovered for the first time. The text, which was written inside a so called ‘papyrus roll’ that was found in the only surviving ancient library, discovered in Herculaneum 260 years ago, has been examined using X-rays at the European Synchrotron, the ESRF. The result, by a team from the Italian CNR, the ESRF, Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität, and the CNRS, was published in Nature Communications (20 January 2015). It offers new possibilities for deciphering hundreds of so far untouched texts, without the damage that can be caused by trying to open them.