Scientists at Oxford University have made a major breakthrough in their study of a large collection of Greek and Roman writings. Many of the documents known as the "Oxyrhynchus Papyri" were found at an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt. The writing on these documents is meaningless to the naked eye as the papyrus has decayed, become worm-eaten and has also been blackened by the passage of time.
Using an infrared technique originally developed for use with satellite imaging, scientists are now able to view the original writing, which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Thus far, works by Sophocles, Lucian, Euripides, Hesiod and others have been re-discovered. Additionally, scientists think they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.
The full story is available here.
Hmmm. Do you suppose this same infrared technique could be used on some of the documents down at the local courthouse?