Regarding the Ramey memo
The New Yorker magazine for November 16, 2015 has an article by John Seabrook: The Invisible Library: Can digital technology make the Herculaneum scrolls legible after two thousand years? [Page 62 ff
The piece unravels the process being used to decipher the scrolls, buried in Herculaneum when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. also burying Pompeii.
The scrolls were discovered in 1752, encrusted and battered beyond any ability, at the time, to decipher the contents of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, works of Epicurus, Ovid, Tacitus, Aristotle, Gorgios, Sappho, and other greats of the Golden Age of antiquity.
Writer Seabrook takes readers through the vicissitudes of the work by a team of specialists (Daniel Delatte, David Sider, Daniel Mendelsohn,Vito Mocella, Brent Seales et al.) using devices called “synchrotrons” which are used in particle accelerators to observe quantum data (if I’m reading that correctly).
The men wrote an article – Revealing Letters in Rolled Herculaneum Papyri by X-Ray Phase-Contrast Imaging – which was published in Nature Communications, January 2015.
The New Yorker article is replete with suggestive offerings that the Ramey memo devotees might find helpful. (David Rudiak, are you listening?)
Go to the New Yorker site – NewYorker.com – to see if you can access the piece.
It’s enlightening, abstruse, and interesting.
Wikipedia has information about the scrolls here: