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Researchers from the Universities of Oxford and the Netherlands have discovered shocking details in an ancient Pre-colonial Mixtec codex, using very high resolution images.
The pages of the Codex Selden, also know as Codex Añute (dated to around 1560), they were hidden from view and have remained so for the past 500 years, hidden under a layer of plaster and chalk.
Using images hyperspectral, scientists have managed to reveal the pictographic scenes that were hidden in this document and have published their findings in the journal Journal of Archeology.
Specifically and as the second image that accompanies this article shows, Pages 10 and 11 of the Selden Codex were totally blank before our eyesAlthough in 1950 they were scraped off during a series of invasive tests that revealed a vague impression, hinting at the possibility that ancient images were hidden underneath.
The bottom image was created using hyperspectral imaging, showing the hidden scenes that were under layers of plaster and chalk.
Until now, no other technique had been able to reveal the hidden narrative in a non-invasive way. The organic paints used in these early Mixtec codices do not absorb X-raysTherefore, the analysis with this technique did not give any results, being the one most used today to study works of art.
«During five years of testing different techniques, we have been able to develop a large number of images without damaging the extremely vulnerable material. We can now confirm that the Selden Codex is a palimpsest«Said Ludo Snijders from the University of Leiden.
Is It is the first time that an early Mixtec codex has been shown to be a palimpsest.. «What is interesting is that the text we have found does not match that of other early Mixtec manuscripts. The genealogy that we see seems to be unique, which means that it can be very valuable for the interpretation of archaeological remains found in southern Mexico.«, Sentenced Snijders.
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