Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mysterious Jamestown Tablet an American Rosetta Stone?

A conservator digitally isolated inscriptions (right) on the 17th-century Jamestown tablet (left)for National Geographic magazine

January 13, 2010

With the help of enhanced imagery and an expert in Elizabethan script, archaeologists are beginning to unravel the meaning of mysterious text and images etched into a rare 400-year-old slate tablet discovered this past summer at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in America.

Digitally enhanced images of the slate are helping to isolate inscriptions and illuminate fine details on the slate—the first with extensive inscriptions discovered at any early American colonial site, said William Kelso, director of research and interpretation at the 17th-century Historic Jamestowne site (Jamestown map).

(Explore an interactive guide to colonial Jamestown.)


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