Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ancient Writing: Undeciphered Voynich Manuscript Dated to Early 15th Century

That's the early 1400's.  So very interesting - hasn't the Turin Shroud also been carbon-dated to about that same time period?  Two enigmatic survivors from a time we think we know about - and yet, what do we really know about then, or now, for that matter? 

University of Arizona experts determine age of book 'nobody can read'
10 Feb 2011
University of Arizona

While enthusiasts across the world pored over the Voynich manuscript, penned by an unknown author in a language no one understands, a research team at the University of Arizona solved one of its biggest mysteries: When was the book made?

[Excerpted] University of Arizona researchers have cracked one of the puzzles surrounding what has been called "the world's most mysterious manuscript" – the Voynich manuscript, a book filled with drawings and writings nobody has been able to make sense of to this day.

Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA's department of physics has found the manuscript's parchment pages date back to the early 15th century, making the book a century older than scholars had previously thought. ...

Currently owned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, the manuscript was discovered in the Villa Mondragone near Rome in 1912 by antique book dealer Wilfrid Voynich while sifting through a chest of books offered for sale by the Society of Jesus. Voynich dedicated the remainder of his life to unveiling the mystery of the book's origin and deciphering its meanings. He died 18 years later, without having wrestled any its secrets from the book.

"Is it a code, a cipher of some kind? People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use – the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven't figured it out."

The Voynich manuscript's unintelligible writings and strange illustrations have defied every attempt at understanding their meaning. Credit: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.  td>

Okay. Where have we seen this kind of pattern before? In board games, darlings! Think about it. Is this not a Nine Man's Morris gameboard?  I'm not saying about what's in the rest of the book - but this drawing - heh. 

Looks like the stuff one sees under one's very first microscope!  I got one when I was in seventh grade (I was 13) for Christmas, and I spent many happy hours in the attic over the next four years exploring the microscopic world of whatever it was I could find to put on a glass slide and put under the magnification lenses.  I'm sure it did not cost a lot of money.  My parents were poor and there were six children to provide for -- but that little microscope opened up a new universe to me.  I could see, up close, for the very first time, that there were, literally, worlds within worlds within worlds.  I didn't spent much time in that un-insultated attic during the winter, it was friggging cold up there, let me tell you!  But I had my own little world-fort up there, and NO ONE was allowed to cross the magic line, which was sometimes hung with a blanket-curtain, that constantly fell down.  When we moved to a house across the street that my parents bought the year I entered high school (1966 - an eon ago), that microscope moved too, and I set up a "lab" in the attic of the new house, which had three dormer windows and roomy bays!  It was a real change from the old house, but the floor still creaked and it was still dusty and mouldy and hot as hell in the summer and cold as hell in the winter.  I chose the west-facing bay to set up my new lab, and spent many hours crunched up with a blanket wrapped around in the cool days in Grandpa Newton's green leather club chair that we'd inherited after he passed. 

Well, I haven't thought about these things for a long long time, and it's making me very sad right now.

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