1. For thousands of years, people have created written documents on everything from clay tablets to tablet computers. Why is it that some documents survive for centuries and others do not?
2. Ask a school or community librarian to see the oldest book in the library’s collection. When and how was it printed? What condition is it in? How does it compare with the newest book in the library?
1. Where is St. Catherine’s monastery?
2. What is a manuscript?
3. How is parchment made?
4. Define undertext and overtext.
5. What is a palimpsest?
6. Why does Father Justin use a cradle to hold the ancient manuscripts?
7. Explain fluorescence.
8. Why would crime scene investigators use a black light?
1. Explain how spectral imaging works.
2. Provide some examples from the story of how spectral imaging has helped regain lost knowledge from the past.
1. Locate on a map: Egypt, the Sinai Peninsula, St. Catherine’s monastery and Sharm El Sheikh.
2. In drafting the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “citizens” after erasing the word “subjects.” Why was that such an important change?
3. In looking for a telephone number, do you look it up online or do you use a printed phone book? What effect might your choice have on what future historians understand about how we communicate?