Using X-ray fluorescence, specifically, a very Joe 90 device known as the “synchrotron”, scientists in the US have discovered 10th century transcriptions of Archimedes’ work beneath layers of paintings and text set down in subsequent centuries.

Mr Noel describes the palimpsest as “the eighth wonder of the world”.

“You never get three unique palimpsested texts from the ancient world together in one book,” he told the BBC News website. “That’s just completely unheard of.”

BBC news: X-rays reveal Archimedes secrets.

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