For nearly 1,300 years, no one knew it was there. The name of a highly educated English woman, secretly scratched on to the pages of a rare medieval manuscript in the eighth century, but impossible to read – until now.
Academics have discovered the Old English female name Eadburg was repeatedly scored into the surface of the religious text, using a method that kept it hidden from the naked eye for more than 12 centuries.
The covert writing of the woman’s name was finally revealed when researchers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford used cutting-edge technology to capture the 3D surface of the ancient manuscript, a Latin copy of the Acts of the Apostles that was made in England between AD700 and AD750.
It is the first time this technology, capable of revealing “almost invisible” markings so shallow they measure about a fifth of the width of a human hair, has been used to record annotations on the surface of a manuscript.
These kinds of finds really are amazing and go so far to expand our knowledge of eras where we don’t really know that much.