AAAS session - Casting New Light on Ancient Secrets

This session was held yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science:

"In many cases, our knowledge of the past has had to wait for technological advances to provide the tools required to learn more about the origins of life and ancient history. Today, the fascinating secrets of our ancient world are being uncovered with the assistance of state-of-the-art, nondestructive, X-ray techniques. This symposium presents an insight into the capabilities of the many light source research facilities located around the world in relation to archaeology, palaeontology, and anthropology. Samples that are being studied are wide-ranging and include fossil primates and hominins, Peruvian mummy teeth dating from the early 1500s, T. rex dinosaur remains, fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, priceless irreplaceable works of art, and 10th century parchment never seen before in modern times. In the case of parchment, the experiments cannot only help with the conservation of the documents, but can also reveal text that has, until now, been hidden from modern society. Anthropologists are interested in what ancient people ate, and archaeologists are on the hunt for the oldest collagen on the planet. International researchers will share their latest discoveries and explain their research aspirations for the future." (Picture: the Archimedes Palimpsest)

Symposium Organizer--Silvana Damerell, Diamond Light Source, Didcot, United Kingdom
Symposium Co-Organizer--Isabelle Boscaro-Clarke, Diamond Light Source, Didcot, United Kingdom
Moderator--Murray Gibson, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL
  1. New Light on Ancient Secrets: An Overview--Ernest Fontes, Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, Ithaca, NY
  2. Archimedes Palimpsest: Reading the Unreadable--Uwe Bergmann, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford, CA
  3. 21st Century Science Helps Tell Story of Early Chinese Dynasties--Francesca Casadio, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  4. Imaging Fossils To Reveal the History of Life on Our Planet--Paul Tafforeau, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France
  5. Gentle Giant To Answer the Unanswerable--Jen Hiller, Diamond Light Source, Didcot, United Kingdom
  6. Advancing Detectors To Peek at the Past--Pete Siddons, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY