Date:

Carbonised Herculaneum papyrus reveals burial place of Plato

An analysis of carbonised papyrus from the Roman town of Herculaneum has revealed the burial place of Plato.

Plato (427 – 348 BC), was an ancient Greek philosopher of the Classical period and taught the doctrines that would later become known as Platonism.

- Advertisement -

Plato’s most famous contribution is the theory of forms (or ideas), which has been interpreted as advancing a solution to what is now known as the problem of universals.

The scroll is one of many examples recovered at Herculaneum, a Roman town in the present-day comune of Ercolano in South-West Italy.

Along with the nearby city of Pompeii, Herculaneum was destroyed during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, burying the town under thick layers of ash and pumice.

Image Credit : CNR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

Numerous scrolls and parchments made from papyrus were carbonised under the intense heat, however, as part of an ongoing project by archaeologists, a scroll containing the History of the Academy of Philodemus of Gadara (110-40 BC) has been partially deciphered.

- Advertisement -

The team used modern imaging techniques such as infrared, ultraviolet optical imaging, molecular and elemental imaging, thermal imaging, tomography, and optical microscopy digital.

Approximately 1,000 words have been identified (around 30% of the text entirety) which includes new details about Plato, the development of his Platonic Academy, and information that identifies his place of burial.

Archaeologists already knew that Plato was buried somewhere in the Platonic School in Athens, however, this latest revelation has pinpointed his burial to a private garden near the so-called Museion or sacellum sacred to the Muses.

Furthermore, the text has revealed that Plato was sold as a slave following the conquest of the island of Aegina by the Spartans sometime around 404 BC to 399 BC.

Header Image Credit : CNR – Image Credit : iStock

Sources : CNR – Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerchenrc

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.

Revolutionary war barracks discovered at Colonial Williamsburg

Archaeologists excavating at Colonial Williamsburg have discovered a barracks for soldiers of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence.

Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Archaeologists have found that Pleistocene hunter-gatherers settled in Cyprus thousands of years earlier than previously thought.