The Codex Sinaiticus has had virtually no testing, and we want to know what is non-destructive, and acceptable (some times a little bit of invasiveness might be ok). The purpose here is simply to discuss some of the testing done on manuscripts and artifacts in recent years.
Steven Avery wrote:You might wonder if the vellum or ink or stains of Codex Sinaiticus have ever been subject to chemical tests. Apparently, even though the ms. has been heavily studied, and conjectural and even convoluted theories around inks, parchment, retracing and rebindings abound, no such testing has ever been done. (Note: I mention chemical testing because that has been very helpful in looking at issues like the Voynich ms and the Viking map, and is relatively inexpensive and relatively controversy-free.)
=======================================================Leucius Charinus wrote: Could you link to some references outlining the potential processes for some of this "testing at all of parchment, ink or stains". For example, does the process which tests and analyses the ink require some physical ink to be removed from the pages ...
==========Report on the different inks used in Codex Sinaiticus and assessment of their condition
http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/project/c ... n_ink.aspx
"The Codex Sinaiticus inks have never been chemically characterized, and the type and proportions of ingredients mixed together have never been determined. Therefore, the composition of the writing media can only be roughly guessed by observing their visible chracteristics and their degradation patterns."
"After more than 1600 years, it is clear that the quality of the writing medium originally used by the scribes was truly exceptional, as is the quality of the parchment. The ingredients appear to be well balanced creating a smooth and thin fluid perfect for writing on parchment. The recipe and the manufacturing technique seem to be exquisite too, revealing high craftsmanship and skilled experience for producing good quality inks.
No significant degradation process seems to affect the writing media. "
Why no significant degradation?
Perhaps it has only been 175 years, not 1650.
And perhaps they were using higher quality materials than was available in the 4th century.
[textualcriticism] Vaticanus retracing - spectrographic analysis - palimpsest - umlauts and underwriting - Codex
November 13, 2013
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/tex ... sages/8181
=======================================================Codex Sinaiticus Highlights - Christian Askeland
http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blog ... ights.html
The Danish scholar, René Larsen, who works with IDAP, described how one can determine the animals used to create a particular sheet of parchment. I may blog more on this in weeks to come. Additionally, he also described the potential to localize the provenance based on spectrographic analysis; impurities in the water and the type of substances used in preparation may suggest specific regions. If I remember correctly, Sinaiticus is mostly cow with a few sheep thrown in.
Notice that ink testing was used to separate out dates of production, using non-invasive testing. With Sinaiticus you have a wide variety of conjectured dates.The Vercelli Gospels laid open: an investigation into the inks used to write the oldest Gospels in Latin (2008)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 7/abstract
An ancient religious manuscript datable to the 4th century A.D., the Codex Eusebii Evangeliorum or Vercelli Gospels, has been analysed by portable Raman and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry. The manuscript belongs to the Cathedral Treasure Museum of Vercelli (Italy) and is reputed to be the oldest existent copy of the Gospels written in Latin, being therefore of particular relevance to biblical scholars. Red and black inks were characterised: minium and cinnabar were identified in red text, and carbon black and metal gallate in black text. Moreover, XRF spectrometry allowed discrimination of black inks with similar composition on the basis of metal impurities. The black ink was found to be of the iron-gall type, thus resulting in the oldest occurrence of the use of this kind of ink in Western manuscripts and allowing to date its introduction at least back to the 4th century A.D.; moreover, the hypothesis that a few pages had been written in a later time has been verified on the basis of differences in inks' composition.
The Vercelli Gospels laid open: an investigation into the inks used to write the oldest Gospels in Latin (2008)
http://www.researchgate.net/publication ... s_in_Latin
On the other hand, the Vecellensis testing may support that iron-gall ink does not have to cause an acidic deterioration of parchment over time as noted in this forum post:
=======================================================iron gall ink was notorious for eating away at the paper substrates .... I *think* that IG inks were best used on alkaline vellum - such as the Book of Kells, which is still in relatively good condition ... Check Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vercellensis for proof that proper iron gall ink will stand for thousands of years and does not completely deteriorate the medium at the same time.
http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum ... gall-inks/
=======================================================Scribes and Illuminators (1992)
Christopher De Hamel
Iron-gall ink darkens even further when exposed to air on the page of a manuscript. It soaks well into parchment, unlike carbon inks which can he rubbed off relatively easily. It is more translucent and shinier than carbon ink which is grittier and blacker. Iron-gall ink was used for well over a thousand years, and Anglo-Saxon specimens have survived as admirably from the beginning of the period as Victorian inks from the end. .... The vermillion is for red ink, and was a major ingredient in the contract. Red ink in manuscripts goes back at least to the fifth century and flourished until the fifteenth.
This thread may jump around a bit, however I'll try to keep the information interesting.