Legend has it that when Archimedes figured out that an object plunged into liquid becomes lighter by an amount equal to the weight of liquid it displaces that he ran naked through the streets shouting Eureka! Since this was not recorded in any of the blogs of the time, it's possible that it didn't actually happen that way at all, but I digress.
The writings of Archimedes have largely been lost. It seems that libraries burned, some people forgot how to read, some people never learned, and much of the civilized world went into a period where it didn't care much for math, higher learning, or science for that matter. People cared so little for math that they scraped the words off of one of his books and then made a prayer book out of it.
Now the scientists at Stanford are using the collimated x-ray beam of a synchotron to detect the iron in the original ink and provide the best ever reading of the original text.
Learn more: Exploratorium | Ancient Writings Revealed!
Tags: Archimedes, palimpsest