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    Default Begin at the beginning

    I have been trying to figure out how the word "Palimpsest" could have been determined by Sanborn's intended method.

    I think this is where we have to start - by looking at the sculpture, and pretending that we know nothing (about palimpsest, abscissa, etc) and see what would first catch your eye.

    The sculpture itself looks almost like a scroll attached to a piece of wood.

    There are four panels (quarters) - two for the cipher side, two for the Vigenere side - as you look at the sculpture, the Vigenere side is backwards. The sculpture is curved, and it looks as if you could fold the Vigenere side over (or under) the cipher side.

    On the Vigenere side, the word KRYPTOS is in every row and column, except the left column and top and bottom rows, which are the alphabet.

    Upon closer examination:

    On the cipher side, the top row of the lower left has unusual spacing and two of the letters are raised. The letters are DY A HR - the Y A R are raised.

    On the Vigenere side, there is an extra L at the end of one line - the same line that has the DYAHR.

    Is there anything else that really jumps out at you, or does this seem like the most likely beginning point?
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    Looks like a great summary of the piece, Sue! =D>

    The only other thing that really caught my eye the first time I saw this piece were that "?" were included in the text of the cipher side.

    S

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    To begin at the beginning and observe the statue, we should consider the entire Kryptos sculpture, not just the centerpiece copperplate screen. The other elements of Kryptos are described well on the CIA website:

    At the entrance to the New Headquarters building, the sculpture begins with two red granite and copperplate constructions which flank the walkway from the parking deck. These stones appear as pages jutting from the earth with copperplate ‘between the pages’ on which there are International Morse code and ancient ciphers. There is also a lodestone (a naturally magnetized rock) co-located with a navigational compass rose.

    In the courtyard, a calm, reflective pool of water lies between two layered slabs of granite and tall grasses. Directly across from this is the centerpiece of “Kryptos,” a piece of petrified wood supporting an S-shaped copper screen surrounding a bubbling pool of water.
    -Rusty

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    What is the ancient cipher? I've looked at pix of this slab and have only seen the morse code.
    There is a seat in front of the circular water feature in front of the screen. I wonder what one sees when sitting in this spot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lafitte
    What is the ancient cipher? I've looked at pix of this slab and have only seen the morse code.
    The best I can tell is that there is no ancient cipher on the rock slabs, just Morse code. I think the CIA website author got the description of Kryptos from a letter Sanborn sent describing it back before Kryptos was installed. Here is that letter:

    December 15, 1989

    Dear Agency Employees:

    I am writing this letter to give you an idea of what I am up to at
    the Agency, and to explain those big tilted slabs of stone.

    The stonework in the courtyard and at the entrance to the new
    building serves two functions:

    First, it creates a natural framework for the project as a whole and
    is part of a landscaping scheme designed to recall the natural stone
    outcroppings that existed on this site before the Agency, and that
    will endure as do mountains.

    Second, the tilted strata tell a story like pages of a document.
    Over the next several months, a flat copper sheet through which
    letters and symbols are cut will be inserted between these
    stone "pages." This code, which includes certain ancient ciphers,
    begins as International Morse and increases in complexity as you
    move through the piece at the entrance and into the courtyard. Its
    placement in a geologic context reinforces the text's "hiddenness"
    as if it were a fossil or an image frozen in time.

    An installation in the courtyard further explores this theme. On the
    paved surface, supported by a petrified tree, will stand a curved,
    vertical copper plate. Approximately 2000 letters of the alphabet
    are cut through this plate (a process which requires four months of
    work). The left side of the plate is a table for deciphering and
    enciphering code, developed by Blaise de Vigenere in 1570.
    The right side is a text that can be partly deciphered by using the
    table and partly by using a potentially challenging encoding system.
    The text, written in collaboration with a prominent fiction writer,
    is revealed only after the code is deciphered.

    My choice of materials, like code, conveys meaning. At the entrance
    a lodestone (a rock naturally magnetized by lightning) refers to
    ancient navigational compasses. The petrified tree recalls the trees
    that once stood on this site and that were the source of materials
    on which written language has been recorded. The copper, perforated
    by text, represents this "paper." I also use another symbol; water.
    In a small pool on the plaza, partly surrounded by the copper plate,
    water will be turbulent and provocative, constantly agitated into
    standing waves. In the other pool, located among trees in the
    courtyard and between two massive outcroppings, water will be calm,
    reflective, contemplative. Other materials around the site -- large
    stones, ornamental grasses, and small trees -- are designed to make
    the natural features surrounding the Agency more visually
    interesting and thought provoking.

    My work at Langley is approximately two thirds complete. If you see
    me or my apprentices working, please don't hesitate to ask questions
    about the work.

    Sincerely,

    (signed)
    Jim Sanborn
    The meaning of the contents of this letter is in dispute.

    -Rusty

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    This is great stuff - really taking us back to the beginning!
    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

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    This gives me an idea for some fun.

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    Not another conspiracy theory! Lafitte

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    No, a puzzle!

    It's not a place, it's a yearning. It's not a race, it's a journey.

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    EN DYAHR OHNLSRHEOCPTEOIBIDYSHNAIA

    If we choose this line as the place to start (due to the oddly spaced and raised letters) the DYAHR stands out. There is extra space before the D and after the R. Also, the letters YAR are raised up.

    The letters anagram to HARDY. If you google just "HARDY", Thomas Hardy is real close to the top of the list.

    Notice that in the same line above, the letters IBID are there. A very bookish reference - means "in the same place" or ditto.

    And just before IBID, are the letters "PTEO" which anagrams to POET.

    (If we're anagramming, I see the SHANIA at the end of the line, but she wasn't singing at the time the sculpture was made! )

    I have a bit more, but I'll just throw this out for now and see if anyone has more ideas...

    Sue
    Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!

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