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Manuscript Discoveries

Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts

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Edited: Dec 16, 2007, 4:08pm Top

After languishing in obscurity, unrecognized for what it was for over 70 years, an amazing codex on papyrus was rediscovered in late 2006 in the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, Belgium.

The object, which looked like a lump of tree-bark, was found among a collection of writing-tablets and leather finds from Broekberg in Tongeren which had been excavated in the 1930s. At first, researchers believed that the item dated to the Roman period (100-300 AD) and belonged with the other finds from Broekberg. However, Carbon-14 dating showed it was from the 10th century. Now, how the codex found its way into the Gallo-Roman Museum collection is a mystery.

Sadly, the codex appears blank (the writing may just be faded). It is still a very important find. Firstly, for its late date (when papyrus was essentially, no longer being used, even in Egypt itself) and it is one of the very few examples of papyri which have survived in the damp climate of Europe.

The full story and images of the codex can be found at the Tongeren Gallo-Roman Museum's Web site.


Mar 21, 2008, 1:50am Top

Manuscript finds at the Coptic monastery known as Deir Al-Surian, or the Monastery of the Syrians in Egypt have been featured in a number of on-line news articles.


Fragments of world’s oldest Christian manuscript found in Egyptian monastery

Fragments from a manuscript dating from 411 AD were discovered under a collapsed floor of a ninth-century tower at the monastery. The fragments represent the last page of a book written in Syriac now preserved in the British Museum library.

The Art Newspaper

The Independent UK

Remains of a Syriac Papyrus Codex found in 1998



The Deir Al-Surian Library Project

Al-Ahram Weekly

Apr 24, 2008, 11:06am Top

Amazingly a 9th Cent. psalter was found preserved in an Irish bog about two years ago,http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=568, & http://inillotempore.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=706 et alii.

Edited: Feb 22, 2009, 9:32pm Top

The lost manuscript of the classic novel The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck was rediscovered in the summer of of 2007. It had been missing for about 40 years. It was rediscovered packed in a suitcase tucked away in the basement of the home of the daughter of Buck's longtime secretary.

In conjunction with the exhibit, The Art & Sculpture of Green Hills Farm being held at the Pearl S. Buck House in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, the recently rediscovered manuscript of The Good Earth will be on display. The exhibit will also feature items from Pearl S. Buck's personal collection of artworks.

The exhibit runs from March 3 through November 15, 2009

Mar 7, 2019, 7:05am Top

A leaf from a previously unknown Irish translation of Ibn Sīna’s Canon of Medicine has been found used as the cover of a printed book from the 1530s.


PS. It seems to me that Ibn Sīna and Avicenna, ?and his al-Qānūn fī al-ṭibb. al-juz’ al-awwal and Canon of Medicine, could be combined. But I'll leave that to someone who has a better idea of the field that me.


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