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Torah Scroll In Italy May Be World’s Oldest Yet Discovered

BOLOGNA, Italy (UPI) — The University of Bologna in Italy says it has found what may be the oldest complete scroll of Judaism’s most important text, the Torah.

The scroll, previously thought to be just a few hundred years old, was in the university’s library but had been mislabeled, university officials said.

Carbon dating tests suggests the text may have been written more than 850 years ago, which would make it the oldest complete Torah known, Hebrew Professor Mauro Perani said.

In 1889 a university librarian had examined the scroll and dated it to the 17th century, but Perani said a re-examination showed the script used in the Torah was that of the oriental Babylonian tradition, suggesting the scroll must be much older, the BBC reported Wednesday.

An older date is also indicated by the fact the text contains many features not found in later copies because they had been forbidden under rules laid down by the rabbi and Torah scholar Maimonides in the 12th century, the university said.

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