Pieces of rare biblical manuscript reunited

February 26, 2010

(AP) -- Two parts of an ancient biblical manuscript separated for centuries are going on display together for the first time.

Friday's showing has been made possible by an accidental discovery that may help illuminate a dark period in the history of the Hebrew Bible.

The pieces of the 1,300-year-old manuscript include the text of the Song of the Sea from the Book of Exodus. They were reunited after two scholars noticed in 2007 that the writing on one fragment known as the Ashkar manuscript matched another rare fragment known as the London manuscript.

The two pieces are among a handful of surviving biblical from the period between the early centuries A.D. and the 10th century A.D. They will be displayed at Israel's national museum in Jerusalem.

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