Over 100 mysterious 1,000-year-old manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan

Over 100 mysterious 1,000-year-old manuscripts discovered in Afghanistan


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A surprising discovery has been made in a cave in Afghanistan, a mysterious collection of nearly 100 1,000-year-old manuscripts. A first analysis of the texts revealed that they were owned by a Jewish family that lived throughout the ancient Silk Road about 1,000 years ago, and they are written in several languages, including Aramaic, Hebrew, Persian, Judeo-Persian, and Judeo-Arabic.

The family that owned the manuscripts was headed by Abu Ben Daniel, from the northern Afghan city of Bamiyan, a place that for many centuries was famous for its giant buddha statues built in the 6th century, and destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

According to the experts who analyzed the documents, manuscripts contain only text, no illustrations, and cover different themes: legal, commercial, religious, personal, and even some poems.

Ofir Haim, a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, believes that the documents «contain interesting information that allows exploration of the life of the Jewish community in Afghanistan, for example, how they lived and how a family functioned«.

These recently found texts would be part of the so-called «Afghan Geniza«, A reference to a collection of 300,000 Jewish manuscript fragments discovered in the 19th century, and together with the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is one of the world's most valuable collections of ancient manuscripts.

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