A 1,000-year-old Bible has been uncovered by police in Turkey after smugglers tried to sell the priceless book to undercover officers.
Police in the central Turkish city of Tokat confiscated the ancient Bible together with other priceless artefacts after catching the smugglers red-handed.
Three men have who were attempting to sell the Bible, written in the old Assyriac language, to undercover police officers have been arrested.
It is not known where the Bible originates from, and it only has 51 pages left and its cover is widely damaged.
However, pictures made of gold leafs with religious motifs inside the Bible are still intact, police have said.
Theologians now hope the BIble will offer valuable insights into the way Christianity has developed in the past century.
Tokat has emerged in recent years as a centre of smuggling activities in rare artefacts, a reputation that was cemented last year when ‘Orphan Man, Standing,’ an authentic oil painting by Vincent Van Gogh, was found in the boot of a vehicle owned by a suspected artifact smuggler.
As well as the Bible, police said they had seized jewellery and coins.
The news of the exciting discovery comes as the world’s oldest bible goes on display at London’s British Museum.
Titled ‘Egypt: faith after the pharaohs’, the exhibition includes 200 objects tracing Egypt’s religious evolution from the country’s integration into the Roman Empire in 30 BC to the fall of the Islamic Fatimid dynasty in 1171.
One of the highlights is part of the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus, a book written in Greek on animal skin by monks on Mount Sinai, and which contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament.
Originally published on Daily Mail