Sun, 06 Mar 2005

From:

Poles unearth ancient Coptic tomes in Egypt

A team of Polish archaeologists has unearthed two ancient Coptic Christian tomes, made of leather-bound papyrus which could prove to be the oldest-known Coptic texts.

Warsaw University archaeologist Tomasz Gorecki discovered the tomes in an ancient rubbish tip of a 5th-9th century A.D. Coptic seminary near Luxor, Egypt, the Polish PAP news agency reported on Feb. 20.

According to leading Polish archaeologist Zbigniew Szafranski, the tomes are a "major discovery" and are most likely among the most ancient existing Coptic artifacts. The text appear to contain ancient evangelical writings.

The tomes were reported to be in good condition and were to be further examined, deciphered and preserved by Polish specialists ahead of being placed in an Egyptian museum dedicated to the Copts.

The Coptic Christian church was founded in Egypt by the Apostle St. Mark the Evangelist in the First Century A.D. and remains a strong minority faith in modern-day Egypt. -- DPA