Earliest known version of the Gospel of Mark

A bit off-topic, but so amazing, it’s worth reporting: an early, possibly draft, copy of the Gospel of Mark (from, you know, The Holy Bible) dating from the first century, recovered from paper later recycled into an Egyptian death mask.

This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy. Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue. Given how expensive papyrus was, people often had to reuse sheets that already had writing on them. 
In recent years scientists have developed a technique that allows the glue of mummy masks to be undone without harming the ink on the paper. The text on the sheets can then be read.

+ Actually, come to think of it, this story should go into the category of “amazingly amazing”, to plagiarize Zaphod Beeblebrox.


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