Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Turkish cops arrest men in 'ancient Torah racket'

 Torah scroll being hand-written (Nati Shohat)

Turkish police on Tuesday arrested four men in the coastal city of Adana on suspicion that they tried to sell a purportedly 1,900-year-old Torah scroll, according to the Times of Israel.(With thanks: Lily)

The men claimed they legally acquired the nearly 29-foot-(9 meters)-long gazelle-hide scroll from an antiquities dealer and were ignorant of its provenance.

“We bought it from an antique store and brought it to a geography teacher to ask what was written on it,” the Hurriyet Daily News website quoted one of the suspects as saying.

Initial reports could not confirm the scroll’s authenticity, nor did they indicate on what basis authorities claimed it was nearly 2,000 years old. 

The oldest extant complete version of the Torah is the Leningrad Codex, which dates back to the early 11th century CE, and few of the oldest Torah scrolls exceed 500 years in age.

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