Updated on the 5th of April, 2019 with information from Alin Suciu’s Coptic Literature and Manuscripts
Specialists of the Institute of History, Archeology, and Ethnography in the Russian Republic of Dagestan found a Georgian-Arabic palimpsest while digitizing thousands of medieval manuscripts.
Research fellow in charge of the process didn’t suspect one of the hundreds of the books selected for digitization to be unique when he understood that some pages of the manuscript felt different.
After additional investigation, Arabic scholars had to ask for support from their fellow linguists. Letters of the oldest Georgian script Asomtavruli were found under the 11th-century Arabic Sufi texts. The original book is supposed to be a 6th-century Georgian Gospel.
Dagestan borders with Georgia, and it is well known that both regions had ties since the early medieval or even ancient times. However, every find like this one is a precious source of knowledge both for scholars in Dagestan and Georgia.
The digitized version of the manuscript is scheduled to be made available at a specialized web site.