Scholars Have Been Vastly Mistaken in Filling the Holes in Our History

The standard way to estimating the missing length of ancient scrolls is wrong by as much as 1800 percent, Israeli scholars find. Why it matters if an ancient text is missing 6 inches or 6 feet

Ruth Schuster
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Ruth Schuster

Ancient manuscripts thrill for the peep they give us into life and beliefs thousands of years ago. Roughly speaking, at least. Many scriveners of yore were less committed to the naked truth than to the scowling king. Worse, ancient scrolls are almost always deteriorated, leaving frustrating gaps in the story.

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