Rare First Temple era papyrus returned to Israel

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 The rarest papyrus of the First Temple era returned to Israel

Israeli media reports on the successful completion of the antiquities department's operation to return to the country a rare document from the era of the First Temple.

The case began in 2018, after the death famous researcher of ancient Hebrew writing, Dr. Ada Yardani. The manuscript she was working on, and which she did not have time to finish, was handed over to Professor Shmuel Akhitov. To his surprise, he found in it a photocopy of an ancient papyrus written in Hebrew, unknown to him.

Professor Akhitov mobilized the department for the prevention of robberies of the department of antiquities in order to locate the papyrus. It turned out that in 1965 he was taken out of Jerusalem by a US citizen. She received it as a gift during a visit to the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem from museum curator Yosef Saad and a well-known businessman from Beit Lehem who specialized in the antiquities of the Holy Land. The woman's son, who inherited the papyrus, lives in Montana.

The document is called the Ishmael Papyrus. and became the third such document in the ownership of Israel. While thousands of such fragments survive from the Second Temple period, only three are known from the First Temple period. The papyrus is a kind of instruction for the recipient.

The owner of the papyrus was invited to the antiquities administration laboratory in Jerusalem. At the end of the visit, realizing the importance of the document for science and for Israel, he handed over the papyrus to the Antiquities Authority.

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