Coptic manuscripts unearthed in tomb in
experts excavating in the southern city of
find was the single most important Coptic discovery since 1945 when a pair of
Bedouins stumbled onto the Coptic codices in Nag Hammadi
manuscripts date to the sixth century and were concealed in a Middle Kingdom
(2000-1800 BC) tomb in
The texts may have been hidden there by Christians who were being persecuted at the time by the Romans, it said.
One of the manuscripts was 22.5 centimetres by 17 centimetres (nine by seven inches) and three centimetres (an inch) thick, explained the Council's head, Zahi Hawas.
The second had 50 pages and a cover made of skin adorned with ornaments, while the third also had 50 pages and a cover, but was in a poorer state, he added.
Hawas said experts would restore the manuscripts and try to read them in the hope that it would shed more light on early Christianity.