Carbon dating the torah
"We don't have anything much from that period," Phann said.There are far older scraps of Torah scrolls that can be dated back to the 8th century, but Phann said it was rare to find a complete manuscript.The find was also emotionally important, he said because the scroll, as opposed to a bound book, is used for reading Torah portions throughout the year in synagogue."It's almost a friendship — that they have come to know the Torah scroll in their midst, and they draw their knowledge and focus on worship on how they live their daily life," Phann said.Perani said it remains a mystery how the scroll came to be part of the Bologna university library but that he anticipated further study would now begin.The find isn't the oldest Torah text in the world: the Leningrad and the Aleppo bibles — both of them Hebrew codexes, or books — pre-date the Bologna scroll by more than 200 years.
The interest aroused around its discovery, will, however, encourage further studies, as to the identification of its source.
It was right under his nose, in the library of the University of Bologna, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.
Mauro Perani, a professor of Hebrew in the university's cultural heritage department, was updating the library's Hebrew manuscript catalogue when he stumbled upon the scroll in February.
The antiquity of “Scroll 2” had not been recognized by Leonello Modona, a Jew, native of Cento, who worked for years as a librarian at BUB, and who was the first to catalog the BUB-Hebrew-manuscript-collections, in 1889.
Modona did in fact date the scroll back to the 17th century and described its Hebrew letters as “an Italian script, rather clumsy-looking, in which certain letters, as well as the usual crowns and strokes show uncommon and strange appendices.” Professor Perani, on the contrary, examining the scroll for the new catalog, noticed that its early square, oriental script of Babylonian tradition was very elegant and finely written and the graphical and textual structure were totally atypical and had to be much older than 17th -century.