The text, originally written in the 6th century, was later erased and written over twice.
Grigory Kessel, a researcher from the Austrian Academy of Sciences, discovered with the use of ultraviolet photography, a fragment of the Gospel of Matthew written in Old Syriac. The gospel text was written in the 6th century, “but then later erased and copied over hundreds of years later,”as read in the note published by Medievalists.net. Kessel’s discovery, described in detail in his article A New (Double Palimpsest) Witness to the Old Syriac Gospels, has been included in the latest issue of New Testament Studies.
Found in the Vatican Library, the manuscript is a palimpsest – that is, a manuscript that has been erased and reused. This one was written over twice since it was made – the second time, Medievalists.net explains, “by a Georgian scribe during the second half of the 10th century. It eventually made its way to the monastery of St. Catherine on Sinai.”