January 2013 update: 29 of the manuscripts were recently purchased by the Israel National Library. Read more in “Manuscripts Reveal Ancient Community of Afghan Jews.”
More than 150 medieval Jewish manuscripts recently came to light in the mountains of northern Afghanistan, according to scholars who have been studying the texts at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Although scholars have only just begun studying the decayed, fragmentary and often illegible texts, they appear to date to the 11th century and are written in Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian. Among the discovered texts are an ancient copy of the Book of Jeremiah, previously unknown works of the medieval Jewish scholar Rabbi Sa’adia Gaon and several personal writings and poems, perhaps written by the Jewish merchants who left the manuscripts in the remote Afghanistan cave where they were supposedly discovered.