Worn-out writings were placed into a hole in the wall of a synagogue in Cairo. The hole was reached by a ladder on the outside. When the synagogue was renovated in 1890, many fragments were found. They made their way to the marketplaces. One fragment, which was given to to Professor Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University, had been written about 200 BCE. Most of the fragments found at the geniza are now at Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and at Cambridge University. Although there have been other genizas, the one at Cairo is the most famous.
Great Mosque of Sana’a
In 1972, piles of decaying manuscripts were found here. Among them were pages of Koranic text that were written during Islam’s first two hundred years.
Mountain of the Holy Korans
This is Chiltan Mountain, near Quetta, Pakistan, which has many caves. Fifty thousand buried Korans, each being shrouded in white cloth, are located here. This is a pilgrimage site for Asian Muslims. Some of the caves have become prayer rooms.
- Battles, Matthew. Library: An Unquiet History. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2003.
(This page was updated in December 2012.)