AWAKE Magazine January 8, 2005

Oldest Surviving Printed Book


The British Library is now home to what is believed to be the oldest surviving printed book in the world, reports BBC News. A Buddhist text called The Diamond Sutra bears the date 868 C.F. and was found in 1907 in a cave in Dunhuang, China. It consists of a scroll of grey paper printed with Chinese charac -ters, wrapped around a wooden pole,” says the report. The book and other items found with it are thought to have been “part of a library which was walled up in the cave around the year 1000 AD.” The scroll predates the introduction of movable type into Europe by hundreds of years, but as the BBC’ report notes, paper making and printing were already well established in China at the time.”



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