Islamabad: One might call it plain luck or God sent, a Pakistani archaeologist was gifted a manuscript of the Quran which turned out to be 900-year-old.
Archaeologist Ghulam Akbar Malik found the valuable manuscript of the Quran dating back to the 12th century while on an excavation trip to the Pakistani city of Jhelum, the Express Tribune daily reported.
The salt range and its adjacent territory have been home to many archaeological discoveries and Malik incidentally came across this valuable scripture there.
Malik was taking a break after the day`s work to recite the holy book when an old man gifted him the historic manuscript to read.
"An old man gave this to me as a gift at a shelter in the hills," Malik was quoted as saying by the daily.
This 900-year-old manuscript is written on Papyrus, which was first invented and used by the Chinese before the invention of modern paper.
According to the archaeologist, the ancient script of the Quran has been written by Sirajuddin abu Tahir Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Abdur Rasheed during the 12th century.
The calligraphic object of art weighs around five kilogrammes and consists of 1,200 pages although in some places the handwritten text has faded as a result of ageing.
Experts estimate that the manuscript is the work of three calligraphers who produced the copy of the Quran in just over a year, the daily said.
"It is the first time that I have seen such an ancient Quranic manuscript in such good condition," Malik said.