A fragment of a Koran manuscript is seen in the library at the University of Birmingham in Britain
A British university said that fragments of a Koran manuscript found in its library were from one of the oldest surviving copies of the Islamic text in the world, possibly written by someone who might have known Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Radiocarbon dating indicated that the parchment folios held by the University of Birmingham in central England were at least 1,370 years old, which would make them one of the earliest written forms of the Islamic holy book in existence.
The university said for years it had been misbound with leaves of a similar Koran manuscript which dated from the late seventh century.
The manuscript was part of the university's collection of 3,000 Middle Eastern documents which was acquired in the 1920s by Alphonse Mingana, a Chaldean priest born near Mosul in Iraq.
Muslim scholars said the discovery, along with similar recent finds and studies in Europe, would help academics piece together the development of the manuscript into its modern form.