The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Ancient Ten Commandments Scroll on Display in Times Square

By Tom Liddy | December 18, 2011 2:46pm

MANHATTAN — In a rare glimpse at ancient history, a more-than 2,000-year-old copy of the Ten Commandments is on display in Times Square.

The document, part of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered in caves near the shore of the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956, is the oldest known text of the Commandments in the world on parchment, according to Discovery Times Square, which is hosting the exhibit.

The document, which dates to between 50 BCE and 1 BCE, is better preserved and more complete than the Nash Papyrus on display Cambridge University Library, which is slightly older.

Those texts are the only surviving examples of the Commandments until 1,000 AD, Discovery said.

Some scholars believe the Commandments and Dead Sea scrolls were written by a members of a Jewish sect who broke away and lived in the desert until their community was destroyed by the Romans.

The scroll, made out of animal skin, is so fragile that it will only be on display until Jan. 2.

Further information about the exhibit can be found here.