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Holy Sikh Work Older Than Thought

September 24, 2002

LONDON (AP) _ The British Library said its copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy work of the Sikh faith, is far older than previously thought, making it the most ancient copy held outside India.

The library said Monday its copy of the tome, previously thought to be 100 years old, in fact dates from between 1660 and 1675.

That means it was printed not long after the original Guru Granth Sahib was compiled in 1604. The scripture contains verses by the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, and other Sikh gurus and saints.

``This find will be of great significance to the 21 million Sikhs worldwide, as well as particularly important to the 500,000 Sikhs in Britain,″ said Graham Shaw, head of the library’s Asia, Pacific and African collections.

The discovery at the British Library was made by Dr. Jeevan Deol, of St. John’s College, Cambridge, during a project to catalog Punjabi manuscripts. The library’s scripture was purchased in 1884 by the British Museum from the Rev. A. Fisher, a missionary in Amritsar, a city in Punjab, the mostly Sikh region of northern India.

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