Cambridge University Library

“Kfar Marous,” which translates as “the village of Marous,” appears in large Hebrew letters in a color different from the main text, in the third line of this document fragment. Dating to the 14th century, the document lists tomb locations in Israel. With the help provided by the locations of many of the tomb sites that are well-known today, the author was able to use this information to locate Marous on the ground. On the first day of digging, he found column bases of a synagogue!

This fragment is one of 140,000 documents discovered in the genizah of the thousand-year-old Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo. A genizah is a storage place for unusable books, documents and religious objects.