In this survey of Torah scroll sheets, the emphasis is on the word sheets. But what about the oldest extant complete Torah scrolls? Note that Torah scrolls were (and still are) formed from individual sheets sewn together, one after the other, so that the final product contains the entire Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy) in a single artifact.

The oldest extant complete Torah scroll is the Bologna scroll, housed in the Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, dated via radiocarbon to c. 1190 C.E. In a library catalog from 1889, this scroll was mistakenly dated to the 17th century. Mauro Perani (Bologna) “rediscovered” the scroll in 2013, realized that the document was much older, and arranged for the radiocarbon testing. The complete scroll reaches 120 feet and is written on sheepskin.

The oldest complete Torah scroll still in use is in Biella, Italy, and dates via radiocarbon to c. 1250 C.E. Credit for the recognition of the age and importance of this Torah scroll goes to Rabbi Amedeo Spagnoletto, recently appointed rabbi in Florence.