Egyptian Papyrus Fragment (Second Century B.C.)

    In 1835 the Church acquired papyrus scrolls that had recently been discovered in Egypt. Shortly thereafter, Joseph Smith began translating the book of Abraham, a record of the biblical prophet and patriarch Abraham. After the Latter-day Saints left Nauvoo, the scrolls remained behind and were sold by Joseph Smith’s family to multiple parties in 1856. Historians believe that most of the scrolls may have been destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but 10 fragments ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where Kirtland-era paper was attached to the back side as reinforcement. The fragments were transferred to the Church in 1967.