Experts have described as "exciting" the discovery of a fragment of a medieval manuscript which is said to bear a 'striking resemblance' to the Book of Kells.
It is thought that the fragments which were discovered in the spine of a book a German library could have come from the same authors as the iconic manuscript that is housed in Trinity College Dublin.
Scholars who are examining the finding say it shows that there were other manuscripts of the same scale as 'The Book of Kells' being made at around the same time.
The keeper of Manuscripts at TCD Bernard Meehan says he was 'genuinely excited' by the discovery.
He said the finding suggests the belief held by many in this area that something as advanced and expert as the Book of Kells does not stand alone.
The fragments were discovered in the spine of a book and were probably used as stuffing for the binding.
Professor in History, Paleography and Celtic at the University of Aberdeen, David Dumville, who assembled an international team of scholars to analyse scans of the fragments said that manuscripts were often chopped up and reused once they were no longer useful or did not fit with the predominant religious taste of the time.
"Fragments do turn up quite regularly, but this find is something special".
The team is now trying to discover what if any relationship this fragment may have with the Book of Kells.