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Twin sisters Agnes and Margaret Smith, born in 1843, broke societal barriers and were responsible for one of the most important ancient discoveries. Raised with an unconventional upbring­ing, the sisters mastered several languages, traveled extensively, married late in life, and caused scandal exercising in their yard in their bloomers.

But the sisters electrified the world with their 1892 camel caravan to Africa where they visited the ancient mountaintop monas­tery of St. Catherine’s and there identified and photographed one of the oldest Gospels ever found.

The sisters had no degrees and no titles, but their extraordinary adventures rocked British society. They learned of a dark closet at St. Catherine’s filled with ancient texts, and it was there that Agnes Smith identified and photographed the manuscript.

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