The chance that we might have a first century fragment of the gospel of Mark has recently caught alot of attention (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, add your link in the comments if I missed you). First, I agree with Jim West that caution is the order of the day until more scholars are able to independently examine the manuscript, though from the initial report at least it does not appear to be just a repeat of some apologetic claim such as the one that still circulates around sometimes about the discovery of Mark among the Dead Sea Scrolls (see my post here). Second, against all the hype, lets consider the possibility of what a discovery of a first century fragment would mean for the guild: 1) although there is the occasional scholarship on the fringe that wants to date the gospel of Mark well into the second century or even after Bar Kochba (H. Detering, R. Price), there is good reason already on the external and internal evidence to date Mark to the first century with the consensus dating from the mid-late 60s or early 70s (though for earlier dating, cf. E.E. Ellis, R. Gundry, M. Casey, J. Crossley); 2) Mark is pretty weakly attested with the oldest manuscript evidence is the third century Chester Beatty papyri (p45) so I would be interested in knowing about the provenance of the manuscript as maybe a clue on who was actually reading Mark whether in the late first or in the second century. Lets wait and see how this one turns out.