Another Dead Sea Scroll cave has been explored - what did they find?
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Archaeologists have explored another Dead Sea Scroll cave in the Qumran cliffs of the West Bank. The cavern is the twelfth such cave in which ancient Hebrews stored jars of scrolls.
Archaeologists are searching for new fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls to better understand the world at the time of Christ.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The twelfth Dead Sea Scroll cave has finally been explored, and scholars discovered evidence that ancient scrolls were stored in that cave. Unfortunately, the cave had been previously looted, so only a small number of artifacts were found.
Scholars discovered a jar containing a parchment fragment that appeared to be incomplete. They found no scrolls. Instead, they discovered remnants of iron pickaxes likely used by Bedouin looters in the 1950s.
In addition to the jar with the fragment, there were bits of cloth, animal sinew, and skin used in the process of wrapping the scrolls. It is obvious that at one time the cave was home to a significant number of jars and their documents. Tragically, they all appear to be lost to history.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are actually about 981 manuscripts dating back to the time of Christ. The ancient scrolls were wrapped and stored in jars in a series of caves in the West Bank. In 1946, the first scrolls were discovered by accident. The scrolls are most famous for containing early versions of Biblical texts. In addition to Biblical books, the scrolls also contained legal documents and other manuscripts.
Fragments of broken jars discovered in the 12th cave. Unfortunately, looters raided the site in the 1950s.
The scrolls are a primary source that provides an insight into the world during the time of Christ. The oldest scroll dates to about 400 B.C., and the newest one about 300 A.D.
A graphic showing the Dead Sea Scroll caves. Archaeologists hope there are more.
While no new scrolls were discovered in the twelfth cave, the excavation suggests to archaeologists that there could still be other caves, yet undiscovered and still filled with their scrolls. So far, no such caves have been announced.
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