Researchers at the Hebrew University in Israel made an astounding discovery. After performing excavations in a cave near the cliffs of the Dead Sea, they found traces of the possible presence of a new Dead Sea Scroll.
They did not find the Scroll per se, but they discovered evidence of its presence there until last century, when it most likely had been stolen by Bedouins. This raises the number of discovered Dead Sea Scrolls to 12 and it comes more than 60 years after the last discovery.
The first Scroll was discovered in the 1940s in the Judean deserts, somewhere around the hills of Wadi Qumran. Then, 10 more scrolls have been discovered until now. They are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old and are the second oldest known manuscripts to survive.
They are supposed to provide a better insight and understanding of the biblical texts. Thus, the discovery of the scrolls has both a historical and a religious importance. The majority of the text is written in Hebrew, but some passages are in ancient Greek.
To get a better grasp of their importance, Liberty University reported that the scrolls were so valuable that even a small bit the size of a fingernail would be priced around $1 million.
The excavation was led by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Dr. Ahiad Ovadia from the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They also collaborated with Liberty University in Georgia, U.S.
Thus, they revealed that the cave hosted a scroll, but it was most likely pillaged by Bedouins. The evidence that suggested the presence of the scroll included empty jars where the scroll must have been preserved, leather straps for binding, pieces of skin, and a cloth used for wrapping.
However, they found a piece of parchment which was rolled up in a jug whose writing they would analyze. No actual scroll was found, but the researchers deemed the excavation a success. They found valuable information regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Together with the other findings, they spotted piece of pickaxe blade that brought them to the conclusion that the scroll was looted. The remains showed them that the theft had occurred quite recently.
The authorities of Israel antiquities are positive that more vestiges await their discovery. They have requested more funding and will soon perform new excavations in the Judean deserts.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons