Hidden away in the caves of Qumran, on the shore of the Dead Sea, lays one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.
The Dead Sea Scrolls refer to ancient biblical manuscripts that date back to the 4th century BC. These parchments contain many of the earliest versions of Christian and Jewish biblical texts, making them a priceless historical and religious record.
The manuscripts were stored in clay jars before being concealed in the Qumran caves. Eleven caves were found in the 1940s and 1950s, yielding a total of more than 1400 documents. Now, in the first discovery since that time, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found a twelfth cave. “This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years,” says team leader Dr Oren Gutfeld.
Unfortunately, it appears the cave had been previously looted. According to the Liberty University, just a small fragment of an original scroll can be valued up to $1 million. Scholars believe the discovery proves a lot more remains to be uncovered.