Just recently, archeologists reported an important discovery. They found a new Dead Sea Scrolls cave, the 12th of its kind. This was detected in Israel, near Qumran.
The Dead Sea Scrolls is the name given to a collection of manuscripts. They include about 981 different manuscripts. They were discovered in the Qumran Caves.
The first eleven caves were detected in between 1946-1947 and in 2017. A 12th cave was uncovered earlier this month. The Dead Sea Scrolls is also a narrower version for the Qumran Caves Scrolls.
It is believed that the Dead Sea Scrolls cave may have held manuscripts until the 20th century. By mid-century, most such documents were stolen.
This latest find was detected in the same area. The cave is located near Qumran, Israel. According to the researchers, they found several material remains. These included leather straps, cloth, and jars.
They are believed to be related to the scrolls. The jars could have held them. Whilst the leather straps and cloth could have been wrapped around and bound them.
The Dead Sea Scrolls present copies of various documents. For example, the Hebrew Bible. And also the community rules and regulations. Or their astronomical texts and calendars.
Recovered scrolls came from various sources. Some were discovered by Bedouin, that later sold them. Or they were found by archeologists.
Presently, this latest Dead Sea Scrolls cave revealed no manuscripts. Instead, it held a blank scroll roll. The involved archeologists offered a potential explanation for these discoveries.
According to them, the cave was probably robbed. They found traces of pickaxes and other such tools. As such, any written scroll must probably have been taken.
And research believes that the blank scroll was close to having a similar fate. Back in ancient times, this could have been close to being used.
Oren Gutfeld released a statement. He is the excavation director. And also a Hebrew University Institute of Archeology archeologist.
“Although, at the end of the day, no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contains scrolls that were stolen.”
Scroll fragments can be found all over the world. Some are in museums. Others in private collections. And according to the researchers, they may even originate from this 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave.
“Finding this additional scroll cave means that we can no longer be certain that the original locations attributed to the Dead Sea scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins are accurate”. This is according to the same Gutfeld. The original locations are Caves 1 to 11, discovered in the 20th century.
This recent discovery can be attributed to a small step in a larger plan. The Israel Antiquities Authority launched a big project.
It is currently trying to detect and excavate undiscovered caves. This plan is being carried out throughout the Judean dessert. Authorities believe that the area may still house undiscovered archeological remains.
Israel Hasson also released a declaration. He is the Israel Antiquity Authority. “The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Dessert, and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered”.
The discovery of this latest Dead Sea Scrolls cave also points out another fact. Such archeological treasures need to be found before looters can get to them.
Hasson completed this idea as follows. “We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain.”
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