Israel Reveals Newly Discovered Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls
A Bedouin shepherd got here throughout the primary of the traditional scrolls in 1947. He discovered them saved in jars in a collapse Qumran close to the northern tip of the Dead Sea. Some had been offered to a monastery and others to an antiquities seller in Bethlehem. As soon as their authenticity had been established, archaeological expeditions and antiquity robbers adopted and emptied the caves of no matter they might discover.
However many years later, the Judean Desert nonetheless had extra secrets and techniques to surrender.
Amid indicators that robbers had been nonetheless looking for and hawking artifacts from the world, elements of that are troublesome to achieve and govern, the Israeli authorities determined to hold out a methodical, complete survey of the cliffs, gorges and caves starting in 2017.
“The archaeologists all the time used to chase after the robbers,” mentioned Amir Ganor, who leads the Antiquities Authority’s theft-prevention unit. “We determined it was maybe time to get forward of the robbers.”
Aided by fashionable instruments reminiscent of drones that would search each nook and cranny, three groups made up of 4 individuals every mapped and scoured about 50 miles of cliff face operating the size of the Dead Sea.
Entry to some of the caves would have been simpler in historic instances. Individuals knew find out how to navigate the animal paths, Mr. Ganor mentioned, and as a substitute of rappelling, they’d have used rope ladders for distant caverns. However over 2,000 years, elements of the terrain have collapsed, creating deep chasms.
The West Financial institution was beneath Jordanian management from 1948 till Israel captured the world within the 1967 Center East conflict. It’s now divided between Israeli and partial Palestinian management. However the 1967 boundary didn’t exist in antiquity, Mr. Ganor mentioned, and the archaeologists handled the Judean Desert as one unit for the needs of the survey.
Within the MurabBa’at caves, in what’s now the West Financial institution, the archaeologists turned up a trove of artifacts. That included the basket and a cache of uncommon cash from the times of the Bar Kokhba revolt, minted with Jewish symbols reminiscent of a harp and date palms.
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