By Tony Winterburn • 16 March 2021 • 21:40
Israeli Experts Make Amazing Discovery Of 2,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Scrolls. image: Pexels
Israeli Experts Make Amazing Discovery Of 2,000-Year-Old Dead Sea Scrolls.
Israeli researchers have unveiled dozens of newly discovered Dead Sea Scroll fragments containing biblical texts dating back nearly 2,000 years, adding to the body of artefacts that have shed light on the history of Judaism, early Christian life and ancient humankind.
The parchment fragments, ranging from just a few millimetres to a thumbnail in size, are the first in about 60 years to have been unearthed in archaeological excavations in the Judean Desert. They were found as part of a four-year Israeli national project to prevent further looting of antiquities from the remote caves and crevices of the desert east and southeast of Jerusalem, which straddles the boundary of Israel and the occupied West Bank.
The project turned up many other rare and historic finds, including a large woven basket with a lid that has been dated to approximately 10,500 years ago and may be the oldest such intact basket in the world. The archaeologists also found a 6,000-year-old, partially mummified skeleton of a child buried in the fetal position and wrapped in a cloth.
The fragments of the biblical texts are believed to have been stashed away in a cave during an armed Jewish uprising against Rome.
What are the Dead Sea Scrolls and are they important?
The Dead Sea scrolls, a collection of Jewish texts found in desert caves in the West Bank near Qumran in the 1940s and 1950s, date from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD. They include the earliest known copies of biblical texts and documents outlining the beliefs of a little-understood Jewish sect.
The 900 or so manuscripts that survived in caves near the site have shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible and the actual origins of Christianity.
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