Archaeologists found another dead sea cave which may host invaluable Biblical manuscripts.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – The story about the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls dates back to the late forties, when a group of teenagers exploring the hills of Wadi Qumran, stumbled upon a cave. Little did they know that the cave contained a treasure so valuable, that researchers can’t even begin to quantify it. The cave discovered by the adolescents will be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls Cave – called this way after scientists unearthed dozens of scrolls and manuscripts from the early days of Judaism and Christianity.
And recently, a team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University and the Liberty University of Virginia might have discovered another Dead Sea cave which probably contained similar documents. Note that since the archaeological digs began in the late forties, 11 Dead Sea caves were discovered, each of them contained a bounty of Biblical documents.
So far, the scientists retrieved over 800 documents from 11 caves. Most of the documents were of papyrus, but others were made of forged copper and even animal skin. Carbon dating reveals that all the documents retrieved from the Dead Sea Cave are at least 2,000 years old. Their contents are invaluable since they can broaden our understanding of the Bible.
And now, Oren Gutfeld, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, announced that his team identified another cave that might contain precious manuscripts. According to Gutfeld, the area where the 12th Dead Sea Scroll cave was identified has been searched since 1993, but this is the first time they were able to mount a large-scale archaeological excavation.
Gutfeld said that the cave contained several lids and storage jars dating to the Second Temple period, a rusty pickaxe, which was left there probably in the late fifties, and another jar containing a manuscript.
The presence of the pickaxe indicates that the cave must have contained manuscripts at some point, but they are long gone. As the lead archaeologist pointed out, tomb raiding has become a troublesome trend all over the world, leading to the disappearance of treasures such as this one.
The manuscript found in the jar is currently being translated. As for the cave’s content, researchers have no way of telling for sure what was stolen and when it was stolen. However, taking into account the fact that the recently discovered cave is very similar to the other, it’s safe to assume that it must have contained, at one point, some Dead Sea scrolls.
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