Dead Sea Scrolls have always captured the imagination of people across the world. The discovery of these scrolls have given many a peak of what transpired in history. These scrolls from Judaean Desert sites go back to 8th century BCE.
In what comes as significant discovery is the recent discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls. The archaeologists have found a new cave with ancient storage jars and lids. There has been a lull in discovery of these scrolls for the past 60 years.
The Looters And The Mystery Of Dead Sea Scrolls
The discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls have been marred by looters who endanger these artifacts and sell it off at a hefty price. In a recent development, an Israeli team found a twelfth cave with clues dating back to some unanswered questions from history.
The items discovered were leather scroll ties, textiles for wrapping scrolls. And also a pair of rusty pickaxes. There is a clear indication that these were some of the items left behind and the looters took off the documents may be ages ago. Hebrew University archaeologist and excavation director Oren Gutfeld says, “The findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen.”
Looters make big money by selling the parchments from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most of the parchments contain earliest surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible. Some of these date back to over 2000 years.
The First Dead Sea Scrolls
The first Dead Sea Scrolls were seen by Bedouin shepherds in a cave near Khirbet Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in late 1946 or early 1947. This discovery was the beginning of a long journey of discovering more scrolls.
A lot of forged documents have found its way into the art market. A professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University, Lawrence Schiffman has something to say. He says, “Many of the fragments that entered the market since 2002 appear to be forged,” reports National Geographic.
Global efforts are on to make sure that there is a controlled way to go about the excavations to not allow looters to tamper anymore with historic documents. The archeologists do not have high hopes of finding any explosive document. Schiffman says that there is not much hope of finding any “diary of the three wise men. But they could still get their hands on passages of the New Testament or Talmudic literature.”