Amazing New Dead Sea scrolls cave discovered in Judean Desert
2 Storage jar with scrolls found deep in the cave
After excavating deeper into the cave, archaeologists found an intact storage jar with scrolls inside. The scrolls were immediately taken to the Hebrew University’s conservation lab to be opened for deciphering in a protected environment. However the scroll did not reveal any writing because it was an empty one being prepared for writing.
Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea Scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran. Now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave,” said Dr. Oren Gutfeld, one of the project’s lead archaeologists. The blank scroll will serve a he purpose in helping to detect forgeries through assessment and analysis of parchment used for the purpose.
3 An 18 feet tunnel reveals a tragic truth
The excavation wasn’t fruitless. A 16 feet tunnel revealed another area with jars that had their lids broken. Even the leather straps used to bind the scrolls lay on the floor. Unfortunately, this was highly suggestive of organized loot where thieves had looted the scrolls and left behind the pottery as well as the minor artifacts.
According to Dr Oren Gutfeld, the caves were possibly looted sometime in 1950. Evidence to that effect lay in the form of Pick axes that the team found lying abandoned in the cave. The scrolls were undoubtedly off loaded in the antiquity black market.
4 Hundreds of caves exist in Qumran yet to be excavated
Dr. Oren Gutfeld believes that this could well be the first in a series of discoveries being the new Dead Sea scrolls cave. Researchers are now
planning to take up the mammoth task of surveying all possible locations and hundreds of caves in Qumran in the Judean desert. Researchers are optimistic that new caves will certainly be discovered with new material that will shed even more light on the scrolls discovered till date.
The new excavation will be part of ‘Operation Scroll’ a joint effort by Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, the Israel antiquities authority, the civil administration of Judea and Samaria and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.