(Mirror Daily, United States) – Recently, a team of US and Israeli archaeologists discovered a new cave in the Judean Desert that might have housed valuable manuscripts. The team said that this might be the 12th Dead Sea Scroll cave, but its contents were raided long ago by unknown individuals.
Since the first Dead Sea Scroll cave was discovered in the late forties, approximately 800 documents written on papyrus, animal skins, and forged copper have been retrieved during the excavations.
Oren Gutfeld, the coordinator of a team comprising of archaeologists from the University of Virginia and the Hebrew University, has recently declared that another Dead Sea Scroll cave has been discovered. Despite the fact that the area in which the cave was discovered has been under the looking glass since 1999, Gutfeld said that only now a full-scale excavation has been authorized.
Since the first Dead Sea Scroll cave was discovered back in the forties, the scientists identified 11 similar locations scattered throughout the Judean Desert. The documents retrieved from the caves depict the early version of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, the archaeologists also found Bible commentaries, hymns, community guidelines, astronomical charts, and even battle plans.
Gutfeld stated that this is the most significant archaeological discovery in the last 60 years and that there’s renewed hope of seeing how the earliest versions of religious texts look like. Unfortunately, the team which explored the cave returned, in a way, empty-handed.
The lead archaeologist said that upon exploring the new Dead Sea cave, his team discovered pickaxe which dates back to the early fifties. The presence of the digging tool inside the cave suggests that the location was targeted by looters.
The experts can’t say for sure what the thieves took from the cave, but it would seem that there were no scrolls to be found. Baffling enough, the interior of the cave was very similar to other Dead Sea Scrolls cave, yet the precious treasure was missing.
However, the team discovered some artifacts inside the cave including some pottery which dates back to the Second Temple Period, some flint blades, and a couple of prehistoric arrowheads. The only piece of written material found inside the new Dead Sea Scroll cave was a parchment inside a bottle.
The document was sent to the Hebrew University for translation. Gutfeld hopes that the document retrieved from the cave might provide some clues regarding its contents before it was raided.
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