The area around the Dead Sea is a desolate place. Here, undisturbed for two thousand years, a great treasure was found. Parchment and papyrus scrolls and fragments that came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Between 1947 and 1956, researchers and Bedouins scoured the Dead Sea area—finding literally tens of thousands of scroll fragments of all sizes in the caves near Qumran. Over ten different caves were found to hold these ancient treasures. The caves had acted much like a library, storing thousands of texts. Some scrolls were of considerable size, some were in Hebrew, others were in Aramaic or Greek. In addition to numerous copies of the Hebrew Bible, many commentaries and other texts were found. Significantly, almost every text found at Qumran expands our understanding of the literary genre to which it belongs. The Dead Sea Scrolls—perhaps the most important archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. Make your own discovery—engage with the Bible.
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