Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dead Sea Scrolls

Fragments of the scrolls on display at the Archeological Museum, AmmanThe Dead Sea Scrolls comprise roughly 600 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible, discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea). The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they are practically the only remaining Biblical documents dating from before AD 100.

According to carbon dating and textual analysis, the documents were written at various times between the middle of the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. At least one document has a carbon date range of 21 BC–AD 61. The Nash Papyrus from Egypt, containing a copy of the Ten Commandments, is the only other Hebrew document of comparable antiquity. Similar written materials have been recovered from nearby sites, including the fortress of Masada.


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