The Dead Sea Scrolls are counted as one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history. They were first uncovered by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947, quite by chance in a cave near Qumran. Since then around eight hundred and seventy documents in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Ancient Greek have been recovered from the area and contain some of the oldest known written versions of the Hebrew Bible. Now it appears as though archaeologists may have found two more scrolls belonging to this extraordinary collection in the Cave of Skulls which is located in the Judean Desert close to the Dead Sea.
Archaeologists embarked on a fresh exploration of the Cave of Skulls in May of 2016 after receiving reports of astonishing Roman and Iron Age manuscripts appearing on the black market. After analyzing some of these manuscripts, the archaeologists were certain that they had originated in the Judean Caves, specifically the Cave of Skulls. This led them on a quest to discover these enormously significant historical artifacts before they could be taken and sold off for profit.
Now they are reporting that they have recovered at least two important scrolls from the cave, but as of yet, the two scrolls have not been properly deciphered. The reason for this is that the writing is so faint and researchers at the Hebrew University and the Israel Antiquities Authority are still not sure whether the language is Hebrew, Aramaic or perhaps a different archaic dialect. While the looters may have given the academics an important clue about these long-lost Biblical scrolls, they have made life very difficult for the research team currently on the ground. It is known that looters have raided these incredibly important historical caves for centuries and have used them as a hiding place for raided goods as well as a source of precious historical artifacts. This means that discerning the providence of documents recovered from these caves is an enormously difficult task. While many people are hoping that these tiny, elusive fragments of parchment could shed some light on the life of Jesus Christ, the academics’ primary concern is undoing some of the damage caused by centuries of looting. “The most important thing that can come out of these fragments is if we can connect them with other documents that were looted from the Judean Desert, and that have no known provenance, “said Dr. Uri Davidovich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.