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Questions about the Middle East

When were the Dead Sea Scrolls found, and by who? Where are they now? Were they ever deciphered?

Dr. dig responds:

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the winter of 1946 or 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd named Mohammed edh-Dhib, who was looking for his lost goat. In his search, he came across a cave where he found several nearly-complete scrolls hidden in clay jars. The ancient scrolls contained text from the Old Testament, and they were written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.

Most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are located at two sites in Israel. One is the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, which is under the authority of the Israel Antiquities Authority and for which access is grated only to certified researchers. The other is the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in West Jerusalem. Additional scrolls are found in the Amman Archaeological Museum in Jordan, and several fragments are in the French National Library in Paris and in the hands of private collectors.


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