THE FASCINATING SAGA OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS CONTINUES
The recent announcement by archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the Hebrew University that a 12th cave had been found at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, raises hope that it may be possible to eventually recover additional texts from the Judean Desert.
Explorations by Bedouin and archaeologists between 1947 and 1956 led to the recovery of scrolls or manuscript fragments from 11 caves in the immediate vicinity of Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. The new cave has been numbered Qumran Cave 12. All of the caves are adjacent to the ruins of an ancient sectarian settlement inhabited between about 100 BCE and 68 CE. This site was apparently the communal and ritual center for a group of sectarian Jews, identified by many scholars with the Essenes described by the first-century CE Jewish historian Josephus. This group lived a life of purity and religious devotion and gathered the more than 900 scrolls that in their present fragmentary condition constitute the collection we term the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are divided more or less evenly… Continue reading
Looters plundered the cave decades ago. But archaeologists are thrilled by what they left behind. Here’s why.
The discovery of a twelfth cave associated with the famous Dead Sea Scrolls may arm scholars with new clues to deter looters and detect modern forgeries of the ancient documents.
Earlier this week archaeologists announced the discovery of the cave—the first scroll site found since 1956—and revealed the results of recent excavations. The Israeli team found numerous storage jars that had been hidden in niches cut into the cave walls, but all were broken and their contents removed.
Read the rest of this article at National Geographic.
The period following the Maccabean Revolt ushered in tremendous expansion in the city of Jerusalem and even on the Har Habayit (Temple Mount). Jerusalem expanded westward to include the area known as the Upper City and a combination of enlargement and refurbishing of the enclosure of the Har Habayit resulted as well. As a result, Jerusalem in this period once again became a prosperous and beautiful city. But to understand these important developments, it is necessary first to know what happened in the aftermath of the re-conquest of the city and Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple) under Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee in the revolt of 168-164 BCE.
Read the rest of this article from The Jewish World.