Dating of dead sea scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest known manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, date from the third century BC to the 1st century AD.

The around 900 scrolls were discovered between 19 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea.

The texts were first discovered in 1947 near modern-day West Bank by a Bedouin shepherd.

"This exciting excavation is the closest we've come to discovering new Dead Sea Scrolls in 60 years.

Thousands of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, from more than 900 manuscripts, have been recovered from 11 different caves at Qumran, but only a relatively small number of those fragments were found during organized excavations.

Over the past 15 years, researchers noticed an increasing number of what they believed were scroll fragments appearing on the private art and antiquities market.

The cave discovered west of Qumran in the occupied West Bank contained no manuscripts, but there is ample evidence of their earlier presence.

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First discovered outside Jerusalem in the late 1940s, this ancient collection of texts includes the oldest known biblical manuscripts, dating back some 2,000 years.

But the discovery of a twelfth cave in the Judean desert cements a longstanding belief among archaeologists that looters stole the artifacts in the mid-1900s, referencing pick ax heads found deep inside a tunnel at the new cave's rear as proof.

Hidden along the cave's walls, excavators found numerous broken jars and lids.

An antiquities dealer bought the cache, which ultimately ended up in the hands of various scholars who estimated that the texts were upwards of 2,000 years old.

After word of the discovery got out, Bedouin treasure hunters and archaeologists unearthed tens of thousands of additional scroll fragments from 10 nearby caves; together they make up between 800 and 900 manuscripts.Among the other findings were fragments of scroll wrappings, leather and string.

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