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The Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran Caves

Qumran is just one among the archaeological sites in which manuscripts were found between 1947 and 1977. In fact, manuscripts were found in other Dead Sea‘s sites too. Here is the list of places where the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls were found:

  1. Papiri Wadi Daliyeh: about 15 kilometers north of Jericho, papyri were discovered in several caves since 1962 and dated from the fourth century BC. These are legal documents in Aramaic belonged to a group of people fleeing the destruction of Samaria in 331 BC
  2. Qumran manuscripts: inside eleven caves were concealed documents in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The caves are part of the so-called ruins of Qumran (Khirbet Qumran) on the western shore of the Dead Sea. The documents contain biblical texts, apocrypha (some of which were unknown before the discoveries) and texts written by members of the Qumran community, the Essenes.
  3. Masada manuscripts: during the excavations of the Masada Fortress were found documents in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Masada was the place where the rebel jews took refuge during the First Jewish-Roman War against the Romans (66-70 AD). Biblical texts and apocrypha were found.
  4. Murraba’at manuscripts: mostly documents from the period of the Third Jewish-Roman War against the Romans led by Bar Kochba (132-136 AD). These texts are dated to the first century AD, many of which are signed by Bar Kochba himself.
  5. Nahal Hever manuscripts: texts found in the letters cave and in the cave of terror. The documents are divided into two broad categories: the Babata archive (a wealthy Jewish family of Engedi) and documents concerning Bar Kochba.
  6. Wadi Seiyal manuscripts: biblical and legal texts in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Nabataean. Among them there is the famous manuscripts of the twelve prophets.
  7. Manuscripts Nahal Mishmar: the town is known for the discoveries of artifacts of the Chalcolithic period (4500-3000 BC).
  8. Khirbet Mird manuscripts: New Testament’s fragments in Greek and Christian Palestinian Aramaic of the Byzantine and Arab period.

This blog’s section is dedicated to the most famous manuscripts found in the eleven caves at Qumran. The Dead Sea documents are now available for free and online on this site (click here).

Simone Venturini


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