For the first time in over 60 years, fragments from a scroll have been found in a cave in the Dead Sea region. The scroll contains portions of the book of the 12 minor prophets, including text from Zechariah and Nahum written mainly in Greek, with the name of God is written in Hebrew. It may be a missing part of the Minor Prophets scroll which was discovered in 1952. The new fragments were discovered in the “Cave of Horror” in Nahal Hever, where over 24 human skeletons were previously discovered. In addition to the scroll fragments, the surveyors also found a cache of coins from time of the Bar Kochba revolt, the mummified remains of a child, and what may prove to be the world’s oldest basket. These discoveries were made as part of a national search to find ancient artifacts in the Dead Sea region before looters do.
Dr. Randall Price, an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and one of the men behind the discovery of the new Dead Sea Scroll cave in 2017, provided the following helpful commentary on the recent announcement: “These texts, though called ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ because of their being found in a cave in the Dead Sea region, are not to be confused with those scholars believe were collected, produced and preserved by the Jewish Community at Qumran…The scroll fragments found at Nahal Hever are from a later period and a different Jewish community….Aside from the historical and religious value such finds have for the academic community, this announcement comes as a continuing reminder of the treasures that remain in hiding in the many caves of the Dead Sea region and the urgent need for archaeologists to recover these materials before they are lost forever to local looters.”
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