Friday, June 22, 2012


After our stop in Jericho, we went to Qumran, an archaeological site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and are, what they believe to be the earliest surviving documents of biblical text. The texts themselves were written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.  After their discovery in 1947, the search for more scrolls began.  Over the next couple years, many more fragments were discovered.  The fragments/scrolls were written on parchment and some on papyrus. The site is located in the West Bank near the Dead Sea.  Some scholars believe that the Qumran ruins were where the Jewish sect, the Essenes lived.  They have found cemeteries (1,200 tombs have been found), Jewish ritual baths, cisterns, and hundreds of scrolls.  However, there is an archaeological debate as to whether the scrolls were written by the Essenes or that they were brought from Jerusalem.  One argument is that the theological doctrine does not match the Essenes according to documentation by Josephus. 
This site was amazing to see and to think that the scrolls were discovered fairly recently shocks me.  Later on in our trip, we were able to go to the Israel Museum and see some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Pictures by Chloe Cooper and Aaron Harrison
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