Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text found in a desert cave believed hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome nearly 1900 years ago.
The fragments of parchment bear lines of Greek text from the books of Zechariah and Nahum and have been radiocarbon dated to the 2nd century AD, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority.
They are the first new scrolls found in archaeological excavations in the desert south of Jerusalem in 60 years.
The new pieces are believed to belong to a set of parchment fragments found in a site known as ‘‘The Cave of Horror’’ – named for the 40 human skeletons found there during excavations in the 1960s – that also bear a Greek rendition of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
BREAKING: Israel Finds New Dead Sea Scroll, First Such Discovery in 60 Years.
Written mainly in Greek, the newly unveiled Dead Sea Scroll contains portions of the book of the 12 minor prophets. (HAARETZ) pic.twitter.com/sRx0v07hpl
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) March 16, 2021
The cave is in a remote canyon in the Judean Desert south of Jerusalem.
The fragments are believed to have been stashed away in the cave during the Bar Kochba Revolt, an armed Jewish uprising against Rome during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, between 132AD and 136AD.
The artefacts were found during an operation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Judean Desert to find scrolls and other artefacts to prevent possible plundering.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of Jewish texts found in desert caves in the West Bank near Qumran in the 1940s and 1950s, date from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD.
They include the earliest known copies of biblical texts and documents outlining the beliefs of a little-understood Jewish sect.