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Dead Sea Scrolls

Early in 1947, a Bedouin shepherd boy of the Ta’amireh tribe was tending his flock of sheep and goats in the desert area of Qumran. He noticed a few of the goats were missing, so began to search amid the limestone cliffs that line the north-western rim of the Dead Sea about 40km from Jerusalem.Spying a cave in the cleft of a steep rocky hillside, he cast a stone into the dark interior and heard something shatter. Intrigued, he went to investigate with his cousin. After clambering up the cliff they entered the cave and found a cache of large clay jars, some of which were shattered and some that were still intact, even with lids in place. Could these ancient jars hold treasure?The scrolls are known today as the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were part of an ancient library and belonged to a Jewish religious sect called the Essenes. They lived in a commune at Qumran along the shores of the Dead Sea about 2,000 years ago. They spent their lives copying out the Scriptures, commentaries and other works by hand.

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