Blog Archives

Hebrew University Archaeologists Find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave

Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12.

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Archaeologists to Dig at Masada, After 11-Year Hiatus

For the first time in over a decade, archaeologists are commencing new excavations atop Masada, studying previously untouched areas of the legendary desert mountain fortress, including the residences of Jewish rebels who met their doom in 74 CE.

A Tel Aviv University team, headed by Roman-period archaeologist Guy Stiebel,

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New Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Found in Judean Desert

New fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been found in the Cave of the Skulls by the Dead Sea in Israel, in a salvage excavation by Israeli authorities. The pieces are small and the writing on them is too faded to make out without advanced analysis. At this stage the archaeologists aren’t even sure if they’re written in ancient Hebrew,

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3D ‘Unwrapping’ Tools Let Scientists Read Ein Gedi Scroll

New software tools have enabled scientists to read an ancient, damaged Hebrew scroll without ever unfurling the fragile, disintegrating parchment.

The digitization techniques, known as “volume cartography,” transformed what were the charred remains of the nearly 2,000-year-old En-Gedi scroll into legible columns of handwritten text from the book of Leviticus,

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Israel Says Palestinians May Try to Claim Dead Sea Scrolls

Officials in Jerusalem are concerned that the Palestinians will make a formal approach to UNESCO demanding a return of the historic Dead Sea Scrolls, considered among Israel’s most important archaeological holdings.
During a meeting of the UN’s cultural agency last month, UNESCO officials told Eitan Klein, a deputy director of the Israel Antiquities Authority,

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25 New ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Revealed

More than 25 previously unpublished “Dead Sea Scroll” fragments, dating back 2,000 years and holding text from the Hebrew Bible, have been brought to light, their contents detailed in two new books.

The various scroll fragments record parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Ruth,

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1500 Year Old Stables Discovered at Ovdat National Park

In archaeological excavations at Ovdat conducted by the Antiquities authority and DePaul University and funded by a Fulbright scholarship, members of the Negev Mountain Field School discovered a meter-thick layer in a structure which confirmed unequivocally that sheep and donkeys had existed here in ancient periods.

The definitive identification of the stable came from a thick layer of organic materials (donkey and sheep dung) on the floor of the structure.

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6 Millennia Old But ‘Almost Fresh,’ Masada Seeds Unravel Barley’s Origins

Barley seeds, dated to 6,000 years ago, have become the oldest plant genome to be sequenced, an international team of researchers announced in a journal article published Monday. Analysis of the 6,000-year-old cereals supports the hypothesis that the key crop was domesticated thousands of years ago in the Jordan Valley.

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National Plan to Save Dead Sea Scrolls from Thieves

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in cooperation with the Heritage Project in the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, and together with the Minister of Culture and Sport, MK Miri Regev, is promoting a national plan for comprehensive archaeological excavations in the Judean Desert caves, and rescuing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the earliest texts written in the Hebrew language.

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Archaeologists Discover Unprecedented Fabric Collection Dating to Kings David, Solomon

The excavation – carried out at the ancient copper mines of Timna, and led by Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef – revealed the 3,000-year-old collection of textiles, which included diverse colors, design and origin, the university announced. The area of the dig, located between the Dead Sea and Eilat,

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New Tools for the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

70 years after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the entire corpus of ancient work, including all of the minute fragments, will be available to researchers as well as the public via the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scroll Digital Library under a new joint project that is being carried out by antiquities researchers and computer science technicians.

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Historical Sites Near Kalia at the Dead Sea

Rujum al Bachar This is a small peninsula on the northern shore of the Dead Sea with remains of a dry dock, a tower and settlement from various periods of antiquity.

Kalia Hotel In the 1940’s during the British Mandate in Palestine,

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Roman-Era Canal System Unearthed Near Dead Sea

An ancient canal system used 2,000 years ago to irrigate terraced agricultural plots has been unearthed at an excavation near the Roman-era fortress Metzad Bokek in southern Israel conducted jointly by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The area of the Dead Sea Valley in question,

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New Texts Found in ‘Dead Sea Scroll’ Caves

An archaeologist says he discovered nine tiny scrolls with biblical text from the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed, according to news reports.

The newfound scrolls, which date back to about 2,000 years ago, were hidden inside three leather tefillin cases, also known as phylacteries,

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The Dead Sea in the Bible

The Primordial Sea, the Plains Sea, the Salt Sea – these are but a few of the names of the Dead Sea, which features in narratives throughout religious history. Below is an overview of the sources where the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley are mentioned and the historical events that took place there.

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The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive – “A Promise to Masada”

A film has been uploaded to the virtual cinema site of the Spielberg Archive depicting the agricultural development of the first settlements along the Dead Sea…rarely seen historical footage of the area!

The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, located at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University on Mount Scopus,

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Cores Reveal When Dead Sea ‘Died’

Sediments drilled from beneath the Dead Sea reveal that this most remarkable of water bodies all but disappeared 120,000 years ago. It is a discovery of high concern say scientists because it demonstrates just how dry the Middle East can become during Earth’s warm phases.

A consortium of investigators from Israel,

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What Do You Know About the Dead Sea Scrolls?


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Archaeologists Explore Two Mysterious Caves Near the Dead Sea

Hidden within desert desolation near the Dead Sea region of Ein Gedi, Israel, are two caves that at least one archaeologist suggests may possibly contain what remains of the lost archive of the Jewish Second Temple. The famous temple became one of King Herod’s greatest architectural achievements and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.

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1,500 Year Old Tombstone from Zoar, Near the Dead Sea

Approximately 1,500 years after a Jewish woman died in the ancient city of Zoar, near the southern edge of the Dead Sea, her tombstone ended up in a church’s museum in a small California city near Sacramento.

Now, thanks to the generosity of that church’s pastor and board,

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