Fragments of a 2,000-year-old biblical scroll found in Israel – Outstanding archaeological discovery in Israel where fyou remember a 2,000-year-old biblical scroll, the first such discovery since the 1950s. A team from the Israeli Antiquities Authority (Iaa) that has been digging in some since 2017 caves in the desert of Judah found fragments of a scroll in Greek from the period of Bar Kokhba, the man who in the second century AD led the third Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire. The fragments, hidden and protected by the sediments of centuries, contain texts of the prophets Zechariah and Nahum.

The other discoveries

Other extraordinary discoveries were made in a different area of ​​the excavation: coins from the 2nd century AD, the mummified body of a 6,000-year-old girl and an intact 10,000-year-old basket, the oldest of its kind.

The precedent of Qumran

The area where the fragments were found is not far from Qumran, the place where most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found between 1947 and 1956, about 900 documents including books from the Hebrew Bible and texts from the local community, probably Essene , considered the most important archaeological find of the twentieth century. The Dead Sea Scrolls represent the oldest testimony of a biblical text, being dated between 150 BC and 70 AD.

The cave of Horror

The fragments of the scrolls presented to the press were found in the so-called “cave of Horror”, in the Naval Herver reserve. The cave is located 80 meters below the hilltop, is flanked by gorges and can only be reached by abseiling precariously along the sheer cliff. According to archaeologists, it was used nearly 2,000 years ago by Jews fleeing the anti-Roman riots following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. In the fragments, written in Greek, Israeli experts have found and reconstructed 11 lines of text from the book of the prophet Zechariah and a verse from that of Nahum.

Coins of the revolt

In the same area were also found numerous coins dating back to the revolt of Bar Kochba, the “son of the star”, bearing Jewish symbols such as a harp and date palms, and tools such as arrow and spearheads, fabrics, sandals were also found. and even lice combs.

A little girl’s mummy

In the taken of the rocky wall of the same cave, the archaeologists have found the partially mummified skeleton of what looks like a child, wrapped in a cloth, placed in a fetal position. The skeleton was covered with a cloth around the head and chest, similar to a small blanket that appears to have been tucked up “as a parent does with their child in the evening,” they explain from the IAA. Both the skeleton and the fascia were well preserved. A preliminary study of a 6,000-year-old CT scan of the girl, conducted by Dr Hila May of Tel Aviv University, suggests she was 6-12 years old.

The oldest basket in the world

Another find, currently unparalleled anywhere in the world, was discovered in one of the Muraba’at caves in the Nahal Darga Reserve: a huge intact basket with a lid that was also exceptionally well preserved due to the high temperatures and extreme aridity of the region. The basket dates back to the pre-ceramic Neolithic period, about 10,500 years ago and according to experts it is the oldest ever found intact and its importance is therefore immense. The basket had a capacity of 90-100 liters and was apparently used for storage. The find provides fascinating new data on the preservation of products about 1,000 years before the invention of ceramics. The basket is woven from plant material and its weaving method is unusual. It was empty when it was found and only future research of a small amount of soil remaining inside will help archaeologists uncover what it was used for and what was placed inside it. The excavations and findings announced this morning began to prevent the area from being looted by grave robbers and were also carried out with the use of electronic tools, drones and laser scanners.



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