After 60 years of discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls, an archaeology mission has found what is believed to be the 12th cave containing secrets to the scrolls. However, looters have gone first and took the scrolls, leaving only storage jars, cloth and leather wraps for archaeologists and historians to find.
The people behind the unearthing considered their excavation as one of the most important discoveries after six decades. Archeologist Oren Gutfeld and his team told Travel and Leisure that, "There's no doubt to the conclusion that we have the 12th Qumran scroll cave."
The cave they were in might be dated back to the Second Temple period and contained the scrolls until thieves took them. There were evidences like two modern iron pickaxe heads left in the caves, which made the Gutfeld think the looters took the scrolls and left everything else in the cave with haste.
"I imagine they came into the tunnel. They found the scroll jars. They took the scrolls," Gutfeld said in an interview with BBC News. "They even opened the scrolls and left everything around, the textiles, the pottery."
The team found a parchment that was used in writing the scrolls among the ancient earthenware. The BBC also reported that Gutfeld and the group even found a seal made from carnelian which further proves that people once lived in the cave.
Gutfeld considered the discovery a first among the many yet findings they'll have in the future. The Dead Sea Scrolls hold a collection of nearly a thousand manuscripts dating from the 8th century. They are the world's oldest preserved biblical manuscripts containing text from Hebrew Scriptures, Book of Enoch, Wisdom of Sirach, Psalms 152-155 and many more.
A Bedouin shepherd named Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousins Jum'a Muhammed and Khalil Musa, discovered the seven of the scrolls in 1947 in a cave now known to all as the Qumran site.