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Archaeologists search for the last Dead Sea Scrolls in the Cave of the Skulls from Ayman's blog

Archaeologists search for the last Dead Sea Scrolls in the Cave of the Skulls

The Israel Antiquities Authority have initiated comprehensive archaeological excavations in the Judean Desert caves, in order to find the last Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the earliest texts written in the Hebrew language.

The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Heritage Project have initiated excavations in the Judean Desert Caves to save the scrolls from being robbed.

“For years now our most important heritage and cultural assets have been excavated illicitly and plundered in the Judean Desert caves for reasons of greed. The goal of the national plan that we are advancing is to excavate and find all of the scrolls that remain in the caves, once and for all, so that they will be rescued and preserved by the state”, said Israel Hasson director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The Cave of Skulls, where the excavation is taking place, is located about 80 meters from the top of the cliff, and c. 250 m above the base of the wadi.

Because of the difficulty in reaching the site, the Israel Antiquities Authority obtained a special permit from the Nature and Parks Authority to construct an access trail, which requires the use of rappelling equipment for the safety of the participants in the excavation.

An official at the Cave of Skulls

An official at the Cave of Skulls (photo credit: courtesy IAA)

More than 500 volunteers and field personnel from Israel and abroad were required for the undertaking, and they are sleeping and living in a camp in desert field conditions.


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