So far I've introduced the
- Dead Sea and its environs,
- the cliff-caves at Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found),
- the ruins of the residential complex (Khirbet Qumran),
- and the keepers of the scrolls (i.e., presumably the Essene Jews).
- salted microbes,
- receding shorelines,
- earth-sucking sinkholes,
- Sons of Extravagant Metaphors,
- and rooms that start with a “D.”
All in all, it sounds a bit like a game of Jeopardy running riot in the Holy Land. Now let's tackle everything from broken letters and squashed crocodile eggs to Abraham Lincoln or, as he is better known to respected historians worldwide, Abey-Baby. Follow my posts and you'll see what I mean:
FUN FACT SIX
The Dead Sea Scrolls were excavated from eleven caves (five of them natural limestone; six of them man made) between 1947 and 1956. The scroll fragments range from relatively complete manuscripts to pieces of parchment containing only a letter, or even just half a letter. This wealth of fragments represents over 900 manuscripts, but many scroll fragments are so insignificant as to be virtually if not totally useless.
The initial find was in Cave 1, which contained ten scroll jars. Nine of these jars were empty or filled with dirt, but the tenth housed the original seven scrolls discovered at Qumran. These were complete scrolls, unlike most other scrolls, which are fragmented.
Now, some scholars believe the find at Cave 1 indicates that the Essenes were massacred. They believe that the scrolls in Cave 1 prove the Essenes never returned to retrieve their precious scriptures. Hence, they must have been wiped out, to the last man. I have a different theory. I don’t look at the one full scroll jar, but at the nine empty ones. I believe some of the Essenes did survive the massacre. The survivors would have been forced to sneak around at night. They could not afford to light a candle or torch, out of fear of alerting the rampaging Roman soldiers to their presence. Under these conditions, the survivors would have recovered their scrolls at night. Unable to see in the dark, they simply missed one of the ten jars.