FUN FACT SEVEN
How many other scrolls were found?
In rough scientific terms, oodles and oodles. Cave 4 yielded 15,000 fragments of more than 800 manuscripts. However, the scrolls in Cave 4 were in such poor repair that some believe Cave 4 was a genizah—a scroll dump where the Essenes deposited worn out scrolls to molder away, according to the dictates of their faith regarding the disposal of sacred scriptures. These scroll fragments were chewed into pieces and scattered by rodents and insects, not to mention used as nesting material. They were shredded by two thousand years of wind and weather shifts, and the fragments that survived were saturated with urine and coated with feces from the bats, rodents, and birds that occupied the cave. These fragments were in such decay and disarray that for many years researchers believed they represented far fewer manuscripts. Only recently has the scrolls team been able to make sense of many of these fragments.
When a Roman Catholic scholar involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls Project discovers a heretical message contained in one of the Scrolls he hides it. Decades later, a prominent archeologist discovers reference to the scroll in an archeological dig. This discovery spurs the world religions into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, in which all who seek the hidden scroll are mysteriously silenced, leaving the salvation of humankind to a father and son, who must either find the hidden scroll … or die trying.