Saturday, July 16, 2005

New discovery of ancient Jewish scroll fragments

Detroit news: Bedouin leads archaeologist to fragments of biblical scroll.

The two thousand year old fragments were found by a bedouin in
Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century

The find is interesting not for its content but for the fact that it indicates that more material may yet be found in the area:
"No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert" in decades, Eshel said. "The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there."

Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations.

Archaeologist and Bible scholar Steven Pfann said he had not seen the fragments. If authenticated, they would "in general not be doing more than confirming the character of the material that we have from the southern part of the Judean wilderness up until today."

But "what's interesting and exciting is that this is a new discovery," Pfann added. "This is the first time we've seen anything from the south since the 1960s."
It is truly amazing how much has in fact survived, and how much has remained still hidden and awaiting discovery.

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