Israel searching for more Dead Sea scrolls In this Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 file photo, Dr. Adolfo Roitman presents a part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. An Israeli antiquities official says Israel is embarking on a major expedition to find more Dead Sea Scrolls and other artifacts. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
Israel searching for more Dead Sea scrolls
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Israel is embarking on a major archaeological expedition. The country in the Middle East hopes to find more Dead Sea Scrolls, according to an Israeli official.
 
Amir Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority said a government research team will spend the next three years surveying hundreds of caves in the Judean Desert. The area is near the Dead Sea. That is the region where the Dead Sea Scrolls, the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, were preserved for thousands of years. They were discovered in 1947.
 
The collection is considered the crown jewel of Israeli antiquities.
 
In a move that is bound to stir controversy, the researchers may also excavate Dead Sea-area caves in the West Bank, Ganor said. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War. The Palestinians want the territory to establish an independent state.
 
Ganor discussed details of the project with The Associated Press.
 
The expedition will begin in December. It will be funded by the Israeli prime minister's office, Ganor said.
 
The expedition will be the first large-scale archaeological survey of the area since Operation Scroll. That was an effort in 1993. The goal was to find any remaining Dead Sea Scrolls hidden in an area of the West Bank before Israel transferred partial control of the area to the Palestinian Authority. But no scrolls were found.
 
According to Ganor, archaeologists also hope to find other antiquities. They could date back to as early as 5,000 years ago. They also might date from the 1st-century Jewish-Roman war and the 2nd-century Bar Kochba revolt. The revolt occurred when Jewish fighters battling the Roman army sought refuge in the desert.
 
Last summer, Israel carried out a three-week excavation of the so-called Cave of the Skulls. The cave is in the Judean Desert. The Israelis excavated after catching a group of six Palestinian men digging illegally at the site in 2014. The Palestinians were believed to be digging for more Dead Sea Scrolls.
 
In recent years, ancient manuscripts have trickled onto the local antiquities market. Looters are believed to have plundered them from Dead Sea-area caves, prompting the government initiative.
 
"We know there are more," Ganor said, speaking of undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls. "Most of the places haven't been reached."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why must experts dig to find scrolls?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (44)
  • jasonl1-lam
    11/23/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    I find it very interesting that these people are searching for more scrolls. If someone didn't throw a rock in a cave and they heard class break and when they got there scrolls were there there wouldn't be a search.The chance that there is more scrolls makes it a good reason to explore caves

  • levit-orv
    11/29/2016 - 12:20 p.m.

    they are digging for the scrolls to see if their are any more scrolls

  • holdenj-orv
    11/29/2016 - 02:28 p.m.

    This was one of the Biggest Highlights of 1947, with Jackie Robinson breaking Baseballs Color Barrier and the Release of Anne Franks Diary.

  • nicholasa-lin
    12/02/2016 - 02:47 p.m.

    I think the experts dig to find scrolls because the scrolls were special and are valuable.The scrolls could tell something that could lead to something special.

  • htaylor-dav
    12/08/2016 - 05:56 p.m.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls could probably tell them about the past of their culture and maybe even about their ancestors. They are very informational, but what would you do with it after you analyze it and read it. I think they must dig the Dead Sea Scrolls is because it might have been sacred back then and maybe that preserved the scroll. The scrolls are very ancient so I understand why they would search for the scrolls, but it is also a waste of time to search for them and them read it and analyze it, but then what would you do with it?

  • sierrab-ste
    1/08/2017 - 10:24 p.m.

    I think this is kind of pointless. I understand how great it would be to find these scrolls but at the same time theres no need to rip apart these caves for them. They're not insanely important.

  • valentinel-jon
    1/18/2017 - 07:35 a.m.

    I didn't like this article because I thought it was boring.

  • nidhit-jon
    1/18/2017 - 07:53 a.m.

    I think the experts must find the scrolls for discovery and for museums. Also they want to learn more about Israels history
    It is really cool to dig out some ancient scrolls! I would want to do that!!

  • zaneh-jon
    1/20/2017 - 11:57 a.m.

    I think they have to dig because there may be some caves entrances hidden by sand. There could also be shrines hidden by sand too. The text was a very captivating and interesting one. I hope I'll read more like it.

  • ulyssea-jon
    1/21/2017 - 05:03 a.m.

    Experts must dig to find scrolls because they are buried under the ground, and these scrolls are very valuable. They have to dig before some looters find them and sell them on the antiquities market.

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