Known today as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the 972 parchments and papyrus fragments in this and other nearby caves contained some of the oldest surviving examples of Jewish scripture. Likely hidden from Roman authorities by the small, pious community that lived nearby, the scrolls had survived 2,000 years in the arid desert climate to provide scholars — and the world — with an extraordinary glimpse at the Bible and Judaism around the time of Christ.Background here and links.
And now the Philadelphia area may gaze onto that world as well. On Saturday, the Franklin Institute will open the doors on a remarkable exhibition, “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times.”
The collection consists of more than 600 figurines, altars, coins, pottery, menorahs, bone boxes, and incense burners, and a giant stone from the Western Wall of the great temple of Jerusalem. The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Israeli Antiquities Authority, the Discovery Museum, and the Franklin Institute. It will be open seven days a week through mid-October.
UPDATE: tangentially related: Gallery: Lost Treasures of the World (News24). Er, someone tell them that the Dead Sea Scrolls have been found.