Instant Expert: The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in modern times around 1947, in the Judean Desert. A group of Bedouin shepherds, looking for a stray goat, came across an untouched cave, the interior of which had jars containing ancient scrolls. Over the next decade, thousands of scroll fragments were found in eleven caves near the Dead Sea region. The span between the caves and the actual Dead Sea, known as the Qumran ruins, was excavated by archeologists around this time also. Carbon-14 dating and other research indicated both the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran ruins date back as far as the third century B.C.E. In fact, the scrolls are older than any other discovered biblical manuscripts by almost one thousand years.