INTERVIEW: The discovery of a twelfth cave at Qumran

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Fragments of jars that contained stolen scrolls in newly found 12th cave in Qumran. (Photo credit: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld)

Paul Calvert spoke with archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfeld, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

A twelfth cave at Qumran has been discovered. It’s the first time in 60 years that a new cave with traces of scrolls has been found. The first Dead Sea Scroll was found in 1947 and although no new scrolls have yet been unearthed in this new cave, a huge amount of organic material and fragments of scrolls were excavated. Paul Calvert spoke with archaeologist Dr Oren Gutfeld, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem about the find, its significance, history and what happens now.

Paul: How important is this discovery?

Dr Gutfeld: It’s very significant, because it’s the first time after 60 years that a new cave with traces for scrolls has been found. When I am saying traces, I mean seven or eight complete store jars. A few of them are Qumran store jars with their lids. Unfortunately we found them broken, but we can do some restoration to have them complete. Next to them we found cloth that used to cover the scrolls and even two stripes made of leather that tied the scrolls.

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