Israeli researchers announce discovery of new Dead Sea scroll fragments

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Researchers in Israel say they have discovered the first new fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls for six decades, with the new artefacts dating back to the 2nd century.

The Israel Antiques Authority (IAA) announced on Tuesday that fragments of a scroll had been found in a cave in the Judean Desert. The discovery came during a several-year-long survey of all the caves in the area, carried out by the IAA.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the earliest texts written in the Hebrew language and are 2,000 years old. Some two dozen have been newly discovered during a daring rescue operation.

The newly found fragments of the scrolls are Greek translations of the books of Nahum and Zechariah from the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. The only Hebrew in the text is the name of God while the rest is written in Greek.

The fragments were found in the Cave of Horror in Nahal Hever. According to an Israel Antiquities Authority press release, the cave is “flanked by gorges and can only be reached by rappelling precariously down the sheer cliff,” hence it was given its name.

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