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Mysterious Dead Sea Scroll deciphered in Israel

From BBC - January 22, 2018

One of the last remaining obscure parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been deciphered by researchers in Israel.

Sixty tiny fragments were pieced together over a period of a year, identifying the name of a festival marking the changes between seasons.

It also revealed a second scribe corrected mistakes made by the author.

The 900 scrolls, written by an ancient Jewish sect, have been a source of fascination since the first were discovered in a cave in Qumran in 1947.

The collection is considered the oldest copy of the Bible ever found, dating to at least the 4th Century BC.

It is not known who wrote the scrolls, although some scholars have credited an ascetic desert sect called the Essenes.

The sections of the scrolls were pieced together by Dr Eshbal Ratson and Prof Jonathan Ben-Dov of Haifa University. They were written in code and some of the fragments were smaller than 1 sq cm (0.155 sq inches).

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