The Dead Sea Scrolls Suggest Written By Essenes Associated With Jesus
SKELETONS recently uncovered at a 2,000-year-old site in the West Bank could provide the answer to who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.
New research has shed light on who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls
Over 30 newly excavated skeletons of people buried at Qumran have been analysed and the findings seem to support the notion that the ancient community consisted of a religious sect of celibate men, according to anthropologist Yossi Nagar, of the Israel Antiquities Authority,
It had been previously theorised that a community of men lived there at the time the scrolls were placed in the caves near an ancient settlement and they may have either written or guarded the scrolls, a collection of nearly 1,000 manuscripts which are the oldest surviving copies of biblical text.
The analysis of the 33 skeletons are thought to be approximately 2,200 years old, according to radiocarbon dating, which is around the same age as the scrolls, according to a report in Science News.
The skeletons were found to be definitely or most likely males due to their pelvic shape and body size and ranged in age between 20 and 50 or possibly older when they died.
Mr Nagar, speaking at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research, said: “I don’t know if these were the people who produced the Qumran region’s Dead Sea Scrolls.
“But the high concentration of adult males of various ages buried at Qumran is similar to what has been found at cemeteries connected to Byzantine monasteries.”
Mr Nagar said six of seven previously unearthed bodies initially thought to be women were actually men.
Mystery still surrounds the numerous texts, mainly written on papyrus and parchment that were first discovered in the 1940s by Bedouin goat herders.
They are believed to have been written between 150 BC and AD 70 and in a variety of languages including Hebrew and Aramaic.
The documents make up some of the earliest parts of the Hebrew bible, including the 10 Commandments.
The scrolls were found in 11 caves between 1947 and 1956 caused a serious debate about who occupied the region.
In 2017, researchers revealed they had found another cave in the same area that possibly held scrolls or pieces of papyrus and leather intended to be written on.
An influential early theory held that members of an ancient, celibate Jewish sect, the Essenes, lived at Qumran and either wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls or were caretakers of these religious, legal and philosophical documents. But over the past 30 years, other possible inhabitants of Qumran have been proposed, including Bedouin herders, craftsmen and Roman soldiers.