Scholar Finds 9 More Dead Sea Scrolls

Experts will unravel, analyze the tiny parchments
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2014 6:32 PM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2014 7:01 PM CDT
Scholar Finds 9 More Dead Sea Scrolls
A woman looks at the Dead Sea Scrolls on display at the caves of Qumran on December 14 2008. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in Qumran caves between the years 1947 and 1956.   (Shutterstock)

They may be small, but they're still Dead Sea Scrolls—and no one knows what they contain. An Israeli scholar has discovered nine tiny parchments amid the thousands of world-famous scrolls and scroll fragments that date back to the second century BCE, the Times of Israel reports. Dr. Yonatan Adler found two of the mini-scrolls at the Israel Museum in December, and announced the discovery of several more last month. "Either they didn’t realize that these were also scrolls, or they didn’t know how to open them," one expert says.

Now the Israel Antiquities Authority plans to painstakingly unravel and preserve the finds. What might they reveal? Hard to say, but scholars analyzing other Dead Sea Scrolls discovered at Qumran in the 1940s and '50s have described how the biblical texts differ from the Bible as we know it today—sometimes with additional passages. An Israeli scholar said he didn't expect any "bombshells" from the new scrolls, but Adler says he's still "excited" about them, LiveScience reports. "It's not every day that you get the chance to discover new manuscripts." (Another neat recent find? A pottery shard that could prove a well-known biblical story.)

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