14 April 2016 - 6 Nisan 5776 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Ancient Hebrew scroll deciphered E-mail

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced recently that advanced technologies have, for the first time, made it possible to read the contents of a burnt scroll that was found 45 years ago in archaeological excavations in the Holy Ark of the synagogue at Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Surprisingly, the scroll is a 1,500-year-old copy of the beginning of the Book of Leviticus.

The parchment scroll was unearthed in 1970 in archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Ein Gedi, headed by the late Dr. Dan Barag and Dr.Sefi Porath. However at that time, due to the scroll’s charred condition, it was not possible to either preserve or decipher it.

After recent extremely challenging efforts that lasted over a year, the scientists and researchers were amazed to see verses from the beginning of the Book of Leviticus suddenly coming back to life.

The Lunder Family Dead Sea Scrolls Conservation Center of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which uses state-of-theart and advanced technologies to preserve and document the Dead Sea scrolls, enabled the discovery of this important find.

It turns out that part of this scroll is from the beginning of the Book of Leviticus, written in Hebrew, and dated by C14 analysis to the late sixth century CE. To date, this is the most ancient scroll from the five books of the Hebrew Bible to be found since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, most of which are ascribed to the end of the Second Temple period (first century BCE-first century CE).

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