Dead Sea Scroll discovery: Obscure fragments deciphered


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One of many final two elements of the Useless Sea Scrolls has lastly been translated, because of researchers on the College of Haifa.

Dr. Eshbal Ratson and Prof. Jonathan Ben-Dov of the Division of Bible Research have managed to place collectively 60 tiny fragments over greater than a yr, giving them recent perception right into a competition that marked the altering of the seasons.

First found in a collapse Qumran in 1947, there are 900 scrolls which make up the Useless Sea Scrolls; collectively, the gathering is taken into account to be the oldest copy of the Bible in recognized existence, thought to have been created across the 4th Century B.C. Nearly all of the scrolls have been found over a interval from 1947 to 1956 and have lengthy since been restored and printed.


dead sea scrolls 1

 (The fragment deciphered by Dr Eshbal Ratson and Prof Jonathan Ben-Dov of Haifa College. (Credit score: UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA))

Additionally included within the newly found fragment is part that offers with the 364-day calendar, celebrated by the traditional Judean Desert sect. It is unclear who created the Useless Sea Scrolls, however some researchers have advised a gaggle often called the Essenes are accountable. The Essenes existed from the 2nd century B.C. to the first century A.D.

The festivals that have been used to rejoice the altering of seasons embrace the competition of New Wheat, New Wine and and New Oil, associated to the Jewish competition of Shavuot. In response to the calendar, the wheat competition happened 50 days after the Shabbat that adopted Passover. Fifty days later, the wine harvest competition got here and 50 days after that was the oil harvest competition.

The scroll additionally stated there was a special occasion for the altering of the seasons, often called Tekufah, which in Hebrew interprets to “interval.” “This time period is acquainted from the later Rabbinical literature and from mosaics courting to the Talmudic interval, and we may have assumed that it could even be used with this which means within the scrolls, however that is the primary time it has been revealed,” Dr. Ratson and Prof. Ben-Dov defined in a press launch.


“The lunar calendar, which Judaism follows to at the present time, requires a lot of human selections,” the researchers added. “Individuals should have a look at the celebs and moon and report on their observations, and somebody should be empowered to determine on the brand new month and the appliance of leap years. Against this, the 364-day calendar was excellent. As a result of this quantity may be divided into 4 and 7, particular events all the time fall on the identical day.” 

Apparently sufficient, Dr. Ratson and Prof. Ben-Dov have been capable of decipher the code from annotations made within the margins, by correcting omissions from the unique creator.

“What’s good is that these feedback have been hints that helped me work out the puzzle – they confirmed me assemble the scroll,” Dr. Ratzon stated in an interview with Haaretz. 

Comply with Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia 

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