Chapter 1: First Discoveries at Qumran

In: The Dead Sea Scrolls, A Full History
Author: E. L. Sukenik


Published accounts of the discoveries of the scrolls near Qumran sometime in late 1946 or early 1947 have been contradictory from the beginning. More than a few of the differences can be attributed to deliberate deception so illegal excavations could continue unimpeded. By Holy Week in April (Nisan) 1947, the scrolls had been &t;kicking about the floor of the shop for some days.&t; As they reported that the scrolls were wrapped &t;like mummies&t; Yeshue Samuel thought they must be important, for no one had lived in that area since &t;early Christian times.&t; Once the news of the scrolls' discovery began to filter out, it did not take long, in fact, for other scholars to remember that from early Christian times, and through the Middle Ages, there were allusions here and there to previous discoveries of ancient Jewish manuscripts in the area near Jericho, just a few kilometers north of Qumran.