Chapter 2: The Mystery of Cave 1

In: The Dead Sea Scrolls, A Full History

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Abstract

By the beginning of 1949 all the major scrolls had been bought or taken out of the country. Israel's War of Independence had come to a halt with an uneasy cease-fire and, Transjordan, later known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, had control of Qumran, East Jerusalem, The Old City, and Mt. Scopus, including the campus of the Hebrew University. Stephen Pfann suggested that the traditional Cave 1 had been authenticated by fragments discovered by Gerald Lankester Harding and Father Roland de Vaux in their excavation in 1949 belonging to at least one of the first seven scrolls. The chapter also provides the reasons on why Cave 1 continues to be a mystery such as: (1) there are two basically different stories about how the first cave was entered; and (2) the official excavation found fragments from Sukenik's scrolls only.