Excavations Launched to Rescue Dead Sea Scrolls

YERUSHALAYIM -
The cave where the archaeological excavation is being conducted is situated 80 meters from the top of the cliff and 250 meters above the base of the wadi. (Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the IAA.)
The cave where the archaeological excavation is being conducted is situated 80 meters from the top of the cliff and 250 meters above the base of the wadi. (Guy Fitoussi, courtesy of the IAA.)

The Israeli government has unveiled a multi-ministerial plan for archaeological excavations in the Judean Desert caves, and rescuing the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are believed to be among the earliest extant texts written in lashon kodesh.

According to Israel Hasson, director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “For years now our most important heritage and cultural assets have been excavated illicitly and plundered in the Judean Desert caves for reasons of greed. The goal of the national plan that we are advancing is to excavate and find all of the scrolls that remain in the caves, once and for all, so that they will be rescued and preserved by the state.”

The IAA will carry out the plan in cooperation with the Heritage Project in the Ministry of Yerushalayim Affairs and together with the Minister of Culture and Sport, MK Miri Regev.

Last week, the IAA took a first step in the plan by commencing an excavation in search of scrolls in Nahal Tse’elim.