Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Biblical Archeology

I heard about this this morning. As we were earlier discussing the idea of the transmission of biblical passages I thought this might be appropriate. (Not to mention interesting.)

A secretive encounter with a Bedouin robber in a desert valley led to what an Israeli archaeologist hailed Friday as one of the most important biblical finds from the region in a half century.The discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll give rise to hope that the Judean Desert may yield more treasures, said Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University.The two small pieces of brown animal skin, inscribed in Hebrew with verses from the Book of Leviticus, are from "refugee" caves in Nachal Arugot, a canyon near the Dead Sea where Jews hid from the Romans in the second century, Eshel said in an interview with The Associated Press."No scrolls have been found in the Judean Desert" in decades, Eshel said. "The common belief has been that there is nothing left to find there."Now, he said, scholars may be spurred on to further excavations.Archaeologist and Bible scholar Steven Pfann said he had not seen the fragments. If authenticated, they would "in general not be doing more than confirming the character of the material that we have from the southern part of the Judean wilderness up until today."But "what's interesting and exciting is that this is a new discovery," Pfann added. "This is the first time we've seen anything from the south since the 1960s."The finding constitutes the 15th scroll fragments found in the area from the same period of the Jewish "Bar Kochba" revolt against the Romans, and the first to be discovered with verses from Leviticus, Eshel said.

Below is a link to the entire article with contained other information on antiquities and the finding of other items in Israel.

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