Genetic clues extracted from fragments of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls play a crucial role in discovering the origins of the ancient texts, as well as a book of the Hebrew Bible.
The scrolls consist of cow and sheepskin, which typically retain DNA from the animal they were harvested from.
Analyzing the preserved DNA is a new way of determining which of the more than twenty-five thousand fragments are part of scrolls that used skin from the same animal. That would help researchers put the scrolls together and learn more about their contents.
What’s Written In The Scrolls?
It is believed that the Dead Sea Scrolls contain religious and biblical teachings from about 2,000 years ago. That number isn’t exact because it’s not yet precisely known when the scrolls were written. Current estimates say that they were written between the third century B.C. and the first century A.D, during a time known as “the late Second Temple period.”
That period was a stepping stone in the development of Judaism and the rise of Christianity.
Noam Mizrahi, Tel Aviv University Biblical scholar, and study co-author said:
“Our results demonstrate the heterogeneity inherent in Second Temple Judaism, which formed the matrix for [early] Christianity.”
The Dead Sea Scrolls refer to approximately a thousand ancient manuscripts, which are believed to contain the earliest versions of books from the Hebrew Bible and some non-biblical religious and philosophical and legal documents.
Most of the scroll fragments were discovered between 1947 and 1960.
The most prominent discovery of scrolls fragments originates from a site found in the Judean desert, on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea.
We hope that the method proves successful since the data that can be extracted from the scrolls might rewrite history.