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Dead Sea Scrolls Discovered in 1956 Are Translated

Mar. 7, 1962 - Authorities made available today the first English translation of one of five psalms recently discovered in a Dead Sea scroll. The 5 are among 44 Hebrew psalms, the rest of which are familiar, preserved on a goatskin scroll. The scroll, which dates to the first century and was discovered with other parchments in a cave in 1956, was recently unrolled and deciphered at the Palestine Archaeological Museum. The scroll, considered to be the most significant discovery since the first Dead Sea scrolls were uncovered in 1947, is well preserved, except for decay in the bottom third caused by dampness. Like the 1947 finds, the 1956 discovery was made by a Bedouin among the reddish-yellow cliffs that rise 150 feet in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. An ascetic sect known as the Essenes once lived and worked in the complex of caves, producing their scrolls in a scriptorium equipped with plaster desks, benches, and inkwells. It is believed that in about A.D. 68, the sect got word of the approach of the 10th Roman Legion and hid its treasures so well they were not discovered for nearly 1,900 years.


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