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In March the 1948 Arab–Israeli War prompted the move of some of the scrolls to Beirut, Lebanon, for safekeeping.On 11 April 1948, Millar Burrows, head of the ASOR, announced the discovery of the scrolls in a general press release.
The identified texts fall into three general groups: The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of twelve caves around the site originally known as the "Ein Feshkha Caves" near the Dead Sea in the West Bank (then part of Jordan) between 19 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archeologists.
The practice of storing worn-out sacred manuscripts in earthenware vessels buried in the earth or within caves is related to the ancient Jewish custom of Genizah.
Biblical texts older than the Dead Sea Scrolls have been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. The third-oldest surviving known piece of the Torah, the En-Gedi Scroll, consists of a portion of Leviticus found in the Ein Gedi synagogue, burnt in the 6th century CE and analyzed in 2015.
Research has dated it palaeographically to the 1st or 2nd century CE, and using the C14 method to sometime between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE.
The texts have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.
Almost all of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection is currently under the ownership of the Government of the State of Israel, and housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum.None of the scrolls were destroyed in this process.The Bedouin kept the scrolls hanging on a tent pole while they figured out what to do with them, periodically taking them out to show to their people.Edh-Dhib's cousin noticed the caves, but edh-Dhib himself was the first to actually fall into one (the cave now called Cave 1).He retrieved a handful of scrolls, which Trever identifies as the Isaiah Scroll, Habakkuk Commentary, and the Community Rule, and took them back to the camp to show to his family.The original scrolls continued to change hands after the Bedouin left them in the possession of a third party until a sale could be arranged.(See Ownership.) In 1947 the original seven scrolls caught the attention of Dr. Trever, of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), who compared the script in the scrolls to that of The Nash Papyrus, the oldest biblical manuscript then known, and found similarities between them.Scholarly consensus dates the Qumran Caves Scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE.Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus (in office 135–104 BCE) and continuing until the period of the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls.'Ijha returned them, saying they were worthless, after being warned that they might have been stolen from a synagogue.Undaunted, the Bedouin went to a nearby market, where a Syrian Christian offered to buy them.